A letter to my son on his 2nd birthday

Samuel's Birth AnnouncementSamuel Birthday image

Son,

It seems like yesterday that we watched photos and videos of you on the screen in the doctor’s office. You know the doctors never thought we would have a biological child. It was truly a miracle the first time I held you in my arms. God formed you in the womb, and you still rub your eyes when you are tired the same way now that you did then. (view Samuel’s 3D sonogram) Your mom and I prayed that God would bless us with children, and He has done so through adoption with your sister, Rachel, and biologically with you. I have watched you grow and your personality flourish over these past two years. Words can neither express the joy that you bring to my heart nor the number of smiles you bring to my face. I want you to know that I will always be your biggest supporter and that my mission in life is to be a good earthly father shepherding your heart toward the heavenly Father. Continue reading

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Multiple Services and Franchising McChurch

I had a conversation with a pastor last week. He said to me, “I’m not sure you would like my church. We have multiple services.”

My heart sank when I heard those words. I have listened to several of his sermons online, and he does a phenomenal job. His perception came from a book I co-wrote back in 2009 called Franchising McChurch: Feeding America’s Obsession with Easy Christianity, which attempted to critique the entertainment culture and consumer driven mentality in American Christianity while presenting some thoughts about newer methodologies and their potential theological impact. After reading some of the pages from the perspective of someone who does not know my heart, I can see why he might have come to that conclusion. Those close to me know that I love the local church, and I desire to help pastors think through difficult issues rather than add to their already heavy burden by merely throwing rocks at the stained glass windows. Continue reading

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Theological truths for the “morning-after” the ruling by Korman

Morning-After-pillNo matter the results of Korman’s ruling on Plan B, the morning-after pill, we must teach theological truths to guide proper decision making. When it come to procreation, we must teach that children are a blessing from the Lord and that life begins from the moment of conception. Additionally, we should fear God more than any opinion of man, and recognize that the Gospel offers grace to cover any sin when making a multitude of other practical decisions. Let’s begin by reviewing the timeline:

  • December 2011: Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, overruled the Food and Drug Administration, which blocked the sale of the morning-after pill to young girls without a prescription because of the lack of data to prove it was safe.
  • April 5, 2013: Judge Edward R. Korman ruled that the morning-after pill, Plan B One-Step, be made available over the counter to all ages.[1]
  • May 1, 2013: U.S. defends age limits and claims the judge did not have the authority to overrule the FDA. The FDA agreed to allow girls as young as 15 to buy the drug over the counter without a prescription.[2]
  • May 10, 2013:  Judge Korman refuses to drop his order allowing the morning-after pill for all ages but postponed the enforcement of his order until Monday, May 13. He called the appeal attempt politically motivated.[3]

Today, May 13th, we might find out the final verdict. Here are two items to keep in mind as this case develops. Continue reading

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New 30% Discount on 36 Hour Fully Online MTS

Why online education and why just 36 hours for the Master of Theological Studies (MTS)? Is a fully online Master of Divinity (MDiv) next? I have gotten these questions a lot over the past month. Continue reading

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Your “WorldView” of Earth Day

earth-dayToday, April 22, 2013, many will celebrate Earth Day in an effort to bring attention to climate change and to reduce our carbon footprint.[1] The secular event serves as a good reminder about caring for the earth, but how you look at Earth Day will differ depending on your worldview.

If you have a biblical worldview, then you believe something similar to the following: 1) God created everything and gave mankind the command to exercise dominion over creation; 2) mankind fell, sinning against God and suffering the consequences of sin; 3) God sent his Son, Jesus, to redeem mankind through a substitutionary sacrifice on the cross paying the penalty of sin and conquering death through His resurrection; and 4) Jesus will return one day and eventually create a new heaven and a new earth.

From a biblical worldview, we take care of the earth as a matter of stewardship. God has given mankind the stewardship to exercise dominion, but part of that stewardship includes leaving the earth better than we found it for the next generation. We should not selfishly use resources for ourselves because that does not demonstrate a love for God and His creation or loving our neighbors as ourselves…even those neighbors in the next generation. Stewardship forms our primary motivation because we recognize that eventually a just God will judge us all. The eternal continuation of the earth, however, does not compel us because we believe that God will create a new heaven and a new earth one day.

If you have a secular worldview, then you believe something similar to the following: 1) the earth evolved over time resulting in mankind; 2) all reality and life centers on human beings; 3) as mankind gains knowledge and understanding humans can evolve to become better in each generation; 4) once a person dies who knows what happens; and 5) if humanity fails to care for the earth, then mankind will cease to exist.

From a secular worldview, mankind takes care of the earth to insure the continuation of the human race. If climate change continues, then eventually the earth will become uninhabitable and the human race will cease to exist. While there is a sense of stewardship, the primary motivation comes from an obligation to the human race to preserve mother earth for future generations. It is a responsibility not to God, but to humanity.

We see some from a biblical worldview who overlook the secular founding and support Earth Day while others critique it. Those who support Earth Day focus on a Christian’s stewardship of God’s creation. Those who reject Earth Day focus on the new heaven and new earth that will be created and a perceived human centered perspective in the secular movement.

I want you to recognize the opportunity to further the Gospel no matter what you think about Earth Day. Christians have both an obligation both to love God by demonstrating good stewardship of His creation, and an obligation to love others by sharing the Gospel message with them.  Conversations about Earth Day can lead to a Gospel conversation that includes Jesus’ death, resurrection, and future creation of a new earth day—an earth that won’t have problems with carbon footprints.


[1]“Earth Day was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin and organized by Denis Hayes in 1970.” http://www.earthday.org/frequently-asked-questions-0 and http://www.earthday.org/earth-day-history-movement

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