Featured Articles on Trans·formed This Week
Forgiveness Is Not Enough(Marc Cortez): When I listen to people talk about what it means to be a Christian, I hear a lot about forgiveness. And that’s great. You really haven’t understood the story of the gospel until you’ve grasped the reality of sin and our desperate need for forgiveness. But at the same time, I worry. If we’re not careful, we can make a tragic mistake here. Though forgiveness is critical, the simple truth is that forgiveness is not enough.
Striking the Right Balance between Proselytizing and Tolerance (Chad Hall): When I am coaching, my aim is to help the client (the person being coached) make progress toward his goals, move forward in his life, and take actions related to his agenda. It is not my role to tell the client what to do or believe, nor is it my role to push my agenda. In fact, pushing my own agenda is very much NOT what coaching is about.
Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep (Bev Hislop): At a time like this, it is tempting to promise things I can’t carry out, such as, “I’ll be here for you, no matter what time of day or night.” (Will you?) “Whatever you need, just let me know. I’ll make sure you have it.” (Typically the person in pain doesn’t even know what she/he needs, let alone has the ability to ask. And how can you be sure you can get it?) Or “It will be all right.” (Will it? How can you be sure? What does “all right” look like?)
Some Practical Advice on Confession (Bill Mounce): When you sin, confess it quickly, do what you need to, but take a long look at the sin. It’s only the tip of the iceberg. And yet God loves you, knowing more about the iceberg of sin, which is part of your life, than you will ever know.
Living with the Unwanted Guest of Doubt (John Johnson): But doubt can, as Suk puts it, work like slow erosion, ripping away faith. In my life, I deal with occasional doubts nearly every day, but they draw me back to certainties my faith is supported and rests upon—that God is sovereign, having authority over everything; that He is none other than wise in everything He does; that He could not be more good than He is, and more powerful than He claims. The alternatives, as Suk points out, are illusion and despair.
Other Posts of Interest from around the Web
- Andrew Sullivan sparked a lot of discussion with his Newsweek cover article “Christianity in Crisis,” calling for Christians to forget “religion” and just embrace Jesus. You should also read Trevin Wax’s response.
- In the Life of the Church, Praise and Worship Leaders Play a Key Role (Washington Post): These days, many area churches — big and small, black and white — rely on praise leaders to conduct the spiritual journey affectionately called “church.” It is the praise leader, in many cases a full-time church employee, who is responsible for setting the mood and rallying the faithful.
- We’re Not the First Generation of Urban Christians: Today’s generation of urban Christians may feel like pioneers, but we stand on the shoulders of giants. Our cities were known, loved, and even built by great men and women who lived out the gospel, day in and day out. If you look hard enough, you can find evidence of their love that still remains.
- How Eternity Shapes Our Mundane: Parental amnesia is not just where you walk into a room and forget why you’re carrying the laundry basket with four dirty coffee mugs in it. That’s called normal. Parental amnesia is where we forget about two things: tomorrow and eternity.
- Don’t Simply Believe the Resurrection: As men and women whose identities are founded in the risen Christ, our calling is not simply tobelieve that Christ rose, necessary as this is. Further and deeper and more immediately, God calls us to experience the resurrection.
- The Difference between Doubt and Questions: We grow as Christians when we question, even if the questions are difficult, requiring hard answers. But when we doubt, we dry up and our spiritual vitality is destroyed. What is the difference? The answer is straight-forward. Questions have answers, and doubts do not.
- On Preaching the Old Testament: I love to preach the Old Testament. I love the challenge and the treasure. Admittedly I also love it because, even though it is growing in popularity, it is not widely done today by Christian preachers.