When I Criticize “the Church”…

I feel this is a post in which I will stray and wander, both while I write it and while I try to apply it in my own life. Please forgive me for both. Define “church.” This is a subject that has been covered by many, but it has not been covered by me. Given my insatiable need for clear and precise language, I thought it best to explain the possible meanings of the word “church” when I use it. My Definitions “Church” can mean 4 different things in my vocabulary: The Universal Body. Unalterable, immutable, clothed in white, stretching … [Read more]

Christians Don’t End Up in Heaven

  I said off-hand in a different blog post that Christians weren’t going to heaven, and I got some lip about it. But before I start explaining myself, let me narrow the audience for you. This post is directed at Christians. The “yous” in this post are “readers who have believed the gospel that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ of God, and by believing, have life in His name.” Okay, lets get back to the point. Christians don’t end up in heaven. “Of course we’re going to heaven!” you say. “That’s the gospel, Stephen! We’re going to go to … [Read more]

Yes You’re a Sinner and No It’s Not “Okay”

  There are two parts to this title and each reflects some common rhetoric I hear among Christians. I think the entire statement needs to be hammered into people’s skulls. Yes You’re a Sinner and No It’s Not “Okay.” It’s such a basic truth that I wonder why it needs saying, but we have to address the issues as they arise. Let’s look at the first half first. “Yes, you’re a sinner” Christians today usually fall into one of two camps on this, either they refuse to ever acknowledge sin, or they never get off of sin to talk about … [Read more]

My Ideal Youth Ministry

This is a paper written for my Christian Ministry with Youth course at DTS. The assignment was to write your philosophy of youth ministry and include things like your essential theology, the purpose of youth ministry, and the structure and outcomes of your ideal youth ministry. It is intended to be used in interviews and applications for youth pastor jobs. If nothing else, it will give you a glimpse of what I think about how the church should be run and what the essential doctrines of Christianity are. Introduction The purpose of this work is to tell you about my … [Read more]

C. S. Lewis Was Wrong!

C.S. Lewis was wrong. I don’t say those words, in that order, very often. Unless we’re talking about afterlife theories, eschatology, eternal security, or evolution, I put stock in what Lewis said. His work on moral law thinking, The Problem of Pain, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, they’re all spectacular. He has affected my way of thinking and my way of life more than any other writer, except perhaps the Apostle Paul. Unfortunately, Lewis was very wrong about one particular prediction. In Mere Christianity Lewis talks about the meaning of the word “Christian.” He talks about how the meaning … [Read more]