Is the joy of the Lord your strength?
This question can be difficult to answer — all of the words are so simple and familiar to Christians, yet the statement can get lost in a fog of ambiguity. Failure or lack of faith can be the very thing that forces us to squarely confront this question. In that confrontation, where can we turn for help?
In each age there are some aspects of God’s law that fit comfortably with a given culture, but others that look to be flat wrong. Can we trust God, invisible and mysterious, over what is plain to see? Over what intuitively feels right? Over what seems senseless?
Why would we want to?
I was once the person receiving a hard word; now I’m the one giving it.
As different streams of reckoning flow over the cultural landscape, leaving no topography untouched, we especially need to look to our own house
What does the Bible have to say about living life in a gender-nonconforming way? What can faithfulness to Christ look like for a person who desires—who might even say needs—to live such a life?
Into this infant conversation comes Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians, by Austen Hartke.
I was honored to be the guest of Hole In My Heart Ministries Podcast, on Episode 40: The Thing About Temptation. HIMH's mission is to equip Jesus-followers with a gospel-centered approach to sexuality, and it is headed by the fabulous Laurie Krieg.
6.5.18 - I left same-sex romance for love
If giving free rein to my desires was the key to life, why had it only sometimes brought me happiness? Just as often, I reaped mediocrity or pain. Contrary to what I believed, pursuing my natural desires did not create fulfillment, nor were my desires fully trustworthy just because they were, and are, “real.”
5.21.18 - review: in his image
Jen Wilkin knows God's will for your life. Review of her new book In His Image at The Gospel Coalition.
This is no mere hospitality volume, this is a practical theology of discipleship. Was this a product of mis-marketing?
Or, more likely, have we been catechized into a faulty vision of hospitality?
3.14.18 - review: Why He Doesn't call himself gay
I’m a Christian woman who experiences same-sex attraction. Should I call myself a lesbian?
In his new book Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay: How I Reclaimed My Sexual Reality and Found Peace, Daniel Mattson would argue “no.”
If Norton has this all figured out, why do we even need the gospel? Perhaps we should all sign up to be anarchist pacifists!
“What surprised me was that confession wasn’t humiliating—it was liberating.”
How, then, do we create an environment in our churches, small groups, and families where we can even have this conversation, where Lily can share her struggle without fear?
Here are three places to start.
As someone who has struggled significantly with sexual sin—particularly in my early years as a Christian—this is how I would have felt after reading Paul Tripp’s latest book, Sex in a Broken World: How Christ Redeems What Sin Distorts.
I don’t need to dig down deep and make myself new. I don’t need more stuff. I need to breathe in and welcome my redemption, to stop and speak with my Father who loves me.
A follow-up to my testimony, I reflect on how to say no to temptation, specifically through the lens of same-sex attraction.
A joint review with Ed Shaw of Nate Collins's All But Invisible.
What if the choice isn’t between fire and no fire, but rather between types of burning?
Missionary, in some circles, is like a curse word. It represents the very worst of colonization, the impulse to vacuum up “pagan” cultures and replace them with what the colonizer has deemed proper.
When the water comes, you don’t think in inches. You think in furniture, in body parts, in whole buildings. It starts walking up the steps, swallowing to the waist, to the neck, drowning the neighbor’s home to the roof.
But diversity isn’t something that God is waiting to institute, a final act to show his benevolence. Diversity has been a priority for God from act one.
But what I most want to share with you today are thoughts on the greatest and most guarded of boundaries—the self.
In this year’s Booker Prize winning novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders spins an unusual ghost story—a historical fiction that exhumes these questions with pathos and humor. A ghost love story. It is one of the strangest novels I have ever read, and I loved it.
Recognizing boasting is a little like the old definition of pornography: you know it when you see it.
She presses us to acknowledge that sometimes the most universal story is expressed in the specifics of exquisite loss.
But what if our cultural moment isn’t a death knell, but a trumpet call to something new?
Have you ever felt hopeless in communicating God’s love? Have you ever hit a barrier of apathy or antagonism and stopped dead?
Why do happy people cheat? In this month's Atlantic, Esther Perel argues that cheating is not so much an abandonment of the partner, but of our inauthentic selves.
But what if the opposite is actually true: that Jesus came to earth fully humanly frail, because that was the only way to save us?
Our ability to stay with God in our closet measures our ability to stay with God out of the closet.
This assertion of the private, sealed off, individual thought-life as truly real is as old as time. It is found in the most venerated of intellectual heritages. But it is profoundly un-Christlike.
Let’s not lie to ourselves. It is not impossible to give the core of ourselves to something else—it is impossible not to.
The passage concludes with God producing birth without labor, in strong contrast to his people.
9.20.17 - i never became straight. perhaps that was never god's goal.
(in christianity today)
Why I embraced the Bible's sexual ethic, before I understood it.
It is only in the last year that I’ve turned my attention to issues around transgenderism. In this respect, I’m like Evangelicalism in general: we are woefully behind on the T in LGBT, and I regret it.
Harari traces our species from our differentiation from ancestral primates up until today, all in just over 400 pages. His theories and observations were interesting, bold, over-generalized and certainly prone to exaggeration.
I eagerly read Gregory Coles’s Single, Gay, Christian: A Personal Journey of Faith and Sexual Identity as soon as I received it. In some respects, Coles and I have a lot in common: we’re both Christians who have a same-sex orientation but believe that we honor Jesus best by denying that desire.
I don’t think I’ve ever been as uncomfortable enjoying a book as I was while reading Paul Beatty’s 2016 Booker Prize winning novel The Sellout.
Peace is a person; let’s befriend him, and introduce him.
The Sabbath to me is a is a place to taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:7). Can God be trusted to take care of me?
Twice in the gospels, Jesus tells a story about a spirit, banished from a person, who wanders waterless places, and then returns to its previous host with seven other spirits even more evil. This parable had always perplexed me.
Tegan and Sara’s masterpiece, The Con, debuted on July 24, 2007, less than a month before I said my marriage vows. Its beauty was the soundtrack of the life I’d said yes to. Which is ironic, when you consider that the album’s opening track and one of my favorites, “I Was Married,” specifically celebrates the life I had said no to.
We will assess the success of our lives in accordance not with whether they were righteous, but whether they were interesting and fun.
Halford and Hatmaker have adult faiths that have changed emphases, but ultimately mimic their childhood faiths. Both stages of faith affirmed where the Bible agreed with cultural priorities and dismissed or reinterpreted the culturally gauche parts.
If you have the truth of Jesus without the way of Jesus, you get fundamentalism. If you have the way of Jesus without the truth of Jesus, you get liberalism. We need the way of Jesus and the truth of Jesus together.
So, how are we to evaluate if any particular “offering” is good or not? Should we evaluate it? Is showing up enough, is sincerity enough? Lifting our hands, thanking God…this is good, right?
To be in relationship with Jesus is not drudgery, it is to have intimate access to, and the intimate affection of, the one who knows all things about your life, and about the world you live in. It is to draw near to the one who is never confused, or unsure, or misguided.
The thrust of the work makes a bold claim: that the Matthean phrase “kingdom of heaven” has been misunderstood and misrepresented for over 100 years.