Death of Charles Colson – A Tribute – April 21, 2012

by Christian on April 21, 2012

ChuckColson72Charles Colson passed away today April 21, 2012. In a conversation with him last year, I asked him what he thought about the health of Christianity in the United States.

Colson expressed optimism about younger evangelicalism, a renewal movement within the Protestant church. Yet he also acknowledged that there will be many challenges in the years ahead. Over the course of our conversation, he reflected on the unpopularity of the concept of Truth, and how being a Christian often requires one to stand alone against the flow of the current.

But Colson also expressed excitement about younger evangelical voices that are communicating the tenants of Christian truths in a fresh and relevant way against the backdrop of a postmodern and relativistic culture.

Time magazine recently listed Charles Colson as one of the twenty-five leading evangelicals in America. After examining his biography, it’s not difficult to understand why.

For an overview of Colson’s life, click here. And, for a recent interview with Chuck Colson published in Time click here.

The ultimate story of redemption, Chuck Colson’s life continues to inspire those inside and outside the walls of prison. For evangelicals everywhere, Colson remains a mentor, a hero, and a champion of Christian orthodoxy.

The Gospel Project

by Christian on March 19, 2012

The Gospel Project is a new Bible study curriculum by LifeWay that takes the story of Jesus — the gospel — the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, and points to the one story that infuses Scripture from cover to cover — God’s redemptive plan to rescue us from sin and death. Because the entire Bible points to Jesus, it is important to examine the theology and mission within the text, as all of it is an important part of understanding the awesome depth and power of the gospel.

When we see how all the Scriptures point to Jesus, we allow the gospel to work on us, move through us, and ultimately, transform us. We become God’s gospel project.

These Christian leaders were part of a team who consulted on the creation of The Gospel Project. Visit the webcast, blog, and Facebook page.

Excerpt from Trevin Wax, managing editor of The Gospel Project:

Christmas: A Celebration of Incarnation

by Christian on December 24, 2011

Flesh. The entirety of Christianity hangs upon this little word. It is a word that existed in the mind of God before the invention of email or iPhones, before laptops, automobiles or airplanes—before cities were constructed or nations established, before oceans were introduced to shores, before stars swirled through solar systems. Even before the ticking of time itself, when nothing covered everything, there was God thinking of flesh.

And then it happened. Sometime around 4 B.C., “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us” (John 1:14). In other words, Jesus Christ became a man. A real man. A man that could bruise if you punched Him or bleed if you cut Him. He could feel the throb of a headache, the chills of a fever. The God who “measured the waters in the hollow of His hand” (Isaiah 40:12) could now wrap His palms around a cold pitcher of water. The One who “created the great creatures of the sea” (Gen. 1:21) could now sink His teeth into a tilapia sandwich. For 33 years, God walked a mile not only in our shoes, but also in our feet—in our ankles, kneecaps, shins and hip joints. The great Baptist preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, said it best, “The infinite has become the infant.”

American idol contestant Mandesa Hundley got it right. “What can be stranger than God in a manger?” And how odd of God! That He should be born out of wedlock to a peasant mother in an insignificant village. That the King of Kings should emerge from a virgin’s womb in a filthy stable. It was not a silent night. No “peace on Earth, good will toward men.” In fact, Mary and Joseph had to smuggle the infant Jesus to Egypt to save His life.

Excerpt from the Baptist Messenger of Oklahoma, 16 December 2011

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Youth Ministry – Selecting Theological Resources

by Christian on July 03, 2011

As part of the “Questions for the Road” series, Brian Cosby, author, teacher, and Associate Pastor, addresses the following question:

“What three questions should evangelical youth ministers ask when selecting theological resources for their students?”
  1. Does this resource convey a theological understanding of the doctrine of justification, “the doctrine on which the church stands or falls” (Luther)?

  2. Would this resource challenge youth or would it simply keep them gliding along with our culture’s low expectation of them?

  3. Is this resource specific and biblical?  In other words, does it actually give helpful information and is that information grounded in Scripture?

Brian H. Cosby is an author, teacher, and Associate Pastor of Youth and Families at Carriage Lane Presbyterian Church in Peachtree City, Georgia.  His blog can be found here.

President Obama on the Death & Resurrection of Jesus Christ

by Christian on April 22, 2011

President Obama reflected on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as he hosted an Easter prayer breakfast this year in the White House. In attendance were over 100 pastors and leaders, including T.D. Jakes, Andy Stanley and Tim Keller.

Obama’s message was not only Christo-centric in content, but cross-centered in emphasis. It included both the importance of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

While it is often difficult to ascertain the percentage of political gain to authentic faith in prayer meetings of this nature, some evangelicals could rightfully posit that the only thing lacking in this specific presentation of the gospel was an invitation for those in the room to accept it.

Quick hitters:

“We’re reminded in that moment that he [Christ] took on the sins of the world – past, present, and future – and he extended to us that unfathomable gift of grace and salvation through his resurrection. In the words of Isaiah, ‘He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.’” Continue reading …

Evangelicals and Lent

by Christian on April 17, 2011

In a new series, “Questions for the Road,” guests offer three poignant, thought-provoking questions that evangelicals should be asking. This series includes questions about theology, worship, spirituality, politics, and other issues facing evangelicals today. If you have any questions that you think evangelicals should be asking, send queries to christian@restlesspilgrim.com.

David Crosby has been the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in the predominantly Catholic city of New Orleans for 15 years. “I try to make my focus ‘faith expressing itself demonstrated through love’” (Galatians 5:6), he writes. David blogs here.

David kicks off the new series by addressing the following question:

  1. Should evangelicals recognize the Lenten season?
  2. How can we utilize these 40 days to foster spiritual disciplines personally and corporately?
  3. Can we learn anything from this ancient practice of life change and spiritual preparation?
So, what are your answers to these three questions? What question would you add to the list?




Stairway to Heaven

by Christian on January 12, 2011

This perspective caught my eye as I walked along the edge of the cliff leading to the pier in St. Andrews. The left tower is a medieval dungeon where some have claimed to see the “White Witch” who was once imprisoned there. Legend has it that she still haunts the cathedral cemetery. Can’t say I’ve ever seen her, though.

The middle tower is St. Rule’s, where the bones of St. Andrew were housed in the medieval era. Once a year, they were removed from the tower in a processional that went up North Street and back down South Street.

The far right tower is the eastern spire of the St Andrew’s cathedral. As these towers aligned on my walk, they formed a staircase leading into the sky – a reflection of the biblical account of salvation, from the dungeon of depravity to the divinity of the spire. From degeneration to regeneration.

What prevents us from seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary?

“Sola Scriptura, Etc.”

by Christian on December 18, 2010

Quo warranto: “By what authority?” Posed to Jesus in Mark 11:28, this question became the driving impetus of the Protestant Reformation. By what authority should theology, spirituality, and ministry be judged? For nearly half a millennium, Protestants have answered this question by declaring sola scriptura. From Puritan pulpits in Britain to “Big Tent” revivals in America, “by Scripture alone” became a banner cry for those rallying behind the Protestant and eventually evangelical movement.

Today, new generations of Christians are asking the same question—by what authority? Against the backdrop of a postmodern society where the gods of relativism and subjectivism seemingly dwarf objective, absolute truth, this question becomes especially significant. Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, says, “The inherent flaw of postmodernism is becoming a practical obstacle to unity because there is no source of authority to determine what constitutes orthodox or heretical doctrine.” Continue reading …

What’s Forever For?

by Christian on August 06, 2010

Interdisciplinarity.

It’s a buzz word, for sure. But what’s all the hype about?

Interdisciplinarity comes from two words: “inter,” meaning “between,” and “discipline,” that is “a systematic method of obtaining information” (i.e. science, chemistry, mathematics, fine arts, music, etc.). So interdisciplinarity is the idea of bringing disciplines together for a common purpose. To solve a problem – say, how to plug an out-of-control oil leak on the bottom of the sea floor – requires various disciplines to work in harmony with one another (in this case, welding engineers, creative visionaries, submersibles, and architects).

Where Does interdisciplinarity Come From?

Since Plato was the first to propose philosophy as a unified science, many credit him with the origins of interdisciplinarity. In the medieval era, the concern with the problem of overspecialization led to the inclusion of both trivium (logic, rhetoric, and grammer) and quadrivium (music, geometry, arithmetic, and astronomy) in the courses of education.

As the Enlightenment found full expression in art, literature, science, and astronomy, the knowledge of each individual discipline expanded. Disciplines became more sophisticated, and subsequently, students who wanted to master a field needed to spend a great deal of time specializing in that field. To be a lawyer, for instance, required law school. Eventually further specialization in subcategories of law were necessary. Continue reading …

Interview: Brian McLaren

by Christian on July 02, 2010

Listed by Time Magazine as one of the top twenty-five influential evangelicals in America, Brian McLaren has done much to advance the Emerging / Emergent Church movement.

An author, speaker, pastor, and activist, McLaren is a frequent guest on television, radio, and news media programs such as Larry King Live, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, and Nightline.

In this interview, Brian shares his thoughts on the authority of Scripture:

Christian: What additional sources of authority do you find those in the emerging church using in place or in addition to the Scriptures?

Brian: I don’t find people in the emergent conversation using other sources of authority in place of or in addition to the Scriptures. If anything, I think the emergent conversation is asserting the primacy of Scripture over other prevailing sources of authority – including many conventional interpretations of Scripture. What I do find people questioning, though, are the assumptions that lie within the word “authority” itself. A lot of us feel that the concepts of authority we inherited were naive – implying, for example, that Scripture can exercise authority without interpretation. Also, many of the concepts of authority we inherited seem to be part and parcel of a Cartesian or foundational epistemology; many of us are questioning the epistemological assumptions that lie unexamined in the word “authority” for many people. Continue reading …