There’s a legal doctrine that I’ve learned from the equivalent of several years of law school from watching legal dramas. It’s known as “fruit of the poisonous tree.” … Over the last few years I’ve come to see this as another handy metaphor to describe the failings of American evangelicalism.
A man in my hometown recently filed a lawsuit against the instructor of his sword-fighting class because, while demonstrating a particular move, the instructor accidentally stabbed him in the eye. When I read that story in the news, my first thought was, Oh, man, that would preach.
Sometimes preaching can have unintended consequences. I recently had the privilege of preaching through the David and Goliath story, and it illustrates an important distinction in biblical interpretation. Bible stories like that one can be either descriptive (describing the world and the Lord who created it) or prescriptive (instructive toward the way God’s people should behave). There are strong elements of both in 1 Samuel 17.
Two years ago, I wrote in this space about the erosion of meaning that has befallen the term “evangelical.” For a variety of reasons, I was ready to toss it out. I believed then, as I do now, the term has become relational kryptonite. Its negative connotations make true evangelism all but impossible.
The central thesis of Braving the Wilderness, poignantly illustrated by the author through her own personal stories and a series of curated thoughts from notable guests, is that belonging is something that cannot be found among others but must be cultivated from within. […]
In progressive Portland, the idea that anyone could be so enamored by the cultural traditions of the Old South that they could overlook the horrors of American slavery is, well, laughable. It’s funny because it’s ridiculous—and also because it’s true. […]
Leadership consultant Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, says that to ensure success leaders must not only get the right people on the bus, but those people must be in the right seats. […]