Bah-Humbug: The Sad Gospel of Charles Dickens

Every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips,” Scrooge said, “should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.” Charles Dickens is best known, particularly at this time of year, for his character Ebenezer Scrooge. In his classic A Christmas Carol, Dickens reminds readers of the need for generosity and gratitude at Christmas. But did Charles Dickens get the gospel?

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Repeat the Sounding Joy

Most people associate Christmas with good feelings: bright lights, hot chocolate, sweet cookies, nostalgic movies, holiday music, friends and family, a decorated pine, and stockings hung by the chimney with care. But what do you do when the Christmas spirit skips your house? What can you do when Christmas doesn’t seem to work? How can you rediscover joy this Christmas?

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Careless Orthodoxy

This week I had the privilege of speaking to Southern Baptist state evangelism directors at the headquarters for the North American Mission Board in Atlanta, GA. My topic was “witnessing and worldviews.” I shared biblical imperatives that I see as essential for our conversations about faith in an increasingly secular age.

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If You Can’t Silence that Sad Song, Make it a Duet

The holidays are not happy for everyone. And I’m not just talking about the Grinch. Many can find it hard to smile, to brighten the room, to attend the party, to enjoy the company, or simply to look to heaven and give thanks.

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The Evangelical Church is Sick in the Head

Is sin a big deal? Not really. Do all religions lead to God. Probably. Is truth objective? Nope. The “State of Theology” results are in, and they aren’t good.

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Waiting for a Superhero

Humanity has a stubborn smile. In spite of our growing secularism, we are optimistic. But the evolutionary story of progress, with the survival of the fittest, with nature red in tooth and claw, has no basis for hope. So, we live as if another story is true.

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Civil Discourse and the Way of Jesus

Last week I had the wonderful privilege of talking with a group of students who are part of an mutlifaith fellowship at a university in the northeast.  Their leader, a friend I’ve known for several years, reached out to plan the conference call. The only problem was that I was teaching a class at Cedarville during the time they requested, so we just allowed my class to listen in. It was a lot of fun.

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The Devil’s Day

Imagine Satan walking down your street asking for favors. Well, on October 31st, it’s not that hard to do. But actually it is. That kid with horns, a pitchfork, and a long red tail doesn’t really present the kind of demonic temptation we find in the Bible. Go ahead and give the kid candy, but he really should find a better role model for choosing a costume. Good grief.

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Martin Luther’s Reformational Vision of Youth Ministry

Luther didn’t mince words. He was ticked. He found the theological illiteracy of the people sickening. He blamed the pastors. And so he wrote a short instructional guide for them to begin discipling the simple and the young. He launched the Reformation. Now he was launching local church youth ministry.

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