My Life among the Deathworks by Philip Reiff Philip Reiff, an American sociologist who passed away in 2006, wrote a fascinating book titled, My Life among the Deathworks. In the book, he discusses a concept, which he calls "anti-cultures." "Anti-cultures," Reiff stated, "translate no sacred order into social" (p. 6). Reiff elaborated, "[Anti-cultures] propose an … Continue reading 2 Questions Christians Should Ask about the Respect for Marriage Act
God calls us to be ambitious for the growth and expansion of his kingdom between the "already" of our conversions and the "not yet" of our home going. Paul David Tripp, Lead, p. 34 Tripp's quote attempts to relieve a bit of tension for those in ministry positions. Many Christian leaders seem to struggle with … Continue reading Leadership Ambition: Morally Praiseworthy or Morally Problematic?
The Fear When I teach or share about the dangers of social media among ministry leaders, I am often confronted with a hesitant smile, a subtle eye roll, or the polite head nod. The reasons are multitudinous, but I think that many people in ministry have an underlying fear that prevents them from deleting their … Continue reading How to Use Social Media in Ministry
The Excitement and Unease of Hiring Hiring staff is an exciting time in the life of any church or organization. Building a team signifies that your organization or church is growing. Of course, the hiring process could also be filled with uncertainties and insecurities. Questions like: What if we hire the wrong person? What if … Continue reading Are You Hiring? The 4 C’s for Building Your Team
The Defeat and Reality of Sin My demeanor changed. My heart sank. My disposition became gloomy. The moment I was notified that another mega church pastor was being removed--albeit temporarily--from a ministry position broke my heart. My theological commitments acknowledge that we still live in a fallen world. Yes, sin has been defeated by Jesus, … Continue reading Ministry Leader, Consider Deleting Your Instagram Account Today
Introduction Carl R. Trueman is professor of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College and earned his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Aberdeen. He is a renown church historian and wrote The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to the Sexual Revolution with this … Continue reading The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: A Review and Brief Analysis
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 As Christians, we should believe that every person--no matter their stage of life or what type of capabilities they do or do not have--is made in the image of God. This … Continue reading 5 Ways to Encourage Christians Now that Roe v. Wade Has Been Overturned
Many of us are experiencing a variety of emotions as we reflect on the tragedy that occurred at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, 2022. Some of us are experiencing grief or pain, while others feel anger or uncertainty. To be sure, many of us have a variety of emotions as we … Continue reading A Prayer for the Parents of Uvalde, Texas
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to … Continue reading 3 Reasons to Make Your Disciples Write
The Hypothetical Scenario Join me in a thought experiment. You and I are meeting for coffee--perhaps we know each other or this is our first time meeting. We sit down at a table with coffee in hand, and I open the conversation with who I am, where I live, and all the great things I … Continue reading The Elevation of Self: Social Media’s Underlying Motive
Mark 11-16 record the final week of our Lord's earthly life. Mark devotes more than one-third of his Gospel to "Passion Week."Daniel L. Akin, Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary: Exalting Jesus in Mark, p. 242 The Lord's sovereignty never ceases to amaze me even in the seemingly small details of life. Akin's quote above shows us that … Continue reading How to Prepare for Easter Sunday (April 17, 2022)
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, "Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'" John appeared, baptizing in … Continue reading Why Does Mark’s Gospel Begin with the Ministry of John the Baptist?
The Truth About Parenting Willy Wonka once said, "We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that. Reverse it." This sentence rings true for Christian parents because let's just admit it, parenting is hard, time consuming, and a joyous work. God has graciously given us these little ones to raise in a … Continue reading How to Check on Your Child’s Heart with One Question
Scenario If you have been in a congregationally-led local church for any length of time, you might be familiar with this situation. Your beloved pastor has resigned and moved on to another place of ministry or calling. The church appoints a Pastor Search Team (PST) to begin looking for their next pastor. The job description, … Continue reading M.DIV., M.A., D.MIN–What Does It All Mean? Understanding School Degrees As A Pastor Search Team Member
And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, "This is my beloved Son; listen to him." And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.Mark 9:7-8 This event displays the second time readers of Mark's Gospel have witnessed a voice exclaim that Jesus is God's … Continue reading Jesus Is God’s Beloved Son: A Lesson from Mark 9:7-8
And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah." For he did not know what else to say, for they were … Continue reading The Old Testament Points Us to Jesus: A Lesson from Mark 9:4-5
And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.Mark 9:2-3 Mark's Source Many scholars argue that Mark's Gospel comes from the … Continue reading Jesus’ Transfiguration Reflects His True Nature
And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.Mark 9:2-3 Why Six Days? Mark, under the divine inspiration of the Holy … Continue reading Jesus Is Greater than Moses
If you are like me, you might be constantly bombarded with the, "Why can't I have a phone, daddy?" question from your children. Perhaps you respond with your reasons for seemingly denying your child this "lifeline" to the outside world. Your child, more than likely, responds with the, "But, all my friends have one." Maybe … Continue reading Should I Get My Child A Cell Phone? A Proverbs Pathway to Help You Answer this Question
Disclaimer: The contents of this post have been adapted for parents from a sermon that I preached on 1/09/2022 at Holly Grove Baptist Church in Spring Hope, NC. The Bible clearly teaches that Christians parents ought to be the primary disciple makers of their child or children (cf. Deut 6:4-9; Prov 22:6; Eph 6:1-4)--I will … Continue reading 5 Ways to Disciple Your Child
Preachers are finite human beings—albeit sometimes I think many of us forget this reality. We feel like we have to have all the answers, but in truth, we need to recognize that God’s omniscience humbles us as gospel communicators and students of God's Word. A belief in the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture ought to … Continue reading How to Preach Multiple Views in Your Sermon
Introduction: In my studies at Southeastern, I had a professor once encourage us to publish journal articles instead of books as budding scholars. He pointed out that many of us will continue to grow as followers of Christ because the Lord constantly refines us as theologians. Of course, this is what what happens when you … Continue reading One Reason I Hesitate to Publish My Sermons Online
Our children were recently granted a four day break from school. Many children spend their time doing various activities like: playing outside, watching movies, playing sports, and possibly playing video games. However, my wife and I have a child that decided to spend his time writing an essay. Yes, you read that correctly. On a … Continue reading Why TikTok Contributes to Bad Behavior in Children? Observations from a Ten Year Old
The dangers of social media are becoming more observable in our society. People are divided. Civil discourse dwindles in the online sphere. Tempers rage as people engage on these various platforms. Many social media users remain oblivious to the reality that the person on the other side of a screen exists as a real human … Continue reading Love Your Neighbor: Think About Deleting Your Social Media Accounts
Introduction: This story generates out of a real-life experience from my studies in the Ph.D. program at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. It was a lesson that I will never forget and has shaped me as both a pastor and a scholar. This experience illustrates the value of theological education. To put it another way, seminary … Continue reading One Invaluable Lesson I Learned at Seminary
Cancel culture seems to be a growing and increasingly hostile movement in the American context. This campaign has no boundaries because anyone is susceptible to its crosshairs. The idea behind this new societal approach admonishes people who speak against the accepted and ever-changing beliefs of the majority or most vocal. No one is safe! Anyone … Continue reading Why Cancel Culture Needs the Gospel
One of my favorite questions to ask pastors when I sit with them is, "What does your sermon preparation process look like?" By God's grace, he has wired every single one of us differently; therefore, everyone's process is unique to them. Some pastors prepare later in the week while others prepare all week long. A … Continue reading Your First Step in Sermon Prep
Disclaimer: this blog post comes out of a sermon I preached on 9/12/2021 at First Baptist Church Spring Hope in Spring Hope, nc. At the top of Mark's Gospel in my Bible are written the words, "The King has come!" I am not sure when I wrote this or what sermon I was listening to … Continue reading How Does Jesus’s Kingship Comfort Believers?
My oldest son and I attended the Dude Perfect Tour in Raleigh, North Carolina. From the outset, our family are unofficial members of the Dude Perfect fan club--I don't know if an official fan club really exists. Our family practices the Christian virtue of patience each Monday to see if a new video drops on … Continue reading Dude Perfect Did What On Tour?
https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B06XFJ2JGR&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_075F03D0Y6N6DP52244P Donald Miller. Building A StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen. HarperCollins, 2017. 228 pp. Hardback. ISBN 978-0718033323. $24.99. Donald Miller wrote Building A StoryBrand with this purpose in mind, "Your customer should be the hero of the story, not your brand" (p. ix). The book takes the reader through Miller's "seven-part framework" … Continue reading Review of Building A Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller
A Hypothetical Scenario Pretend for a moment that you are the parent of a 7 year old child. It goes without saying, but just for the sake of argument, you love your child very deeply. In your love for your child, you decide to take them to a water park--the best one in the world. … Continue reading How God’s Moral Law Benefits Believers
Make no mistake, we are sending our kids out into a hostile world and we need to prepare them for that. We can’t be content with a thin layer of religiosity, kids who don’t cuss, don’t have sex and know how to vote. We need to teach them that Jesus is worth living and dying … Continue reading 4 Strategies to Teach Your Children to Be Totally Devoted to Jesus
Tattoos seem to be on the rise in our American culture. Through mere observation, anyone can see that people are getting inked at a much higher rate than previous generations. Self-proclaimed Christians seem to be practicing this type of body art at the same pace as those who are not believers. Perhaps even adopting inking … Continue reading Advice I Would Have Given to My Younger Self about Tattoos
Parenting is one of the hardest tasks in this life. I know from experience because God has blessed my wife and I with five of them. Yes, you read that right, 5. As a Christian parent, I think many of us who identify as followers of Christ have a difficult time parenting from a biblical … Continue reading Teach Your Child to Be a Good Winner
French Philosopher, Jacques Ellul, wrote The Technological Bluff in 1990. His work contains insights that were before his time when it comes to technology, technique, and technological progress. In this post, I want us to think about Ellul's words as it pertains to the impact of remote learning for children in grammar school. He wrote, … Continue reading Human Goldfish: A Hypothesis of Remote Learning’s Impact on the Future of Grammar School Children
The mentality of many churchgoers in America is, "What can the church do for me?" We live in a consumeristic society so it makes sense that believers living in America would shop for a church just like they would a pair of shoes. My purpose for writing this post is to encourage believers seeking church … Continue reading 4 Reasons to Consider Joining a Church Being Revitalized
This blog post comes out of a sermon I preached on 7/25/2021 at First Baptist Church Spring Hope.-Jeremy Bell When is the last time you ever heard a sermon about dying well as a Christian? The chances are probably never, and I find this extremely odd. If the gospel is to be at the center … Continue reading How to Die as a Christian
As I write this, I am nearly in disbelief. I feel like I need to pinch myself to see if the reality of our eldest child going to church youth camp is really happening. *Pinched myself* Guess what? It is confirmed; she is headed off to youth camp. By God's grace, our little baby girl … Continue reading Parenting with an Eternal Perspective
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!Psalm 100:1-2 The Psalmist shows us that singing exists as one important aspect of worshipping God. Psalm 100:2b asserts, "Come into his presence with singing!" Thus, singing should have a part to play in corporate worship … Continue reading Think about Scripture while Singing in Corporate Worship Gatherings
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.Galatians 5:22-23 Before coming on staff at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, I served as a Lead Pastor at a normative size church in South Carolina. Words cannot express all the lessons that I learned in this pastorate, but … Continue reading Young Pastor, Practice the Spirit’s Fruit of Patience
This coming Tuesday and Wednesday registered messengers from all over will join together in Nashville, Tennessee for the annual Southern (Great Commission) Baptist Convention. For those unfamiliar with Baptist polity, this will be a well-attended business meeting. Reports indicate that approximately "20,000 messengers and guests" will be in attendance. I will be in attendance as … Continue reading How to Pray for #SBC21
https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00C5QA3NG&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_GC5PHTRKVADQQ4MEVDGP John MacArthur. Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship. Nelson Books, 2013. 333 pp. Hardback. ISBN 978-1400205172. $18.49. This book could be considered by some to be outdated since it was written in 2013, but the Charismatic Movement remains a prevalent false theology that permeates society today. Renowned theologian, … Continue reading Review of Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship by John MacArthur
The other week I was sitting in our small group, and I made this comment, "When sharing your testimony, do not glorify sin because it will take away from the glory of the Savior who redeemed you." I was asked by one of our small group members to further explain my statement. The context of … Continue reading A Common Mistake Believers Make When Sharing Their Testimony
Though God in this threefold revelation has provided answers to our questions concerning Him, the answers by no means lie on the surface. They must be sought by prayer, by long meditation on the written Word, and by earnest and well-disciplined labor. However brightly the light may shine, it can be seen only by those … Continue reading 5 Helpful Tips for Scripture Meditation
A Christian perspective on mask wearing.
3 reasons I deactivated my Facebook account that may encourage you to do the same.
In chapter 35, I argued from the manslaughter legislation of the Mosaic law the principle that we should not only avoid murder, but should also be very careful to guard against the possible destruction of human life....But where it is evident that carelessness can lead and has led to tragedy, we must take precautions (The … Continue reading A Clarification of Frame’s Doctrine of Carefulness
Ken Myers, the founder of Mars Hill Audio, once said in his Epiphany Lectures that he does not like to be prophetic. By prophetic, he does not mean that he has been given some special word from God similar to that of the Old Testament prophets. He is not claiming a "Thus says the Lord," … Continue reading Rethinking Pastoral Ministry in America: How Pastors Should Start Thinking About the Future