Archives For Jesus

My latest article is up on the Covenant Eyes blog, check it out:  What Christian Culture Has Gotten Wrong About Sexual Purity. Continue Reading…

I was on a panel last week at an event entitled Uprooting Racism from the Church, sponsored by the Michigan State University student group MSU Project 1:17. In addition to the live panel, they took anonymous questions from the audience for the speakers to answer online.  I’ve realized recently that I haven’t posted about racism / racial reconciliation in a while.  Somewhat because I’ve been busy with posts about sexual purity, lust, porn, marriage, etc. that go along with my recent book release.  But to my discredit, it’s also because some white Christians who would be interested in buying my book about sexual purity would also be upset about what I write about race.  So in my fear of man, I have backed down from speaking the truth (the same temptation I face as a pastor with the topic of race, Lord help me).  How quickly and easy it is to fall into this trap!  I had also become fatigued with debates and fatigued with people being upset with me, so had taken the easy road.  I apologize for that to anyone reading this, especially my friends of color.

I thought posting a blog with my answers to these Q&A questions would be helpful because I’ve already written them, and because I’ve previously articles on these subjects, which you can find at the bottom of each post.  There will be 3 of these, with the questions having been anonymously submitted from the crowd at the event earlier this week.  The original format for these was on a Facebook event page, which I’ve just copied and pasted here.  I’ll post one each day over the next three days, this is day #3 of 3:

The Question:

Why has the church stepped back from being on the forefront of race relations? Do you think if we stepped in and did it God’s way, we could end it?

My Answer: Continue Reading…

I was on a panel this week at an event entitled Uprooting Racism from the Church, sponsored by the Michigan State University student group MSU Project 1:17. In addition to the live panel, they took anonymous questions from the audience for the speakers to answer online.  I’ve realized recently that I haven’t posted about racism / racial reconciliation in a while.  Somewhat because I’ve been busy with posts about sexual purity, lust, porn, marriage, etc. that go along with my recent book release.  But to my discredit, it’s also because some white Christians who would be interested in buying my book about sexual purity would also be upset about what I write about race.  So in my fear of man, I have backed down from speaking the truth (the same temptation I face as a pastor with the topic of race, Lord help me).  How quickly and easy it is to fall into this trap!  I had also become fatigued with debates and fatigued with people being upset with me, so had taken the easy road.  I apologize for that to anyone reading this, especially my friends of color.

I thought posting a blog with my answers to these Q&A questions would be helpful because I’ve already written them, and because I’ve previously articles on these subjects, which you can find at the bottom of each post.  There will be 3 of these, with the questions having been anonymously submitted from the crowd at the event earlier this week.  The original format for these was on a Facebook event page, which I’ve just copied and pasted here.  I’ll post one each day over the next three days.  I thought I’d start off with the most provocative of the 3!

The Question:

If life is so bad for people of color in the United States, then why do those who complain continue to live in the US? Why do they not move to another country?

My Answer: Continue Reading…

I read Hebrews 2:14-18 yesterday.  Read it slowly, out loud, a few times:

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants.  For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

I am a person who struggles mightily with depression and anxiety. It comes and goes and is subject to a diverse array of stimulus.  I also have a lot of good ways of coping with it, which are sometimes enough to feel better and sometimes aren’t.

Usually when we think of Jesus’s atonement, we think of him as the substitute for our sins. We deserve a penalty for our sins, hell, and Jesus took that hell upon himself on the cross so we wouldn’t have to take it on ourselves for all eternity.  Then when the Judge looks at us, we are declared innocent (righteous). Not because of what we’ve done, but because of what Jesus did on our behalf.

All of this is true, praise be to God! But something even deeper hit me yesterday. Continue Reading…

You can listen to Noah Filipiak’s “Behind the Curtain” Podcast interview with Kent Carlson on the Podbean Player below or you can subscribe to all “Behind the Curtain” Ministry Podcast episodes on iTunes. (Podcast listening tip: use the podcasts app on your smartphone and listen while driving, doing chores, or working out)

Noah Filipiak interviews Kent Carlson on what led him and his team to shift the seeker-driven megachurch he founded into a church of spiritual formation. A shift that led to around 1500 people leaving the church. Kent is the co-author of Renovation of the Church, a book that chronicles the journey of Oak Hills Church and its leadership. He was mentored by Dallas Willard and currently serves as Vice President of Leadership Formation for the North American Baptist denomination.

Connect with Kent on Twitter