How to Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry from Your Life and Ministry | Influence Podcast


John Mark Comer lived many pastors’ dream. He led a growing congregation (adding 1,000 adherents annually for seven years running) in the Pacific Northwest (one of the nation’s most secular regions). You’d think he’d be happy, but he wasn’t. He … Continue reading How to Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry from Your Life and Ministry | Influence Podcast

Leveling the Praying Field | Influence Podcast


“Too often,” writes Donna Barrett, “prayer looks like an activity on a sports field. You know, a select group of athletes make up two teams who are in fantastic shape, well-practiced, and highly trained. They do their thing at such a level of expertise that the spectators in the stands are awed and amazed. Though a fan may toss the ball around in their backyard, that person knows full well they can’t play at the level of the pros down on the field.” In this episode of the Influence Podcast, Influence magazine’s executive editor, George P. Wood, talks to Rev. … Continue reading Leveling the Praying Field | Influence Podcast

Is Contemplative Spirituality Christian? | Influence Podcast


If Christian book publishing trends are any indication, contemplative spirituality is a hot topic among Christian readers — hotin the dual sense that it arouses intense interest as well as intense opposition. Proponents claim it is an ancient Christian practice capable of deepening a person’s love for God and neighbor. Opponents counterclaim that it is biblically subpar, smacks of medieval Catholicism, and opens the door to New Age mysticism. In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to John Coe and Kyle Strobel about whether contemplative spirituality is Christian, and if so, how. Coe and Strobel are professors at … Continue reading Is Contemplative Spirituality Christian? | Influence Podcast

The Common Rule | Book Review


“We are all living according to a specific regimen of habits,” writes Justin Whitmel Earley, “and those habits shape most of our life.” Even more, “they form our hearts.” In The Common Rule, Earley outlines a “rule of life” or “program of habits” to help readers fulfill the biblical commandment to love God and neighbor (Matthew 22:34–40). Earley calls this program “the common rule” because it has to do with “common practice by common people.” Its focus on laity rather than clergy distinguishes it from the well-known “rules” of Benedict or Augustine, although its basic purpose is the same as theirs. The … Continue reading The Common Rule | Book Review

Survival Guide for the Soul | Book Review


Kurt Vonnegut included a philosophy joke in one of his novels. It looked like this: “To be is to do.” — Socrates “To do is to be.” — Jean-Paul Sartre “Do be do be do.” — Frank Sinatra I can’t vouch for Vonnegut’s take on Socrates or Sartre, but I will say this: Any person who can be as well as they do lives as well as Sinatra could sing. Ken Shigematsu opens Survival Guide for the Soul by distinguishing between doing and being. Drawing on an insight about Genesis 1–2 by Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, Shigematsu speaks of “Striving Adam” … Continue reading Survival Guide for the Soul | Book Review