Masculinity, if not integrated with a gentle heart of service, has disastrous potential. This statement alone may be a larger pill to swallow for society than it is for those in the Church. However, in this post I will argue that the subtleties of masculine thought in the Church are just as damaging to men and women within its walls as society’s definition is for the world. If you’ve never been afforded the opportunity to attend a men’s conference for reasons such as travel, age, scheduling or gender, allow me to paint a personal reflection of a conference I recently attended.
Claustrophobia muddled among the aftermath of chili, grunting, other audible turbulences, a sea of men trying desperately to sing in the lowest register possible during worship, camo t-shirts so new the creases were still in them, beards forged to reflect the Duck Dynasty clan and a curious aura boasting the message that dominating forms of masculinity make up the majority of manhood. I pray the unnamed housing of this event never contains that volume of testosterone ever again. Ever. As a U.S. Marine whose favorite movie is A Walk To Remember my attendance landed me in quite the existential crisis. (more…)
I am sure by now you have become privy to the recent uproar of criticism towards the Son of God movie. If my theological savvy is of any credibility to you then I hope you will trust me when I say that there are no theological discrepancies in this beautiful and impactful film. It is sad to me that so many who profess their faith in Jesus have been so vicious in their responses to this evangelistic feature. What they see are scenes from a movie that do not line up verbatim to the text in scripture even though the conflicts in no way disrupt the biblical message.
But what they don’t see is the beautifully delivered message of the most amazing and redeeming story ever told. (more…)
Theology: The study of God (theo – God; logy – study of)
It was a common occurrence to see the clock strike 2a.m. while sitting in the dorm hallways of Biola University. I remember when I lived in Hart Hall, floor “Heat,” we often stayed up talking about Calvinism, cessationism, girls and more time specifically the conflicts in Rob Bell’s recent New York Times bestseller Love Wins. Those were some good times.
Discussing theology is fun but is it always fruitful? No. Friendships have been tarnished, churches have been divided and Facebook has grown horns over theological banter. If we hold to scriptural inerrancy and divine inspiration then we must conclude that everything in the Bible is important for humanity. Theological discussion is a common theme on my Facebook page. I am ashamed to say though that sometimes some of my Christian friends and I tend to deliver a message that appears more concerned about being right and less concerned about representing the love that Christ showed while dialoguing with his opposition.
So how do we engage in a theological discussion that is informative, loving and displayed in a way that would not deter our audience from Christianity? (more…)
Semper Fidelis, always faithful, is the Marine Corps motto. Throughout my time in the Corps (2004-2010) I learned that this was much more than a motto. It was an action. It was sacrifice. It was spending time with your fellow troops when they needed to talk, run off some steam, which was my personal favorite, and sometimes cry. It was being intentional about knowing everything about them whether they were a superior, a peer or one of your Marines. It was knowing them and acting for their welfare. As a Christian many will come to you for advice…on everything. Many of my peers came to me with divorce issues, spiritual matters and combat related stress. I did not have all the answers. But I did what I could. Christians have a huge role in the military. Just know, your fellow service members will be eyeing you like no other. That said, here are some things I found challenging about being a Christian in the Marines. (more…)
‘Cause I mean who doesn’t like politics? AND theology!? I encourage my readers to assume the posture of Clive Staples Lewis, Tolkien, any of the church fathers or old school theological greats. That is, grab a pipe and a short of scotch. This one’s a doozie!
I grew up in the Church, graduated from a Christian university with a degree in political science and am currently pursuing a masters in theology from the biggest Christian university in the world. I am well aware of the stereotype that all Christians are Republicans. I’ll admit, and presume the same of most of my audience, that growing up I often considered the loaded question:
I went to Hooters. I went to Hooters and got a beer with two other women. Not only that but I ended up talking with five additional women while I was there…and then a sixth. Remember these numbers.
I was at Passion Conference in Atlanta this past January. If you’ve been to Louie Giglio’s Passion Conference you know it’s an amazing event. 25,000 students congregated to learn about Jesus and what he’s doing around the world. Each night boasts a sensational worship service lead by Hillsong, Chris Tomlin, David Crowder and others in their capacity. Speakers included John Piper, Christine Cain, Louie Gigleo and Francis Chan. We’re talking high caliber speakers with passionate messages about what it means to follow and serve Jesus.
There was a four-hour dinner break between sessions one day and though four hours may sound long it’s quite limited when you consider we’re all on foot to find a local restaurant that hasn’t been bombarded with the other 25,000 students who came to downtown ATL. As we walked down the street we passed four or five restaurants with hour or longer waits. And then it happened. We found ourselves next to a Hooters. There was hardly a line. At first my attitude was one of staunch opposition. In my head I was thinking we’re learning about Jesus and what it means to be pure! How dare we come from a message on serving Jesus only to walk straight into a den of iniquity…and then it hit me. How dare I not go in! I had it all backwards. My attitude swiftly changed 180 degrees. Finish reading at Rethink Creative Group
“It’s not you, it’s me.” This is a cliche break-up line that we use to soften the blow to our former sweethearts. It’s a reaction to the realization that we are not compatible. But instead of a reactive result, shouldn’t it be a proactive measure? That is, shouldn’t we consider where “me” is before we compromise “you’s” heart?
When we ask ourselves what do I look for in a spouse?we’re assigning them a required checklist that they must meet to fit our desires. But with this mentality we may be setting ourselves up for failure. We’re seeking what we can gain while neglecting to consider what we’re willing to sacrifice. I’ve been asked what it is that I look for in a wife many times. It is a common question and a good one…but not the best one. The more I reconstruct the checklist that I hope my future beloved meets the more I feel obligated to render myself a checklist of the same or higher standards. I mean think about it. Who am I to require so much of someone without taking the time to ensure I’m in a place to provide the same? So I dwelled on it and here are some questions I would challenge my readers to consider of themselves before they consider of their significant other.
Also, this isn’t for my single friends only. Married folk, it’s never too late to make some self-adjustments in order to love your spouse better. (more…)
I understand the importance of theological accuracy. As a seminary student I want nothing more for the scriptures than the message to be given thoroughly, passionately and to as broad of an audience as possible. The biblical message boasts a grace and truth that surpasses anything we will ever experience and thus my desire is that this truth is brought to the world. I hold to biblical inerrancy, divine inspiration and the scriptures as the final authority of God.
Shortly after I graduated from high school the first major controversy came up about Rob Bell. He was accused of denying the doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus. In his New York Times bestseller, Velvet Elvis, Bell delivers a challenge to his readers to identify the status of their faith. Below is just an excerpt from is challenge.
But what if, as you study the origin of the word ‘virgin’ you discover that the word ‘virgin’ in the gospel of Matthew actually comes from the book of Isaiah, and then you find out that in the Hebrew language at that time, the word ‘virgin’ could mean several things. And what if you discover that in the first century being ‘born of a virgin’ also referred to a child whose mother became pregnant the first time she had intercourse? What if that spring were seriously questioned? -Bell,Velvet Elvis, 26 (more…)
This entry on kissing is one of humor, so be prepared for some tongue-and-cheek action (comedic rimshot). But for real this is a conversation that needs to continue. I feel like kissing is a form of affection that is used too flippantly these days.
What happened to kissing being sacred?
What happened to it being a special milestone that a couple reached to signify the value and commitment in their relationship?
It used to be that kissing was a way of saying that you are legitimately interested in each other but now it’s become a sign that you’re more into each other’s jurisdiction if ya know what I mean. So, here’s why I hold kissing to be of such value that I hope the next woman I kiss is the last woman I kiss…and that eventually we kiss a lot…and, well, I digress but here’s my reasoning: (more…)
I hope this letter finds you well. This morning I was scrolling through my news feed as a practical means of avoiding my homework. I came across yet another story putting you on blast for your abrasive behavior at a Starbucks in West Hollywood. Don’t worry- I know how journalism goes. This story was completely made up. But recent events have displayed a gradual descent in the once charming and safe example we saw in you.
But can I blame you? I have pride issues, dude. I have pride issues like nobody’s business. I can’t imagine having your money and fame at such a young age. I can’t say I’d turn out half as good as you. It’s funny how society feels that our famous youth are somehow supposed to be exempt from normal developmental stages. Shame on you for making mistakes? How about society take a look at their individual pasts and consider how they could have been built up instead of torn down. I hope after that they would be more inclined to show compassion towards you. (more…)