Christians in the Age of Outrage | Book Review


Google the word “outrage,” and this definition appears: “an extremely strong reaction of anger, shock, or indignation.” Not just anger, shock or indignation, mind you, but an “extremely strong reaction” of those things. Outrage is anger kicked up to 11. Contemporary Americans live in the Age of Outrage. We are outraged by what those on the “other side” of just about any political, cultural or religious issue say and do, and we take to social media to “destroy” them. Not dialogue civilly, let alone rebut or refute, but destroy. Outrage destroys. In Christians in the Age of Outrage, Ed Stetzer … Continue reading Christians in the Age of Outrage | Book Review

Institutional Intelligence | Book Review


“Institutions matter,” writes Gordon T. Smith. “Vibrant institutions—effective organizations—are essential to our personal lives and to the common good.” Institutional Intelligenceidentifies seven elements of such organizations: mission clarity, appropriate governance, quality personnel, vibrant culture, financial resilience, generative built spaces and strategic alliances. Smith shows Christian leaders how to implement these elements in their organizations. In a day when public trust in institutions, including churches, is low, this book offers a hopeful, helpful view of trustworthy institutions that contribute to human flourishing. Book Reviewed Gordon T. Smith, Institutional Intelligence: How to Build an Effective Organization(Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2017). P.S. … Continue reading Institutional Intelligence | Book Review

Missional Public Opinion Researchj


Twenty-some years ago, I served as a counselor at a weeklong Christian summer camp for abused and neglected children. For chapel, one evening, a puppet evangelist told the story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22) as an example of the Father’s willingness to sacrifice His Son for us. A graduate student in theology at the time, I remember thinking there was something wrong with the ventriloquist’s analogy. Wouldn’t Jesus be like the ram God provided, not Isaac? I thought. Then I noticed how quiet, still, and wide-eyed the kids were. Slowly, I realized that many of these kids … Continue reading Missional Public Opinion Researchj

When Harry Became Sally | Book Review


“America is in the midst of what has been called a ‘transgender moment,’” writes Ryan T. Anderson in When Harry Became Sally. “Not long ago, most Americans had never heard of transgender identity, but within the space of a year it became a cause claiming the mantle of civil rights.” The inflection point was probably Diane Sawyer’s April 2015 interview with Bruce Jenner, in which he said, “for all intents and purposes I’m a woman,” taking the name Caitlyn a few months later. A judge legally approved Jenner’s name and gender change in September of that year. In October, Glamour … Continue reading When Harry Became Sally | Book Review

Understanding Generation Z | Influence Podcast


Over at InfluenceMagazine.com, I interview David Kinnaman of Barna Group about its new report, Gen Z: The Culture, Beliefs and Motivations Shaping the Next Generation. In my opinion, this is an excellent report for pastors–especially youth and KidMin pastors–and parents who want to understand the water in which their Gen Z kids swim. You can follow Barna Group on Facebook and Twitter. I always find its research to be thought-provoking and helpful. Episode 125 Notes 00:00 Introduction of podcast topic 00:32 MEGA Sports Camp ad copy 01:10 Welcome to David Kinnaman 01:47 Why pastors and other church leaders should pay attention … Continue reading Understanding Generation Z | Influence Podcast

Preaching with Cultural Intelligence | Influence Podcast


In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk to Matthew D. Kim about his new book, Preaching with Cultural Intelligence (Baker Academic). Dr. Kim is associate professor of preaching and ministry at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, and author of the book, Preaching with Cultural Intelligence: Understanding the People Who Hear our Sermons (Baker Academic). Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. I think this book is timely because America is becoming an increasingly diverse nation, and so are American churches. This diversification raises an important question: How should pastors and other church leaders preach and minister in this new … Continue reading Preaching with Cultural Intelligence | Influence Podcast