This post will not contain much original content. The characterization of “old white” and “young black” is not about condescension, racism, or anything like that whatsoever. So if you think there is any sinister motivation here… shut it and chill. There’s not. If Michael Jackson taught us anything… it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white.
The purpose of this post is to celebrate how the beautiful gospel can be preached and taught in widely varying ways and contexts. Another purpose of this post is to explore this idea by me asking questions for your contemplation. I also hope to expose my readership to a different context and the idea of contextualization.
Believe it or not… this is Part 1 of 2! There is another awesome specific correlation between John Piper and Lecrae’s worship and teaching.
I recently listened to a lecture by Mark Driscoll from 2011 to the students of New Saint Andrews College.
This teaching blew my mind and heart in many regards. It was the most heart-opening teaching on the Prodigal Son that I have ever heard.
Truthfully, this is now the 4th time I have listened to the lecture. I wanted the words to be emblazoned in my mind and heart, so I typed notes from the lecture for this blog post. I definitely want to encourage you to watch it, as the video teaching is much more dynamic than my text notes.
I am definitely challenged on many fronts with this lecture… but I am most penetrated by the following:
- The ultimate goal is not learning more … but for heart transformation so we can glorify God and more people can come to know his saving Grace through Christ… because of Him changing us.
- The life of a Christian is one of repentance. This seems to be resonating in my mind like a distant gong.
- Religious Christians counter the sin of religion by intentionally seeking relationships with lost people. I desperately need to get out of my bubble.
Last night, my wife and I, along with friends from our church went to Crossroads Church in Corona, CA for “An Evening with Francis Chan”. The evening started with great worship led by Rend Collective Experiment, a worship group from Ireland, and Rachel Chan (Francis Chan’s daughter), followed by a message from Francis Chan. As expected, the message was simple, yet incredibly convicting and challenging.
One of the most beautiful elements of Christianity… is that while doctrine and theology can be quite “thick” and there are lot of smart-sounding -ologies, -isms, -ications, etc… the message of the Gospel is elegantly simple. Jesus was God in a human body, who loved and served all of humanity past, present, and future, by sacrificing his perfect life, being brutally murdered on a cross, coming back to life, and going back to God the Father. Through His sacrifice, we get to experience a real relationship with the Creator of the Universe… the one, true, living God. As part of that, Christians are charged with serving humanity as Christ did, for the purpose of professing and multiplying Christ’s name to the nations.
Francis Chan is one of my favorite pastors. I have read all his books: Crazy Love, Forgotten God, and Erasing Hell. He obviously deeply loves Christ and serves him well. He is one of my favorite pastors not just because he is a great and passionate communicator… but because the Holy Spirit and the gift of joy-in-Jesus just exudes from him. [continue reading…]
Mars Hill Church, planted and led by Pastor Mark Driscoll is one of the most influential mega-churches churches in the United States. They are the 43rd largest AND the 43rd fastest growing church in the USA. In my opinion, numbers only matter because they are potentially an indication of Holy Spirit actively changing lives and of Jesus’ name being known / multiplied in the nations.
Mars Hill is much more than a “big church”; they are a church that preaches the Gospel soundly, passionately, unapologetically, loudly, and devoutly. They also provide many many many many many (many many!) teaching and training resources to believers, non-believers, ministry leaders, and other churches.
Mars Hill recently launched a sermon series “God’s Story, Our Witness” (I really like that sermon series title!) by releasing a video that tells the story of Mars Hill from the beginning to today (the video located at the bottom of this post). The leaders and servants at Mars Hill Church were horribly and wonderful ill-equipped by all accounts. They would never have been capable of what’s been accomplished if not for the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s why I call it a God Story! Praise God for their obedience.
While it is no secret I am a fan of Driscoll’s direct, “intellectual”, and fervent teaching… The purpose of this “God Story” is NOT to extol Driscoll… but to praise God for the beautiful collision of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit with submitted, faithful, hard working disciples. As Christians, we should celebrate, learn from, be thankful for, be inspired by, and be driven to action by God’s work through and in other believers. (… continue reading…)
I am a long-time fan of Mark Driscoll (bio here) and the efforts of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. Pastor Mark and his wife, Grace Driscoll have written a new book on marriage, which is will certainly be great.
The new book is called “Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together“. The book is being released on 1/3 (TODAY!), and I’m excited to report the book has skyrocketed to the top of the Barnes & Nobles AND Amazon book sales charts. Not only is a marriage book at the top of the charts… but a CHRISTIAN marriage book! Praise God for all the people and relationships that will be impacted for the name of Christ!
Pastor Mark and Grace Driscoll are real and authentic. They don’t just talk about ideals in a vacuum separated from everyone’s realities… they offer their personal learning experiences and struggles, while grounding everything in scripture. They studied 187 books on marriage and could not find ANY that focused on friendship, so that is a core focus of the book. They also tackle many other very touchy issues.
Read More about the Real Marriage Campaign…
My wife and I are in vacation in Maui; it is such a blessing. Yesterday we went to Calvary Chapel South Maui for church. Pastor Charles Casco talked through Revelation 19:1-10.
My current church, Sandals Church, is the only place I have experienced the overwhelming joys and occasional pains of being truly connected and invested in a body of Christ-seeking believers. I can truly say Sandals is my family. Heck, it is hard to be away from our church and small group even for a vacation. Christ’s Church, as beaten, battered, and neglected as it is… is so beautiful and worth the investment. Not to mention… Christ commanded us to be a part of a local Body. If we truly believed in Christ’s resurrection, how could we NOT want to be deeply connected and committed to a Body of believers?
Nonetheless, in reference to the Church and His being reconciled with Christ in Heaven, Pastor Charles referenced the following poem that I thought was very powerfully thought-provoking and poignant…