Christians in the Age of Outrage | Influence Podcast

America is angry. Turn on TV news, tune into talk radio, check your timeline on social media, and chances are good you’ll see someone angry—outraged!—about something. Some commentators even worry that our nation is on the verge of a civil war. It would be nice to say that Christians in America are tamping down the fires of outrage, but unfortunately, that’s not always true. Instead, some Christians are fanning the flames. They’re kicking outrage up to 11. One Christian leader who’s trying to turn the outrage down is Ed Stetzer. He thinks outrage is unbiblical and anti-Great Commission. In his … Continue reading Christians in the Age of Outrage | Influence Podcast

Black and White Morality in a Gray Culture (Ephesians 5.15–21)

SCRIPTURE READING Ephesians 5.15–21 DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT The Bible portrays morality in black and white, but our culture sees morality in shades of gray. Take sex, for example. In the Bible, sex outside of marriage is immoral (Hebrews 13.4). But in our culture, it is routine, even among Christians. We know what the Bible teaches, but we prefer to ignore its teaching and/or generate rationalizations for our disobedience. (Someone has said that to rationalize means to offer “rational lies.” How true!) Or take anger. Jesus clearly teaches that anger is a form of murder deserving judgment and that it should be … Continue reading Black and White Morality in a Gray Culture (Ephesians 5.15–21)

Five Case Studies in Change (Ephesians 4.25–32)

SCRIPTURE READING Ephesians 4.25–32 DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT Yesterday, I wrote about the three-stage process of change Paul teaches in Ephesians 4.17–24: Put off your old self (verse 22). Be renewed in the spirit of your mind (verse 23). Put on the new self (verse 24). In Ephesians 4.25–32, Paul applies this process to five case studies. First, lying: “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another” (verse 25). Dishonest speech violates the Ninth Commandment: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20.16). It … Continue reading Five Case Studies in Change (Ephesians 4.25–32)

The World Wide (Religious) Web for Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Psychologists discover “a statistically significant trend toward narcissism and hostility in popular music. As they hypothesized, the words ‘I’ and ‘me’ appear more frequently along with anger-related words, while there’s been a corresponding decline in ‘we’ and ‘us’ and the expression of positive emotions.” I am personally outraged at popular music’s narcissism and anger. Just kidding! Although I wonder what level of narcissism is present in contemporary worship songs. Al Mohler offers insights about why conservative churches are growing. Sure, evangelical churches are growing and the mainline churches aren’t. But what if the country as a whole is growing at … Continue reading The World Wide (Religious) Web for Wednesday, April 27, 2011