Since I stepped down from my job as a pastor a month ago, I've been in a novel position: looking for a church to go to as an ordinary joe. That's not a novel experience to most people reading this, I suppose, but it is for me. As an automobile-owning adult I had done this for exactly one week prior to 2018. This experience is teaching me a lot, not all of it easy to put into words yet. One lesson is that I'm now kinda-sorta old: my adolescent kids often evaluate a worship ser
Over the last decade or so, the term "gospel-centered" has become very popular among some followers of Jesus. Many words have issued forth from those people as to what it means to be gospel-centered. It has also triggered much thought on the matter in me—both what it means to be gospel-centered and how that compares to the thinking of those who love the term. The gospel is the backbone of the Bible—the basic story that all the other stories, moral teachings, chronicles, proph
In a couple previous posts (here and here) I've been meditating on how the gospel—the good news of Jesus—is the solution to all human problems. In the last post I traced one "pattern" of how the gospel might work to address a given problem that someone is dealing with. In this post I'll sketch two more patterns. The gospel as the third way The gospel solves our problems as the unexpected third way that transcends two common, bipolar alternatives to dealing with our problems.
A couple months ago I wrote a meditation on how the gospel of Jesus Christ solves all our problems. I have continued thinking about this and trying to live it out, and along the way it seemed worthwhile to try to define "all our problems." I was driven to this by something both good and bad I found in the writings of some of those who talk about the gospel as the solution to all of our problems. Here and there I found lists of various human problems, the sinful thinking in th
I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to apply the good news of Jesus Christ—a.k.a., the gospel—to one's life. A number of people have been writing and talking about this over the last decade, and they declare its value as high as anyone could. For example, Timothy Keller writes in an unpublished essay that "all our problems come from a failure to apply the gospel." That's quite a claim. "All our problems" are solved by the gospel? What does that mean? How can i