Temptations and Witness in Stressful Times

It’s easy to appear righteous when things are going well. Difficult situations, however, have a way of revealing those parts of ourselves that we would prefer to keep hidden. These are stressful times, and stressful times are tempting times. How should Christians live in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic? I recently posted a prayer…

10 Guidelines for Prayer in these COVID-19 Times, by Dr. Peter Bellini

The following originally appeared on Facebook and is reproduced here in several different languages with the author’s permission.  1. PEACE- Pray against spirits of division, suspicion, anxiety, panic, and fear that grip our communities. 2. LEADERSHIP- Pray for wisdom, truth, direction, compassion, and strength for all leaders (political, medical, economic, ecclesial, etc) in authority. 3. PROTECTION-…

Evangelism in the North American Mission Field

Christians are rightly concerned with the decline of the church in North America and Western Europe. Is this a permanent trend? Can we reverse it? Are we in the postmodern West inevitably headed down the path toward secularism? I don’t believe that secularization is inevitable. That said, the church must reclaim her evangelistic mantle. How…

Everywhere, Always, By All

This semester the Doctor of Ministry group that Dr. Justus Hunter and I lead is reading the Commonitorium, by Vincent of Lerins. Writing in the wake of a very contentious Council of Ephesus (431), Vincent famously insisted that “in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been…

Reading Scripture: Skepticism, Suspicion, and Trust

Last semester I taught a class called Wesleyan Biblical Interpretation. We read a considerable number of Wesley’s writings along with a couple of secondary texts. Rereading these primary and secondary sources led me to ponder anew the vast differences between the way in which Wesley read the Bible and the critical stances that emerged during…

As We Pray, So We Believe

Many have noted that what we call “contemporary” worship isn’t so contemporary anymore. It’s a feature of the “attractional” model of church growth, embodied so well in Willow Creek and like-minded megachurches that popped up in the 80’s and 90’s.  The basic philosophy of the attractional model is that if we can create a church…