April 24, 2018

A Pointed Question: Why Not Rather Suffer Wrong?

(The following post is a summary of a recent chapel message. I originally thought of the message after hearing C.J. Mahaney teach on the passage. My use in chapel and here is my own, but I acknowledge his excellent exposition and application as my starting point.) I Corinthians 6:1 When one of you has a […]

The Final Deposition: Pilate and the Cynicism of Contemporary Truth Seeking

(Some of the material in this essay was inspired by reading John’s Wisdom by Ben Witherington III, Westminster John Knox Press , 1995.) For the past two years, I’ve been leading a weekly adult Bible study on the Gospel of John for my fellow OBI staff members. For the past three weeks, we’ve been in […]

Evening Gathering: 11.19.06 : Wrestling God

Here’s an example of what I do in preaching to the boarding school students at our Sunday evening gathering. (Our day students and most of our staff aren’t present as they are in daily chapel.) The message is called “Wrestling God,” and it is an example of the kind of message and approach that I […]

Ruin the Ski Retreat for Jesus

I’m looking at a promotional flyer for a typical American youth ministry ski retreat. I used to get these all the time when I was in the youth ministry biz at large Southern Baptist Churches. I don’t get this much anymore, which probably counts for how I started looking at this one with a different […]

I Hear Pepper Talking

Personification. With me, it’s more than just a hobby. It’s a way of life. I’m reasonably sure that there are entire blogs being developed to prove that I am mentally ill, “dangerously unstable,” without sufficient assurance of faith to be truly converted and unfit for the ministry. The fact is, I do have one serious […]

The New Covenant Way: A soli deo teaching

The New Covenant Way: A teaching presented at soli deo August 1, 2006 by Michael Spencer One of the “values” of this fellowship is this: “Soli deo is teaching the Bible in a New Covenant-emphasized, Christ-centered, grace-exalting way.” I’m fairly certain that the part of that sentence that may raise the most questions is the […]

Sinning? Saved?

From time to time, I’ve referred to the common questions I get in my vocation as campus minister and Bible teacher here at OBI. Today I was asked another one that I realize is very common, and I’m sure many of you get this question in your ministry contexts. You have to understand that this […]

Jesus, Tongue Piercing and The Culture War

[I also dealt with this subject in a previous IM essay.] Col. 2:20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations – 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things […]

The Deconstruction Project: My emerging church talk

I am speaking at an emerging worship service this weekend. I’m pretty excited. I figured out the other day that in the last 15 years, I have spoken to the same audience (different people) over 2,000 times. So any opportunity to speak to a new audience is exciting for me. In preparing, I try to […]

What’s Wrong With The Sermon? V: “More stories please!”

The series to this point: Whatâ�?��?�s Wrong With The Sermon?: It’s Too Long. Whatâ�?��?�s Wrong With The Sermon? II: It’s Boring. Whatâ�?��?�s Wrong With The Sermon? III: “I don’t understand it.” Whatâ�?��?�s Wrong With The Sermon? IV: “It isn’t practical.” While an appreciation of stories is essential to understand and communicate the Bible, Biblical preaching […]