Rip Off the Band-Aid

Christians love platitudes.   We love to tell each other things like “God doesn’t reward success, he rewards faithfulness.”  We say this so we can feel better when we are not succeeding, or when we don’t feel important.  The problem with these kinds of sayings is that they keep you from re-examining what you are doing so you can actually be successful.    And by success I don’t mean praised, by the world, I mean successful in doing God’s mission. Take a look at the Great Commission.  Read more [...]
Categories: State of the Church

Most Influential Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches in America

As far as I can tell from a brief search online there is no list of the most influential Charismatic churches in America. Therefore, I'm going to give it a shot. There is a whole lot that I don't know about, so I look forward to input from people out there. Also, size and influence are different. Think about things like: How much they are a leader in defining a certain aspect or vision of Christianity?  How many many followers or copycats you have? Is the pastor on the circuit of conference Read more [...]
Categories: State of the Church

Seven Idols of the Church

One of the things that has become increasingly clear to me is that idolatry is the basic condition of mankind.  We love darkness (John 3:19). I was discussing this recently with my ministry partner because we’ve both had the experience repeatedly where you give someone a good book, that might  have something that’s just a little bit off in it. Instead of getting the really good meat out of it, they latch on to the one thing that is really off in the book. I was telling my wife about this and Read more [...]
Categories: State of the Church

Salt and Light for ‘Just Moms’?

In keeping with Will's theme about Salt and Light paradigm below, I wanted to post some thoughts here. As this paradigm relates to the home life, I mean. For many years, I struggled with finding meaning in staying at home... as many stay-at-home Mom's or mom's-to-be probably do. It wasn't that I didn't want to stay at home with my kids as much as it was not knowing how to do that AND be effective for God's kingdom. After being brought up in a cutting-edge church, I didn't know how to let the dream Read more [...]
Categories: State of the Church

Kris Vallotton and Bethel

I recently attended a conference with the rest of the team where Kris Vallotton was the main speaker. We were going mostly as a fellowship, not for the message, as I had only heard Kris Valloton briefly on a single web cast before. I just knew that the Bethel related guys were doing cool things and the host of the conference was very excited about having him in. We didn't go because we were big followers of his, but because we were looking for an opportunity for the guys to have an encounter with Read more [...]
Categories: State of the Church

New Perspective on Paul

It was asked in a comment what is the significance of the New Perspective on Paul. First of all, I am not going to pretend to be an expert. It's a bit of a tricky subject that people will want to argue about.  If you want a more expert debriefing, check out one of the audios here. Or you may want to look at John Piper's book "The Future of Justification." The simple version is as follows: Back in the 70s, a scholar named E.P. Sanders wrote a book called "Paul and Palestinian Judaism." It claimed Read more [...]
Categories: State of the Church

Pentecostal or Reformed?

With the rise of contemporary Reformed thought, a number of Charismatic groups have also arisen which embrace Calvinism. Perhaps the most important of these is "New Frontiers" a major church planting network from England. A major concept for Charismatics in the 20th century was a dream of unifying the "Word and the Spirit." Ern Baxter, one of the major leaders of the Shepherding Movement, was one who held to this concept. So was R.T. Kendall, who wrote a book by the same title with Paul Cain. Smith Read more [...]
Categories: State of the Church

Mike Bickle’s IHOP Eschatology

Mike Bickle has had a tremendous impact on the church in his generation. One that far outstrips what most of us could hope for. God called him at a very young age to be the pastor to the prophets of Kansas City. These Kansas City Prophets went on to shock the worldwide church with the divine word and power of God. Now that's not to say that things were all right. There were definitely issues, but it is to say that God used this team to do something very significant in the life of the church. Then Read more [...]
Categories: State of the Church

After Lakeland

Todd Bentley was exposed as being in the deception and sin of an inappropriate relationship with a female staff member. The anointed but hard-driving evangelist had fallen prey to the oldest of all sins. It's a sad story. It's sad for the church and it's especially sad for Todd Bentley, whose wife is separating from Him. What is especially interesting is the variety of responses that people have had to his fall. Steven Strang and J. Lee Grady of Charisma have used the opportunity to reiterate Read more [...]
Categories: State of the Church

Adult Christian Education

Despite the anti-intellectual impulses of many Christian groups, education is fundamental to what it means to be a Christian. When you are born again, you realize that you have been living in a lie for years, and that you essentially have none of the tools to live in the truth... So you hunger for education. The real question is what we mean by "education." In reality, there are two very different purposes for education, and therefore two different kinds of pursuits: The first reason to educated Read more [...]
Categories: State of the Church