Dec 012015

images-1Every time we write another story on the Gospel for Asia debacle (or any other religious scandal) someone objects in the comments.

“What about all the good that has been done”?

At that moment they bow the knee to the God of pragmatism.

The ideology of much of American corporate Christianity is not biblical…it is a reflection of the syncretism of American folk mythology and Christianity.

It is borrowed from the foundation of capitalism and the corporate canon, not the pages of Scripture.

The goal is not to just “make disciples”, but to be “successful” according to the creeds of the culture.

Success according to that standard is measured by numbers and dollars, not souls saved or sins repented of.

Thus, if you are truly “making disciples” but you are not doing so in a manner that results in volume and cash, you have failed.

Conversely, if you are not really “making disciples” but you have volume in numbers and cash, you are successful.

The “Gospel” is a product that is both sold and paid for by the consumer.

The bottom line is not spiritual, but carnal, and must be capable of being measured.

Blessed are the successful, for they will speak at our next conference.

This is faith of the god of the pragmatic.

Because the god of the pragmatic delights only in the bottom line, that line must be protected.

Those who might be harmed in the process are collateral damage, sacrifices made to an insatiable god.

People are measured by their worth to the goal, not because they have intrinsic value.

The end always justifies the means…the product must be sold and volume must increase through any means necessary.

The “successful” are always counted as good.

Nobody should ever listen to a failure.

The god of the pragmatic is not pleased with failures.

They hurt the brand.

The brand is god.

We worship many gods in this country…

Dec 012015

timthumb.phpMatt Redmond on Jesus as the better Abel…

The IM on Christmas and Dickens…

The authority of science Scripture…

Murder is not pro-life…

Was Paul married?

Ten apocalypses that didn’t happen…

A plea to the church and the ones who are struggling…

A free classic on the early church…

Five mistakes pastors make on social media…

Jesus Freak album turns 20…

The golden age of exorcisms…

Five common objections to evolutionary creationism…

Does God ever coerce?

The WW on systemic abuse…

Rob Bells successor bails…

A look at evangelicals in the 1950’s…

We need more seeker friendly churches…

Five truths about eternal security…

Steve Brown on the God Who Came…

Should we only forgive those who repent?

Church and the single girl…

The Christian and this evil world…

After dinner, a beheading…

Planned Parenthood and those villainous Christians…

When calling somebody a heretic…

Unjust suffering is a gift from God…

Thanks to EricL for the help on the links and the work on my books. Support his work at top right.

Nov 302015

wmns_gfaWarren Throckmorton has two new stories that deserve your attention.

In the first, he’s asking anyone who carried money into India for GFA to tell him your story.

The second story tells of Calvary Chapel Auckland, NZ ceasing support for GFA.

In the letter to their membership, the church details why they are doing so…and that they will not change that decision even after correspondence with K.P. Yohannon.


It is been heartbreaking to see so many people still supporting this charity in the face of all the evidence.

We very much need other churches and leaders to follow the example of CC Auckland…and get the word out.

There are many in this country with much information that have been vocal supporters of GFA…and now that they know the truth, still refuse to speak.

They will be accountable before God for every loss they could have prevented.


Nov 302015

Calvin's Corner headerPhil and I talk about my new book, his new show, the Colorado shootings and the role of the pastor. All of that in one half hour. Amazing…

Download the mp3

Nov 302015

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. I read the excellent biography of Sam Phillips by Peter Guralnick last week. Phillips, (for the uninitiated), was the owner of Sun Records in the 1950’s and “discovered” Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, and Jerry Lee Lewis.

He was a man of singular vision and undeniable genius.He was also extremely complex and sinful.

To understand and appreciate the man one must hold the vision, genius, complexity, and sin in honest tension.

Such, I believe, is the case with all men….and why I reject hagiography.

When I read the “biographies” of “great” people in the Bible I read of redeemed sinners, not sinless saints.

Our expectations of leaders in the church should be of what has gone on before.

The mark of a godly and righteous person isn’t a lack of sin, but a willingness to repent where sin has happened.

Perhaps if our expectations were biblical, our actions and the actions of those who lead would be too…

2. Pondering whether my cat wonders if humans go to heaven…

3. I’m completely disgusted that every tragedy that happens in this country is now utilized for partisan political purposes…

4. I’m further disgusted by those who think there is some equivalence between a wicked man shooting up an abortion clinic and Muslim terrorists. Last time I checked, there weren’t armed groups of Christians terrorizing entire countries and taking the heads off those who wouldn’t convert…

5. There has been no doctrine responsible for more mischief in the church than the one that declares pastors and worship leaders as more “anointed” than the flock…

6. If your priority as a pastor is growth in numbers instead of growth in grace, you’re a manager, not a pastor…

7. To be successful in the kingdom of God you must be willing to be an abject failure in the kingdoms of men. This is much easier to say than to live…

8. Whatever happened to statesmen?

9. You have a better chance of winning the lottery than finding a Christian loving their “enemies” on Facebook. Remember the difference between Christians and the world is supposed to be love…

10. May God deliver us from the need to be right and deliver us onto a thirst for righteousness…



Nov 302015


MYOA Book2 Cover-1

Reader Hill is proud to announce the debut of a new non-fiction book series from Michael Newnham, a dad, cat-lover, and small-town pastor. Michael is best known for his Phoenix Preacher blog, which is one of the top 200 Christian websites in the USA.

Make Your Own Application is a series of unique 40-day devotionals that will challenge you, encourage you, and cause you to think.


In Book 2- WORK, WOES, and WISDOM– you will discover the spiritual lessons to be found in every-day life, from your job to your church community, from hard times and financial setback to experiencing intimacy with our Lord. Explore this very different devotional and, of course, make your own application…


Available in Print ($9.95) and E-book ($4.99) formats. Book sold by major retailers worldwide, including:


Barnes and Noble

Amazon UK

Also available from many independent bookstores nationwide.

Foreign Countries: Available from Amazon Germany, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon France, Amazon Italy, Amazon Spain, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon MexicoAmazon Brazil, and Amazon Netherlands.


Nov 282015

thumbnail.aspxFather, I want to know Thee, but my coward heart fears to give up its toys.

I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting.

I come trembling, but I do come.

Please root from my heart all Those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival.

Then shalt Thou make the place of Thy feet glorious.

Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall be no night there.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Nov 282015

bible-word-of-god_thumbHebrews 8:8-10

But God found fault with the people and said:

  • One of the longer OT quotes in the NT
  • Usually we get just a short passage – a verse or two quotation to make a point.
  • Here we have a long quote that is here for no other reason than to say God had a plan for a new covenant – because the old one was flawed.
  • Just as the old priesthood Aaronic / Levitical need to be replaced – by Jesus in the order of Melchezidek

“The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah”.

Jeremiah 31:31-34 – making the point that the old covenant under which Israel had its religious experience is now superseded by a new covenant. The writer’s interest is in the fact that under the new covenant forgiveness of sins is brought about. As soon as he comes to the words about forgiveness – he breaks off the quotation.

It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.

  • This covenant will be different
  • The Mosaic covenant was not just Law and Judgment – we also see compassion – “when I took them by the hand”
  • The new covenant is different – how?
  • By which way the blood goes – watch this closely.
  • Old Covenant the blood was delivered by us to God
  • Now the blood is delivered to us, by Jesus. Where do we see this best? (forget best, where do we see it at all?)
  • Of course, in the Lord’s Supper where instead of us bring our blood sacrifice to God; Jesus brings his blood, his real blood to us. Matt 26:26-29
  • “26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
  • Note – this new covenant is ‘written’ in the blood of Jesus.
  • Note – it has a purpose and it is efficacious in doing what it claims to do – forgive sin.
  • Note – Jesus delivers that forgiveness in real time at the table. Some groups have difficulty with this part.

10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

  • Here is the big issue. Who is this new covenant for? In our LCMS church we teach that it is for the people of God – us, today called the Church. That God promises in this to do a new thing – a game changer as we have said.
  • Some see “the people of Israel” and can see only ethnic / geographic Israel – that somehow this covenant already took place with the return to the land after the captivity OR and this is big today in America and particularly here where we are in Orange County – that this new covenant will take effect in the ‘last days’ after the Church has been removed in the rapture.
  • That this is not a new covenant that involves the Church, but at best the Church gains some benefits that rub off by being friendly to the nation Israel.
  • In other words, the promise of Jeremiah for a new covenant is the way God will save Israel at a later date. Oddly this is claimed even though the writer of Hebrews is using the Jeremiah “new covenant” passage to show that Jesus is the great high priest of this very same new covenant.
  • This is totally false, so we will move on.
  • After what time? After the time of failure
  • Heart & mind – why both? – It is inward and dynamic
  • We should not make a big distinction between mind & heart here. I have heard the saying “he missed heaven by 18 inches” meaning he had it in his head but not in his heart. God puts it both places and it is just as effective in either.
  • Part of the failure of the Old Covenant was its outwardness.
  • Laws were good, but they were written on tablets of stone.
  • A promise of a close relationship. “I will be … they will be.”
  • Not totally new – but stated with a new emphasis
  • Exodus 6:7 “I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.”
Nov 272015

Thanks to you folks who use the Amazon links to make your purchases.

A small percent comes back to me and it helps out a lot.

Support our advertisers…especially when they are part of the online community.

EricL features his books and services up on the top right side of the blog and helps me often with our Linkathon.

You can also make direct donations via PayPal using the “donate” button on the top left side of the site.

We covet your continued prayers and participation for what we do here.

I can always be reached at with your questions or concerns.

%d bloggers like this: