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Jul
02

Thinking Through Ministry and This Strange Thing Called Growth

Illustration of child measuring tree

Back in 1988, Kent Hughes, then an emerging pastor, was part of planting a new church. All the signs were positive. The mother church endorsed the project, and Kent was an up-and-coming star. The community was strategically targeted, and a solid core was part of the initial foundation. As he put it, “We had everything…
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Jun
30

Redeemed for Life

Man's hand sorting through manuscripts.

In my previous two blog posts on the sacred/secular divide, I’ve been using the terms sacred and secular but have not stopped to define what I mean by them. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, sacred means a: dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity and b: devoted exclusively to one…
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Jun
27

Ghost, Demon, or Hallucination: Did Samuel Return from the Dead?

Man standing in flames

Teaching through the Bible yearly as a Biblical Literature prof at Western Seminary has given me the opportunity to interact with many challenging interpretive questions. One that still puzzles me is the account of Samuel’s posthumous appearance before Saul and the witch of En-dor (1 Samuel 28:8-14). Saul was facing a critical battle with the…
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Jun
25

Reflecting On Peterson (Part One)

Page of notes.

Sometime in the late eighties, when I was slogging my way through my first senior pastorate, I was introduced to Eugene Peterson. I don’t remember how I got on to his books, but I read Working the Angles, and I was hooked. His opening words stopped me in my tracks—“American pastors are abandoning their posts,…
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Jun
18

Spirit Empowered Mission: Spirit Revived Community, Part 1

Young man reading small Bible

Should Christians leave their church if the pastor is not consistently preaching the Word?  What should a pastor do if his church is unresponsive to the preaching of God’s Word?  How did the modern church get to a place where many pastors are delivering nice talks, but not preaching from the Bible? We asked Art…
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