How does a Christian navigate relationships or a career in a society so flooded with lies in advertising, ghostwriting, and politics? Christians are supposed to be people of the truth—for their God is a God of truth—but the Bible, relationships, and language itself are often unclear on the matter.
The brokenness never ends. It can leave us asking whether God is worth following and why, for heaven’s sake, he isn’t fixing things.
Not long ago, my family was harmed by damaging theology. We bought into the lie of a fearful, angry God who could not possibly love us the way we were. Of a God who saw us primarily as sinners, not his children.
Sometimes Christians are too quick to assume the quotes we see on twitter and pinterest are in the Bible. If it has a few “thee’s” and “thou’s” or sounds at all like a proverb, we assume that its somewhere in that dense, leather-bound book sitting on our nightstand.
For all the stories we tell about Mary, we usually miss one of her most important contributions to the Christmas story: her song in the first chapter of Luke’s gospel. Mary’s song (or her “Magnificat”) was the first theological reflection on Christ in the New Testament. But we barely hear about it. I have only […]
Every time I put on a poppy I can’t help but feel conflicted. As someone who first got to know Jesus through the “gospel of peace”, accepting the fact that there are many ways for Christians to fight evil, including war, is hard to do. But I’m learning to let go of that. You see, […]
I recently had a conversation with a friend about God, Hell, and pain. Especially the latter. Because of the enormity of pain and suffering she had observed in her life, she was certain God couldn’t exist. It was a heavy conversation. And, as a Christian engaged in full-time ministry, I felt the extreme pressure to […]
A few years ago I was on my way to a speaking engagement in Los Angeles. While driving, I saw an object moving rapidly toward my windshield. Then I heard the impact, “SMACK!” The object struck the bottom right side of my windshield and left a crack. Before long, the crack started creeping across my windshield, […]
If we go to church, do we have a guaranteed spot in heaven? What if you constantly skip church but lead a very good life? This question gets at the heart of most people’s understanding of religion, which is basically that the point of religion is to ‘get into heaven.’ And if I’m basically a […]
When reading the Old Testament, should we interpret it literally or metaphorically? Answering this question depends what we mean by ‘literally.'(the best answer to nearly every tough theological question: ‘Depends.’) ‘Literally’ originally meant ‘as the author intended,’ or the closest interpretation to what the author wanted to convey. However, it has come to mean […]
I’m going to out myself right now… I’m a bible reading newb… which is embarrassing considering I’ve owned a bible pretty well since the day I came into this world. I’ve had too many bibles to count through my climb up the Sunday school ladder. They have had pictures, student study guides, footnotes, and lots […]
Remember the great “Worship Wars” of the ’90s and early ’00s? On one side, drum kits were demonized, on the other, organs were considered passé. Thus, a great, seemingly uncrossable, chasm formed between the generations. Some of the arguments were theological in nature, while others focused on musical preferences. And then there were some arguments […]
Do you want the villain to live another day, or die in a fiery pit of lava near the remote village of Cholula, Mexico? Or maybe your lifelong enemy should live the rest of his days in solitary confinement in an inner city prison? It’s your choice, because it’s a “choose your own adventure” book. […]
Christian conversations about money often sound like good advice from a wealthy, moral — albeit secular — uncle. But in reality, Jesus said some truly outrageous things about money. The majority of His ethics and parables on the subject took the focus off money altogether, and instead re-focused His listeners on God and eternity. 1. […]
For most of us, Bible study requires a few simple steps: 1. Roll out of bed 2. Grab a cup of coffee 3. Open your Bible 4. Don’t fall back asleep. If this is your Bible study routine, it’s time to liven it up. With Logos 6, you can explore the Word with confidence and […]
Masturbation! There, I said it! I can scarcely imagine a subject more likely to inspire the creative use of euphemisms and awkward exercises in not getting to the point. This is especially true amongst Christians, as many of us are still learning how to talk freely and frankly about sex. Most people, at some point […]
When I was a kid, each Christmas Eve at my house replayed the same scenario. After the candlelight service at church and the annual viewing of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, my older brother and I would pitch camp on his bunk bed and stay awake as long as our sleepy eyes would let us. Our […]
So many of our biblical heroes are outstanding sinners. This makes us uncomfortable, to say the least. We want to justify their conduct somehow, so we read the Old Testament through a moralistic lens. In the process, we whitewash behaviours like Abraham’s deception of Pharaoh, or Samson’s sexual promiscuity. This is true. And it’s about […]
Christians are prone to talk endlessly about predestination and mission, but when it comes to the concrete everyday mores of life, we are oddly silent. So what does God intend for the most ordinary of things like food? Quite literally, the Bible tells us whether we eat or drink, we should do so for the […]
The recent Bible Engagement Study shows a decrease in Christians’ Bible reading. Surprised? Neither were we. When people hear that I’m getting a Master’s degree in theology, their assumption is that I’m immersed in biblical studies. Well, I’m not. I tend to hang around with the doctrinal and spiritual theology crowd while the biblical studies kids, with […]
Maybe it’s more “both/and” than we’d like to admit I can remember the first time I had a conversation with a non-Christian about why I believe what I believe. I was 12 and had recently gone to a youth rally with my church, so I was high on Jesus and I was ready to tell […]
An interview with apologist Andy Bannister The tired discourse is that millennial Christians are leaving the church in droves. And while that topic has mostly been beaten to death, the truth is that young Christians are doubting their faith, and often, are finding that their foundations are not as strong as they should be. Knowing […]
Theology. It’s the study of the nature of God and religious belief. It’s the ongoing conversation about God, what is said in the Bible, and how He is working in our world. On August 1, Prairie Bible Institute will launch Theology 100, a free online one-credit course, for all those wanting to be more intentional about studying […]
Because it sure feels that way The Problem I’ve often felt frustrated when reading my Bible. I’ll flip through its delicate pages, hoping I’ll hear something from God. Because isn’t that what’s supposed to happen? I always hear stories about people who hear God talking to them as if they were Moses. But I almost […]
I will be honest. When I get my pay cheque I don’t always feel generous towards others. My first thought is keeping it all. My mind is consumed with student loan balances and costly bills. The rising cost of education has put the millennial generation in precarious financial waters. Education often feels more like a heavy yoke than an […]
Atheists are a hard group to pin down. They are defined not by what they believe, but by what they don’t believe — namely, God. Because of this, atheism is by definition a negative belief, not a positive one. Holding a negative belief can at times be problematic. It would be like if somebody asked […]
My family keeps the Sabbath. Not religiously — as in, we don’t always do religious things. But we are pretty religious about “keeping” it. Usually we go to church. Usually we eat simply — eggs and toast is normal fare for Sunday dinners. Usually we say “no” to invitations and engagements unless they involve family. […]
I’m not a bitter and angry feminist. Oh, no. I’m a Jesus-following, joy-filled feminist, a Jesus-made-a-feminist-out-of-me feminist. I’m no man-hater: I’m surrounded by good men, brave men who celebrate, affirm, welcome, strengthen, and protect. There’s no bitterness in my words, my axes aren’t for grinding. I’m ready to beat them into ploughshares. As my friend […]
Looking beyond feminism: What Christianity and feminism have in common A grade 12 student of mine amazed me recently in her critique of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech. “It was visionary for his time”, she quipped, “but we can’t stop there. We need to have an even bigger vision today.” Like […]
What would you say to someone who views feminism as the typical caricature … you know, of… John Stackhouse: An angry lesbian woman who hates men? Well that’s what keeps most of my students from identifying themselves as feminists. Feminism should mean, simply, advocacy on behalf of women because they are being mistreated because they […]
A former professor of mine once said that if you can’t say everything you want to say about homosexuality, don’t say anything at all. The implication being that if you can’t state your position in full, parts of your position will be taken out of context or misinterpreted entirely. For the most part I have […]
The impossibility of reaching a consensus decision on what the Bible actually is relates to the fact that there is bound to be some level of agreement amongst all parties involved in the discussion. The controversy arises over what inevitably cannot be affirmed. This is different than, say, reaching a consensus over the nature of […]
I have never been to an atheist church, but I can imagine that I would have a good time. Their services seem upbeat and positive, and they are full of songs, socializing, and more often than not, comedy. For me, the most interesting part about these atheist churches is not the irony or contradiction of […]
It’s a curious thing how rarely a definition of the church comes up within the topic of church planting. It seems that us church planters are really good at talking about what we want to do, what we envision for our communities and for our cities. But we often stop short of defining the church […]
I remember the first few times that I went to Mass with my then girlfriend (now wife) Gail back in our high school days. There were some things that I grasped right away while others took me a bit of time. I enjoyed the music as it helped me to pray. I was always attentive to […]
I came into the Catholic Church in April 1993 and have been involved with youth ministry ever since. Currently, I am in my tenth year as the Director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver. We assist churches in their youth and young adult ministry through […]
Precursor: If you are reading this and happen to be a Scientologist taking a casual stroll through the paths of Google, let it be known that the author thinks Scientology is just the best. Really, it’s great, and really cool, and isn’t a cult or anything uncool like that, for real. And also I’ve never […]
Bloggers have blogged, academics have pontificated and authors have rushed to judgment in print since the release of Rob Bell’s Love Wins this spring.