Prayer and Spiritual Formation: How Does It Work?
Prayer is not a spiritual discipline that we use to reach a higher spiritual level; rather prayer is an unavoidable mandatory battlefield in the war of faith,
The Bible does not say: “Pray this way and you’ll make better progress.” The Bible says: “The fundamental question before you is, do you trust God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ no matter what?” If you trust Him, then you’ll pray. You won’t be able to help it. Because if you trust Him,... Continue Reading
Does Spiritual Formation Seek The Right Kind Of Change?
Not only does the theology of spiritual formation aim at the wrong target, spiritual formation seeks the wrong kind of change.
Spiritual disciplines dangle the promise of making it possible for me to do what I cannot do: make myself acceptable to God. But practices can never do that. That misguided promise makes Spiritual Formation attractive and gives it the “appearance of wisdom.” But changing my outward reality cannot change my sinful nature, and my sinful... Continue Reading
Is Spiritual Formation Shooting At The Right Target?
The theology of Spiritual Formation sounds great on paper, but it is focused on the wrong target.
Left to ourselves, we would be trapped in our sin. But there is a way to overcome sin (“to overcome the world”). The path to change is not through spiritual disciplines; it is through faith in Jesus Christ. You overcome sin by persevering in the faith and believing in the salvation offered by Jesus Christ.... Continue Reading
Dealing with Loss: Lessons from Haggai
At a season when I am free to devote more time to teaching and discipleship, I find myself “all dressed up with no place to go”
When the past shines brighter than the present, we have a choice to make. We can long for the “glory days” in a way that denies God is still glorious today. If we do, like the remnant who stopped rebuilding the temple, we will stop the work God has called us to do today. ... Continue Reading
Does Spiritual Formation Work? Answers from Haggai
“Spiritual formation” is a hot topic today. But does it work? The Old Testament prophet Haggai would answer no
The solution to our spiritual disease is not spiritual formation. The change we really need is a new heart and the “health” of Jesus Christ. Perfect attendance to spiritual practices does not overcome our sinful nature — that requires the grace of God and the blood of Jesus Christ. “Spiritual formation” is a hot... Continue Reading
Are Congregations A Means To An End Or A Flock To Shepherd?
In God’s worldview, which is more important: people or programs?
Recently I had the opportunity to see three churches encourage their congregations to increase their volunteer efforts. The differences were striking. The three approaches illustrate that this debate over “saving individual souls or redeeming the cosmos” produces very different understandings of the role of church leadership and volunteers. In God’s worldview, which is more... Continue Reading
Should I marry a man with pornography struggles?
A man addicted to pornography (or any other substance) is incapable of making that first commitment. Addiction is one of the “4A’s” that typically destroy a marriage (addiction, abuse, adultery, abandonment) and women are too tempted to play the Savior Card (“I can save him; I can help him; I can change him”). I read... Continue Reading