Greed which Is Idolatry: Following Jesus in an Age of Consumption

In Empire of Illusion, Chris Hedges describes the city of Las Vegas as a “spectacle.”  It is a place designed to cater to the fantasies of those who visit.  It amuses, or perhaps bemuses, those seeking to find some sense of happiness, however fleeting, or to enjoy, even for a moment, a virtual reality…an illusion…filled with (false) promise […]

God’s Cubicle Is In the Basement

When I applied for my first ministry job after completing my doctoral coursework, I felt a strong call to serve rural pastors. There was a Director of Missions opening with a Southern Baptist association in my hometown. It was part-time, but it came with a parsonage and Kim and I really felt strongly that we […]

Influences on Discipleship (3 of 6)

Whether we are reading a story in the paper, watching a television show or movie, listening to a radio program, or simply having a conversation with someone on the street, we are having a theological conversation that can shape and form the way we view the world. We also have the opportunity to gain insight […]

Designer Discipleship (4 of 6)

In my 20’s I worked as a personal trainer in a boutique, one-on-one fitness studio. Designing unique programs for clients was a big part of the job. Not every client was alike, so not every program could be. I had to consider the client when designing the program. I couldn’t ask someone who had never […]

Discipleship Against Ideology (6 of 6)

Ideology is not for me some crazy, abstract intellectual edifice and articulated worldview made to distract you from real problems…to mystify them…it’s the very way we perceive real problems.  Ideology is efficient because it deals with very real problems…ecology, racism, and so on.  The mystification is in the way it formulates [and] perceives these real […]

There’s No Recipe for Life…and That’s a Good Thing

One of my favorite cooking shows is Chopped. Four contestants, usually highly trained chefs, are given a “mystery basket” filled with odd ingredients to make an appetizer, main course, and dessert. If the mystery basket is filled with gummy worms, jerky, pita bread, and pretzel sticks, the contestants have to head to the pantry and make […]

Decoding Christian Witness in a Digital Age

The Go Dark, Shine Bright campaign isn’t anti-social media. It is a call to discipleship. As Christians we don’t live with a split personality. We can’t be one person in our face-to-face interactions and another online. Offering a consistent, coordinated witness is crucial to reflecting God’s glory in a fallen world. While we should certainly […]

Being and Making Disciples

Dwight Moody seldom used the word discipleship in his writings. Instead, he often spoke of “usefulness” as a way to describe that state Christians enter as they deepen their commitment to following Jesus. For Moody, being useful could not be disconnected from one’s commitment to be conformed to the image of Christ. Whatever else it […]