September 1, 2010
Justice is a crucial component of peacemaking. But the struggle for justice must be placed within the overarching framework of Godâ€™s loving, reconciling purposes. In other words, the scales of Godâ€™s justice tip in the direction of loving relationships.
August 26, 2010
Robust debate takes place in churches, educational institutions and on the web about what the true nature of the church. Seeker sensitive. Missional. Emergent. Apostolicâ€¦ the list goes on. Historically, however one of the marks of the true church was peacemaking, or what has often been referred to as â€œchurch disciplineâ€ (see Matthew 18:15-17).
August 18, 2010
Everyone loves the story of the Good Samaritan! But few of us realize how mind-blowing it must have sounded in its original context. To the Jews, the Samaritans were enemies. Racially inferior. Heretics! Sounds a lot like how most followers of Christ feel about Muslims today. If Jesus told this parable to Americans I could imagine him using a Muslim as the one who demonstrated neighbor love.
August 12, 2010
If we are serious about following Jesus, we need to love our enemies â€“ even those who are â€œperceivedâ€ enemies (like Muslims). Imagine the powerful and positive impact followers of Christ could have on Muslims if we reached out to them with this kind of Christ-like love.
August 4, 2010
What pops into your mind when you think of the apostle Paul? Words like zealous, apostle to the nations, team leader, or gospel planter usually come to mind. How many people think of Paul as the theologian of peace? Yes, I said theologian of peace! The title, â€œGod of Peaceâ€ (or its equivalent) is mentioned 10 times in the Bible. Paul uses this title for God 7 of these times. Paul relates peace to virtually every major doctrine in the Bible.
July 29, 2010
In the next number of weeks, I will be writing several blog posts on Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and peacemaking topics. In this post, I want to give an overview of the scope and significance of peacemaking in Scripture.
July 22, 2010
I was talking about Peace Catalyst International (PCI) at a meeting recently, when a woman exclaimed, â€œBut if people donâ€™t come to Christ, everything else is worthless!â€ Really? Worthless? What is the relationship between peacemaking and sharing the good news?
July 1, 2010
Liberty University recently demoted Ergun Caner from his role as Dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. â€œFactual statements that are self-contradictoryâ€ regarding his past (especially his purported involvement as a terrorist) were the reasons given for the demotion of this famous Muslim convert to Christ. Why did Dr. Caner find such a receptive audience? How should followers of Christ relate to Muslims?
May 12, 2010
I am reading for the second time a stimulating book about the Celts, The Celtic Way of Evangelism by George G. Hunter III. What a movement! These fourth century Christians model so many things I long for: The Celts lived in community, practiced contemplative prayer, engaged in power ministry, emphasized social justice, contextualized their faith, loved creation, valued scholarship and did all this in the context of obeying Jesusâ€™ command to â€œmake disciples of all nations.â€
November 30, 2001
My friend Carl Medearis tells an enlightening story about teaching at a large church in Texas. He asked the group â€œwhat is the gospel?â€ and then made a list of the students' answers on the chalkboard. They answered, "the free gift of God, freedom from sin, eternal life, grace, unconditional love, healing and deliverance, redemption, faith in God, new life." Next he asked the class if they missed anything. The class sat silent for a minute. Then a girl raised her hand and asked, â€œHow come none of us mentioned Jesus?â€