Blog Post Nov 21, 2014

By nature I am not an angry, hater-kind-of-person, but I am working on it. I heard prosperity teaching again that was both inadvertent (I hope) and loathsome. 

A highly respected Bible teacher was talking about a particularly wretched month in his life: a frightening diagnosis from his physician, a late night call from a congregant who blasted him as a good-for-nothing pastor, a car accident with few injuries but a totaled car, and other miseries. He described a bleak picture.

Blog Post Nov 20, 2014

Marriage counseling is hard work and couples need tremendous amounts of hope to stay the course. Good news for biblical counselors, right? After all, the Bible is full of reasons for hope. But here’s where the Bible’s strength can become a potential weakness in a counseling situation. Of course, pointing couples to the love and power of Christ is the surest hope that we could ever offer, but we must be mindful of how it’s done. It’s possible to deliver even that

Blog Post Nov 11, 2014

It seems obvious, but I have never suggested it: if a man has been with a prostitute, it is right for him to ask her forgiveness. Consider this story. 

Sex dominated this man’s life. He paid to get into nightclubs where he could meet women, and he paid to be with prostitutes. When he wasn’t strategizing how to have sex, he paid for pornography. 

How God gets our attention is a mystery, but he got this man’s attention. A relationship with a gentle,

Blog Post Nov 05, 2014

We live with implicit theological maps. No one lives merely with a mental outline of his or her chosen confessional statement; no one lives with a mental transcription of Scripture that is their sole guide to life. Instead, Scripture is dispersed into the internal topography of our minds. That topography takes its shape from Scripture, our pasts, our personalities, our sins, and dozens of others influences. These “maps,” whether we know it or not, guide our ministry. 

Blog Post Oct 28, 2014

A twenty-five-year-old man is filled with dread. He believes he can never truly walk in the Spirit with his thoughts thoroughly controlled by Christ. He can never fully avoid the contamination of the world around him. Even more, the evidence, he thinks, is clear—he is not one of the elect. He is persuaded that God has abandoned him, and being out of favor with the angry God is a dreadful thing. As you might guess, he has objections to any Scripture you might offer.

How might you

Blog Post Oct 21, 2014

Losing a child is the most difficult and painful experience I can personally imagine. What do you say to someone who has lost a child? What can you say? And, perhaps more importantly, what does God say?

In preparing a talk about this for CCEF’s conference earlier this month, 1 I found myself praying “Lord, here is what I know: you have words for those whose children die. You have comfort. There is something overwhelmingly real and

Blog Post Oct 15, 2014

Most marriages have times when one spouse does not like the other, and the dislike is usually mutual—at least my “friends” tell me that is accurate, though I’m confident that even when my wife thinks she doesn’t like me, she secretly—very secretly—likes me. For some of us, these times happen less frequently and we manage them with more skill and grace. For others, mutual dislike is chronic rather than acute, and marital hopelessness becomes the rule

Blog Post Sep 26, 2014

This scares me. 

Recently, I was talking with an older, single man who keeps drifting back into sexual sin. It’s as if the tide of sexuality is going to win in the end—like he is destined to postpone sexual sin—but not to beat it. That way of thinking is scary enough, but there is more.

While we talked, I quietly reflected on how my battle with sexual sin is easier because I am married. I did not mean it is easier because I have opportunities to have a