Why Assurance of Salvation Isn't "The Thing" Anymore

I don't know if anyone reading this will relate, but I have come to a shocking conclusion. Assurance of salvation just isn't "the thing" anymore. Now I know that sounds crazy. From the late baby-boomers down to the millennial generation no topic was more important as a Christian than assurance. It was our war cry. Legalism was the top antagonist and everyone's theology was hyper dissected to make sure none of it was creeping around in there. We wrote, published and read armies of books on assurance. We preached endless sermons on it and no conversation on faith and spirituality was complete without a discussion on assurance. We even branded people as heretics if we felt they didn't fit the assurance bill quite like we thought they should. When I first started this blog (originally known as "Jesus Adventism and I"), my main topic was assurance of salvation in the context of Adventist theology and almost every single post was in some way related to i…

6 Things Christians Often Confuse with Holiness

Throughout my years as a Christian I have had to wrestle with the Biblical call to holiness. The battle hasn't been over the call itself but how those around me have interpreted and communicated that call. As part of my faith journey, I have had to deconstruct what I understood holiness to be and allow the Bible to define it for me. In scripture, I discovered, holiness is a matter of the heart, not the external things like whether you wear a suit to church. When the heart is holy the life expresses that holiness through love. Love, as defined in 1 Corinthians 13, is an other-centered, trans-cultural phenomenon that leads the believer to exhibit patience, kindness, humility etc. in every day life regardless of their culture, education, social status or personality traits. As I discovered this I found the following six elements - which were constantly confused with holiness - to be missing from scriptures definition.

Intellectualism: I value intelligence big time. Few things are as …

How to Avoid Worthless Christianity

Before reading the article, give this short video a watch and hang on to what you see. It gets revisited toward the end. Enjoy!

I saw an article this week on the 10 most popular books of the Bible and James wasn't on there. So I got worried because I am currently going through a sermon series on James at my local church. My church members, I thought, are not going to love me and they are going to email the boss-man, and then I'm going to get fired and then my family wont have any food (grin). So to calm my anxiety I googled the 10 least popular books of the Bible. I figured, so long as James isn't on that list then I am safe. And thankfully James wasn't there either! So I think its safe to say James is neither loved nor hated.

James isn't always an easy book to chew on.
Unfortunately, that wasn't always the case. Martin Luther, the champion of the reformation, thought very little of the book of James. He referred to it as the "straw epistle". Luther&#…

Understanding the Narrative of Scripture (Alive Bible Class, 2016)

Hey guys!

I wanted to take a moment to introduce you all to a Bible class series I taught last year that explores the story of scripture from a basic historical, philosophical, cultural and theological angle. The Alive series begins before creation and ends with the story of Jesus. I designed the course to help church members get a more solid foundation on the Bible and expand their knowledge of other religions so that they can more adequately share their faith and respond to questions many people ask.

I hope you find these classes insightful!

Some Thoughts on Evangelism and Colonialism

Evangelism and Colonialism are not the same thing. Evangelism seeks to redeem a culture. Colonialism seeks to erase it. Evangelism is based on the idea that Gods common grace is active in every culture, thus no culture is 100% depraved. Colonialism is based on the idea that the enlightened culture is superior and is responsible to change all the other evil cultures around it which it views as 100% depraved. Evangelism is the naked gospel. Colonialism is cultural elitism. Evangelism says "Jesus is the only way. Follow him." Colonialism says "Western European values are the only way. Adhere to them." When we mix these two what do we end up with? Sermons on how other cultures are evil, books on why Hymns are the only "godly music", attacks against styles of music and dress not rooted in eastern European thought, the insistence that Western high culture is somehow holier than every other culture (ex. classical music is somehow holier than every other kind of…