Is God a Vindictive Bully? | Influence Podcast


“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction,” wrote the atheist Richard Dawkins. He went on to describe God as “jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty … Continue reading Is God a Vindictive Bully? | Influence Podcast

The Siege of Tel Aviv | Book Review


Since its founding on May 14, 1948, the State of Israel has fought three wars whose outcome arguably was existential: the War of Independence (1948–1949), the Six Day War (1967), and the Yom Kippur War (1973). In The Siege of Tel Aviv, Hesh Kestin imagines a point in the near future where Iran leads Arab armies in a genocidal war against Israel…and wins. So quick and total is the Persian-Arab victory over Israel that six million Jews flee to the only major Israeli city still under Jewish control, Tel Aviv, making it a ghetto. Meanwhile, the U.S. and the U.N. … Continue reading The Siege of Tel Aviv | Book Review

The Radical Impermanence of the World and the Permanence of Christian Love


Today is the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11. The Friday after 9/11, I wrote this devotional for my church. Providentially, in this devotional, I was working my way through 1 Corinthians 13 that week, Scripture’s “love chapter.” I’m reposting that devotional today because, fifteen years later, it still expresses my heart and mind in the light of that horrific event. OPENING PRAYER This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! O God, grant us a vision of this city, fair as it might be: a city of justice, where none shall prey upon the other; … Continue reading The Radical Impermanence of the World and the Permanence of Christian Love

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (6.1–8) 


There are many believers enduring tribulation all around the world right now. Enduring tribulation raises the question, how shall we then live? The answer to this question depends on “then.” It depends, in other words, on the environment we are called by God to inhabit. As we read Revelation 6.1–8, it becomes clear that God calls some of us to live in an environment of conquest, war, scarcity, famine, pestilence, and death—or at least to be prepared to do so. Consider three facts: First, conquest, war, scarcity, and the like describe the actual conditions of many Christians around the world … Continue reading The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (6.1–8)