Archives For Christian Life

Lifestyle evangelism, aka friendship evangelism, is a strategy for making converts by living an attractive life among non-Christians so they will be drawn to the gospel and want to know more about Jesus.

Photo Courtesy of Hugo Chisholm

This strategy has been popular since the 1990s, and most Evangelicals would probably say that they share their faith primarily by building relationships with nonbelievers.

Of course, lifestyle evangelism works only if your lifestyle is distinctively Christian. Otherwise, it’s just networking.

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We have always been told that there is only one remedy for sin, salvation by grace through the blood of Christ. But that is not true. At least not the whole truth. The atoning death of Christ frees us from guilt, but there is more to sin than guilt just as there is more to the flu than nausea.

Concept of justice. Law scales on blue background. 3d

There is more to salvation than justification by faith. Much more.

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The lack of prayer as the most obvious gap in our practice of Christian leadership, and one way to close that gap is to challenge, inspire, and educate ourselves to pray more.

Learning to pray is no great mystery. You hang around the people who are really good at it.

Young male student reading a book amid bookshelves in the colleg

Reading books about prayer may be the best way to do that. It will create a hunger within you to pray more often and enable you to pray with greater effect.

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To a wide-eyed Midwesterner like me, the current spate of ethnic or religiously motivated conflicts in the world is stupefying. Here in the middle of this vast country, we are surrounded by people who look and think pretty much as we do. There are minority populations of course, but we’ve managed to melt into one big pot of suburban blandness.

Palestinian Rally.

Seeing people forced from their homes under threat of death because of their faith, others murdered over perceived blasphemies, and civil wars fought over what language to speak is both puzzling and terrifying.

I realize those descriptions reduce conflicts of Byzantine complexity to mere tweets. But that’s how they appear to an outsider: surreal.

After hundreds, even thousands, of years of conflict, we have to wonder: Is there any way out of these conflicts?

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Everybody wants to change some aspect of their life. Whether it’s finances or career, marriage or education, we all want to be different tomorrow than we were yesterday.

Most of the time, we look for easy changes, quick fixes, or dramatic solutions that will produce instant results. But here’s the news: those things don’t exist.

Portrait of lovely girl drawing with colorful pencils

To produce lasting change you must take incremental action over time. Yes, that might begin with a big transition like going to rehab, getting married, or finding a new job.

But permanent change—true spiritual growth—comes by harnessing the power of simple, incremental actions repeated over time.

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Most people think the best way to change the world is to do something grand or spectacular, like cure cancer or put an end to human trafficking.

Those are needed and noble pursuits, no doubt, but you’re probably not the one to do them.

Eating ice cream. Asian girls sharing an ice cream. Beautiful ch

I seriously doubt that you will ever become president, start a worldwide movement, or make a great scientific discovery.

But you can still change the world if you want to. And you can do it today.

Here’s how.

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I am a huge fan of social media. In fact, I started blogging before there was blogging, circulating a weekly e-mail “post” to a few hundred subscribers back in the mid-1990s. I use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram every day.

Social media has flattened the world, making it easier for anyone to connect with everyone. As a pastor, whose job is communicating good news, I love that.

Businessman yelling at female colleague through tin can phone ag

However, as a reader and editor who thinks words have real power to do good or evil in the world, I have concerns. Sometimes it seems we have simply forgotten how to be nice.

Social media is like a power tool. With it you can build a beautiful platform—or make a big mistake really fast.

And these are not harmless errors. They are gross abuses of the power of speech, virtual literary sins. They harm not only you but those who read them.

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