My Questions for the Pope

Scot McKnight referred to John Piper’s post about what he would ask the Pope. Piper said he’d ask him about justification. I’m not surprised by that question, but I can’t say I like it too much. I don’t think evangelicals are well placed historically to play doctrinal cop. It brings out the worst in us […]

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A Prayer of St. Patrick

I arise today Through the strength of heaven; Light of the sun, Splendor of fire, Speed of lightning, Swiftness of the wind, Depth of the sea, Stability of the earth, Firmness of the rock. I arise today Through God’s strength to pilot me; God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye […]

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A Corporate Prayer for the Fifth Weekend of Lent

  O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear our prayer and deliver us.   From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus. From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus. From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus. From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus. From the desire of […]

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Disciplining Ministry Metaphors

When we develop metaphors for ministry relationships, we must be careful to discipline our language by biblical frames of thought. I think we need to be especially suspicious of metaphors and images that portray ministry relationships in terms of “leader-follower,” or “patron-client.” Contemporary assumptions about discipleship (“I, the expert, show and tell you things.”) often […]

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Metaphors Behaving Badly

I wrote a few days ago that because our cultural location shapes our imaginations, we inevitably conceive of Christian ministry in terms, categories, and images supplied by our post-industrial technological age. We need to be discerning in our use of metaphors because of how they function.  They’re more powerful than we may assume. Metaphors excite […]

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Paul’s Organic Ministry Metaphor

In 1 Corinthians 3:5-9, Paul uses an organic metaphor to describe Apollos’ and his ministries. What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So […]

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Prayer for the Weekend

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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An Obstacle to Missional Encounters

I think that one thing that keeps evangelicals from missional encounters is that we have the illusion that we must first be equipped before we do anything. Remember, the pattern in John 4 is that God sustain us with his own life when we take the initiative to encounter others in relationships of mutuality and […]

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Missional Encounters Sustain the Church

In John 4, Jesus states that he was sustained by his encounter with the woman at the well in Sychar.  The narrative concludes with Jesus exhorting his disciples to reap a harvest.  The implication is that missional encounters will be their sustenance. Like the Jewish culture Jesus confronted, churches can tend to become isolated communities […]

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Missional Encounters Sustain Jesus

Jesus cultivated relationships with all the wrong people, at least according to Jewish prejudices.  In John 4, he passes through the Samaritan town of Sychar and encounters a woman drawing water from the town well. Everything about this episode is highly offensive to John’s first audiences.  He’s in Samaria (gasp!), speaking with a Samaritan (ugh!!), […]

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