Every Story Has Three Sides

Somewhere I recently read this statement: "Every story has three sides. Yours, mine and the facts." I think about that statement often and generally smile when I do. I am also reminded that this is generally true in ways that are so easily forgotten in human relationships. I see my side very clearly. I know the facts, or at least … Read More

Distrust Kills Friendship

The person who would have real friends must be a friend. Though I have many that I can call friends, at least on one level, I am blest with several true soul-friends that I definitely do not deserve. These friends make my life what it is and give it a richness that fills me with profound blessing. As I reflected … Read More

Is Islam a Religion of Peace in the Modern World?

Most international peace keepers agree with the idea of bringing international forces into the south of Lebanon to end Hezbollah’s decade-long reign. What is unresolved is how to accomplish this and when. What is not surprising here, at least to me, is the growing evidence that a groundswell of support for Hezbollah is growing in the Arab world. Originally regional … Read More

The Strange Worldview of John Hagee

The Wall Street Journal had an impressive front page story in today’s edition titled: “Holy War: A Texas Preacher Leads Campaign to Let Israel Fight.” It tells the story of John Hagee, a popular dispensational preacher and best-selling author in San Antonio, Texas, who has become the America’s most outspoken and influential voice for Christian Zionism. Hagee is leading pro-Israel … Read More

Life, Bio-Ethics and Our Present Political Climate

Two bio-ethical issues have recently been debated and decided at the federal level in an attempt to create a culture more favorable to human life. The first was the Senate bill to allow federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research. As is widely known President Bush vetoed this bill, his first veto in nearly six years in office. Some rather consistently … Read More

Why Don't Christians Really Care About Culture

My ACT 3 Weekly this week, “Why Same-Sex Marriage Fails,” addressed the issue of same-sex marriage in our culture and the long-term prospects for preserving one-man and one-woman marriage in the United States. I showed that in the short range the advance toward homosexual marriage is clearly being defeated. Only Massachusetts has left the door open legally and that door … Read More

Humility and Proper Confidence in One's Ministry

I never cease to be amazed at how particular conservative schools, and some conservative role models, teach young pastors a type of certitude that lacks basic Christian humility. One could chalk this up to a faulty epistemology, which I believe to be the case, but it is actually much worse than getting your epistemology right. As an example, just this … Read More

An Ethnic Church Becoming Missional the Hard Way

Lakeside Church of Chicago is an unusual church in many ways, but in other ways it represents the multi-generational history of a number of evangelical congregations across America. Born in 1943 as a Japanese-American church, Lakeside was originally the vision of Moody Church in Chicago. Harry Ironside, the pastor of Moody Church at that time, and other Moody Church leaders … Read More

Catholic and Pentecostal Dialogue

Father Juan Usma Gómez, an official of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, recently wrote a most helpful report titled, “Catholics and Pentecostals: A Historical Overview.” It offers some extremely interesting insights into how two very different Christian traditions can and do approach issues related to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  Gomez recounts the events that led up … Read More

The Star Power of Personality

Marketing is king in America. There is no question about it. Everything from politics to religion is powerfully marketed and almost everyone who promotes anything understands this reality. I am not an exception to this reality I assure you. I think it is important to recognize that marketing is not inherently evil. But it is always a tricky component in … Read More