• Michael Emerson, Thaddeus Williams, and Racial Disparities
    Exploring the Cause(s) of racial disparities I love it when my books start having a conversation with each other. Both Divided by Faith and Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth ask the question: Why do we see so much racial inequality in America? Or, rather, how do we go about answering this question? Emerson (Divided by Faith) and Williams (Confronting […]
  • Is God “conflicted within himself”?
    Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers by Dane Ortlund has been one of the most celebrated Christian books of the year. In the midst of many positive reviews Jeremiah Johnson’s Grace to You review stands out as an exception. Johnson sharply criticizes the book, going so far as to say that […]
  • Should pastors reject the language of leadership?
    I’ve spent most of my professional life studying and applying leadership principles. In Seminary, I took a class called “Organizational Leadership.” After Seminary I continued to read books and listen to podcasts (Rainer on Leadership) that addressed different aspects of ministry leadership. Meanwhile, in my “secular” job I moved quickly to the role of Tech […]
  • Are Christians inherently conspiracy theory-minded?
    In July of 2020, a church in my area opened its service with a video associated with QAnon. That video, which I watched along with the sermon, contained an amalgamation of conspiracy theories around the coronavirus, Black Lives Matter, and mail-in-voting. He followed his video with a political rant, with some Scripture sprinkled in.   The […]
  • Should we use love to understand Scripture or Scripture to understand love?
    This week I’m diverging from my typical book review/summary to review a cartoon I read a few weeks ago. In it, Jesus says to a group of modern Pharisees “The difference between me and you is you use Scripture to determine what love means and I use love to determine what Scripture means.” The implication […]
  • How can it be just that God would punish the innocent in place of the guilty?
    How can it be just that God would punish the innocent in place of the guilty? Many Christians stumble over the apparent injustice of the idea that God would punish the innocent Christ in place of guilty sinners. It appears to be an affront to God’s justice. After all, we would never accept as just […]
  • Book Review: I Am Restored by Lecrae
    A caterpillar and a butterfly sit down for drinks. The caterpillar says to the butterfly, “You’ve changed.” The butterfly responds, “We’re supposed to.” For humans, these transformations don’t tend to happen in the safety of a cocoon, but in the crucible of crisis. Lecrae’s I Am Restored marks the second book that recounts crisis and transformation that […]
  • The Political Protest of the Church
    In my previous post, I reviewed Esau McCaulley’s approach to finding the meaning of the Scriptures through the lens of the “black ecclesial tradition.” Here we see the fruit that this approach bears when considering the political witness of the church.  In chapter 3 McCaulley asks the question “What does the New Testament have to say about […]
  • An Exercise in Hope
    Introduction Esau McCaulley grew up immersed in the gospel, church, and Scripture. But when he attended a university that was 98% white to double major in history and religion he found himself thrust into the middle of a “hundred years’ war between white evangelicals and white mainline protestants.” (9)  McCaulley was frustrated to discover that […]
  • Perspectives on Critical Race Theory (CRT)
    Near the end of 2020 the council of Southern Baptist seminary presidents issued a statement condemning Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Intersectionality stating: “In light of current conversations in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), we stand together on historic Southern Baptist condemnations of racism in any form and we also declare that affirmation of Critical Race Theory, […]