Posts

Don’t be ashamed of Jesus.

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Mark 8.34 – 9.1, Matthew 16.24-28, Luke 9.23-27.Christianity embarrasses a lot of people.Which I get. I have a coworker who’s one of those dark Christians who’s all about judging sinners, ’cause she thinks their sins are gonna trigger the End Times. She thinks she’s just keeping things real and telling the truth, but my other coworkers think she’s a loon. I think she’s a loon. I don’t wanna be associated with that.Thankfully I know the difference between that particular brand of angry, blame-everybody-but-ourselves doctrine, and Christ Jesus and his gospel. So when people ask what I think, I can tell ’em I don’t believe as she does; I believe in grace. My Lord isn’t coming to earth to judge it—not for a mighty long time—but to save it. I proclaim good news, not bad.Other Christians… well they don’t know there’s a difference between dark Christianity and Christ Jesus. Or they do, but don’t know how to articulate it. So they mute the fact they’re Christian, and hope they can pass by unn…

How not to rebuke someone over the internet.

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Questions? Comments? Email. But remember, my feedback policy means I can post it. Maybe even make fun of it.Y’might notice on some of the older TXAB articles, the Disqus comments have closed. I put an expiration date on posting comments on the article itself. It’s just weird when someone comments on something years later. It’s weird when they do it on YouTube (and super annoying when it’s something inane, like “Hey, who else is watching this video in 2019?”); it’s weird when they do it anywhere. So I prevented it on this site.But nothing can stop you from throwing me an email, so people will do that.So I got feedback on my article, “The fear of phony peace.” Wasn’t positive. A lot of Christians believe the great tribulation is definitely gonna follow the rapture, and somehow my saying otherwise is doing people a disservice: Christians need to be prepared for… utterly escaping all the bad stuff?Seems if we did need to be more prepared for anything, it’d be in case the rapture doesn’t p…

Preaching the dictionary.

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Nine years ago I visited a family member’s church. The pastor had just started a series about home-based small groups. His primary proof text came from Acts 2, namely the part where Luke described the brand-new Christians in Jerusalem, and how they got religious.Acts 2.42-47 KWL42 They were hewing close to the apostles’ teaching, to community, to breaking bread, and to prayers.43 Reverence came to every soul, and many wonders and signs happened through the apostles.44 Every believer looked out for one another, and put everything in common use:45 They sold possessions and property, and divided proceeds among all,just because some were needy.46 Those who hewed close unanimously were in temple daily,breaking bread at home, happily, generously, wholeheartedly sharing food,47 praising God, showing grace to all people.The Master added saved people to them daily.He used the NLT, I believe. Its verse 46 goes like so:Acts 2.46 NLTThey worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for…

Expository preaching… if that’s what’s even happening.

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EXPOUNDɪk'spaʊndverb. Present and explain (a theory or idea) systematically and in detail.2. Explain the meaning of (a literary or doctrinal work).[Exposition ɛk.spə'zɪʃ.(ə)nnoun, expository ɪk'spɑ.zɪ.tɔ.riadjective, expositor ɪk'spɑ.zə.dərnoun.]I regularly run into this situation: People like to compliment their favorite preachers by calling them “great expositors.” Apparently they’ve learned exposition is the very best way to preach, so when they like certain preachers, that’s what they call ’em.And once again, this is one of those situations where I gotta quote Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride.Giphy’Cause I listen to these preachers for myself, and find they’re not great expositors. Or even expositors.Oh, they can preach. They have outstanding abilities as public speakers. They know how to keep their listeners’ attention. Some of ’em have even done their homework, and teach the scriptures admirably. But expositors? Nope.They get called “expositors” because they…

Nontheists and prayer.

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Whenever you talk prayer with a nontheist or antichrist, they’re gonna scoff at you because they’re entirely sure you’re praying to no one.You only imagine you’re praying to someone, they insist. You only think God answered your prayers, but it’s just coincidence; or you’re selectively reinterpreting “signs” from nature and claiming they’re God-things. You’re only pretending that’s God’s voice in your head talking back to you; it’s really your own. You want so bad for God to be real, for prayer to be valid, for Christianity to be true, you’ve psyched yourself into everything. But it’s pure self-delusion.Yeah, sometimes I talk with some people, so I’ve heard their condescending explanations before. They’d probably work on me… if there was no such thing as confirmation. Test the bloody spirits! 1Jn 4.1See, when I think God’s told me something, I don’t just run with it. I’m patient. I double-check. ’Cause we’re supposed to double-check. Not double-checking is how Christians wind up doing…