"Fear was a profound motivator for evangelicals. We carried a vestigial memory of being the little ramshackle clapboard church from across the tracks whose congregation couldn't pay its minister. We collectively carried a chip on our shoulders for being marginalized. Fear and revenge were far from the teachings of Christ, but we had practiced them … Continue reading Quote of Note #33: Evangelical Fear
"As people whose prophetic paradigm is shaped by the radical hope of the gospel, they would reject conspiracy theories, sensationalism, and fear-mongers." Mark Chironna, The Dead Prophets Society: The Significance of Prophetic Function in the 21st Century. Self-published, 2018, page 40.
"When peace is the agreed-upon value of a community of believers who are contending for 'on earth as it is in heaven,' they will not use fear to control or influence others. This is so deeply rooted in our culture that people often seem unaware of using this tool to manipulate others to their need … Continue reading Quote of Note #27: Fear-mongering and Christian Engagement
The U.S. presidential election of 2016 is surely one of the most spiritually destructive of the ten presidential elections in my voting experience. I have been deeply troubled by the extent to which many prominent evangelical leaders have stirred up and played on the fears of their people. This has not been American evangelicalism's finest … Continue reading Sermon #63 — A Troubling Election and A People of Hope
As some of your know by now, I will be traveling to the city of Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in May. I’ll be going as part of a team sent out by Presbyterian Reformed Ministries International to conduct a week-long training event for pastors and church leaders there. I’m excited … Continue reading Pastor Note #59–Honestly, It’s Really Kind of Scary!
[Although I have called this a "Pastor's Prayer," with a slight adjustment of the language, this prayer might well work as a prayer for any Christian who wants to be a channel of blessing to the people in their lives. And what Christian wouldn't want to be a channel of God's blessing in the lives … Continue reading Prayer Note #46 — A Channel of Blessing: a Pastor’s Prayer
ADVENTURES IN WATER-WALKING WITH JESUS I love this passage – Matthew 14:22-32. But I’m still not sure I understand what Peter had in mind (v.28). It all happened one dark, windy night out in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. It’s typically called a “sea,” but really it’s a large, freshwater lake. Still, … Continue reading BIBLE NOTE #18–Matthew14:22-33: Adventures in Water-walking with Jesus
Some of the great truths of Scripture are not so much great doctrinal concepts as they are simple relational realities concerning God’s orientation toward us. What Calvin says of the Lord’s Supper can, I’m convinced, be applied to this whole category of truth. “I rather experience than understand it.” [Inst. IV. xvii. 32] Grasping these … Continue reading Bible Note #17 — Matthew 6:25-34 — God’s Orientation Toward Us
This sermon is a follow-up to "Sermon #8." In it, I explore some of the things that cause us to expect too little from God and so live with aching, paralyzing fears, which we could let go of in Christ. Click here to see the text of Matthew 8:18-27. Also, in the course of the … Continue reading Sermon #9 — “I’m Afraid: Expecting Too Little” — Matthew 8:18-27
With this sermon I begin what I intend to be a three-part series dealing with fear and Jesus' frequent statement "Don't be afraid." In this sermon, I talk about Jesus' act of stilling the storm on the Sea of Galilee. During the worship service in which I preached this sermon, we read Psalm 27 responsively. … Continue reading Sermon #8 — “I’m Afraid: Fear, Faith, Fulness” — Matthew 8:23-27