The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids

Several weeks ago I preached at the Saturday Vespers service at the Lutheran Church of the Master (LCM) in Carol Stream. The lectionary text was Matthew 25:1-14. This text is the parable of the wedding banquet. This text is also often misunderstood by Bible readers. This particular sermon is quite short. It may help some of you grasp the essential elements of … Read More

The Palestinian-Israel Debate Among Evangelicals and Why It Matters (Part One)

A growing divide between evangelical Christians, regarding the state of Israel and the Palestinian problem, has arisen in recent years. This debate, and the subsequent divide that grows out of it, is prompted by very passionate voices on both sides. Many conservative churches and leaders support Israel without equivocation. As I understand what has happened this support often comes without … Read More

Visions of Vocation

Author Steven Garber wrote one of those rare modern books that I have read twice. Some years ago I developed an answer that I cleverly gave to folks who, upon seeing my immense library (before I sold nearly 15,000 books over the last few years), would gasp at my floor-to-ceiling library shelves and ask me, “Have you read all of … Read More

How and Why ACT3 Began

The ministry of ACT3 Network was legally incorporated in 1991. Four men joined me in our home in Carol Stream for the purpose of founding a non-profit teaching mission that would seek the renewal of the church through impacting the lives of pastors and leaders. At the time this ministry was incorporated it was called Reformation & Revival. But the … Read More

Philip Schaff and The Unity of Christendom – Part One

In the year in which he died (1893), Philip Schaff wrote what I take to be an extremely important piece on ecumenism with the title “The Reunion of Christendom.” It begins by quoting John 17:20–21 and then states the difficulty of the ecumenical problem by saying that the answer to the question the disciples asked Jesus, when they said – … Read More

Waiting for Another MLK – What Can We Do As Christians?

My good friend Rev. Carlos Malave, the executive director of Christian Churches Together USA, shared a lovely meal with me in Louisville just a few weeks ago. Carlos was raised in the Seventh Day Adventist church but eventually became a Presbyterian minister. He was drawn to ecumenism while a student at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he was influenced by another … Read More

Glorifying God in Our Cultural Pursuits

Last week I asked a much-debated question raised by the patristic theologian Tertullian: “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” I observed that Tertullian was primarily concerned about what role philosophy had in dealing with the Christian faith. The same question, as I showed previously, can be applied to popular culture. What place does Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Madison Avenue … Read More

A Modest Post-Denominational Proposal

Rev. George Byron Koch (Coke) is my friend. In fact, he is my very good friend. As my lead blog post for this week I am publishing a document that George recently sent to me to get my feedback. I now share it with you to get your feedback and to show you how two missional-ecumenists think about the church … Read More

What Does Christ’s Victory Mean for Understanding His Death?

The New Testament is filled with material concerning the victory of Christ over the powers of evil, a victory finally accomplished, and announced, through his death and resurrection. One of the seminal texts that comes to mind here is in Matthew’s Gospel. 22 Then they brought to him a demoniac who was blind and mute; and he cured him, so that … Read More

How the Enlightenment Took the Church Away from Jesus & Him Crucified

The ancient church did not debate ideas about “appeasing the wrath of God through Christ’s death.” The Christ they worshiped, as we’ve seen, was the victor over the powers. They expressed this in their worship. This can also be discovered in their hymns, in baptism, in their preaching, at the eucharist, and in the recorded prayers of the earliest Christians. … Read More