Derek Webb – Part 1 of My Interview

So many of my experiences with the church in the South are best understood through some of Derek Webb’s songs, so we spent a couple of hours together the day before Thanksgiving in 2013 talking about Jesus, the church and the south. Because my brevity is your levity, I’ve taken the liberty to edit the transcription, but all is true to my questions and his answers. Look for several posts this week featuring highlights from our conversation, all in lead up to the release of my first book, Southern Fried Faith. Below, we talk about the role of the church in his […]

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How to Earn Your Place in Heaven by Michael Bloomberg

From the NYT via The Weekly Standard: “If (Michael Bloomberg) senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.” So, how does one go about earning his place in heaven, according […]

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Share in Suffering. Don't Shoot our Wounded

Chained in a Roman dungeon, awaiting his execution, Paul wrote to Timothy for the last time, a letter we now call 2 Timothy. In chapter 2, Paul gave Timothy the following advice, and gave him three metaphors for following through on it. The advice? “Share in suffering.” And here are the metaphors. “Share in suffering” as a good soldier of Christ Jesus by not getting entangled in the concerns of civilian life, instead seeking only to please his recruiter. “Share in suffering” like an athlete who competes according to the rules. “Share in suffering” like a hardworking farmer who sees the […]

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Ten Questions to Ask Before You Watch or Skip Noah

Here are ten questions I’m asking myself before I decide whether or not to see “Noah.” What movies have I seen that truly portrayed the Bible or the gospel accurately? Is that even possible? Would it make it a good movie? Is an intentionally inaccurate portrayal of a Bible story cause for not seeing a movie? Why or why not? Is it cause for encouraging others one way or the other? Why or why not? Do I allow my children to watch videos that obscure either the plot and/or meaning of any part of the Bible? Compare and contrast the quality, substance, coherence, […]

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World Vision – Reactions to their Recent Announcement

For more than one Christmas, we’ve made purchases from World Vision or contributions in some other way. I imagine many Christians like me are now pondering their recent decision to hire practicing homosexuals. In fact, here are a few reactions worth reading. “When World Vision says “We cannot jump into the fight on one side or another on this issue,” here is the side they do in fact jump onto: We forbid fornication and adultery as acceptable lifestyles among our employees (which they do), but we will not forbid the regular practice of homosexual intercourse. To presume that this position […]

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The Dangers of Materialism

Ten Fatal Dangers of Materialism Materialism hinders or destroys our spiritual lives. Materialism is a broken cistern that can’t hold water. Materialism blinds us to the curses of wealth. Materialism brings us unhappiness and anxiety. Materialism ends in futility. Materialism obscures many of life’s greatest blessings. Materialism spawns independence and self-sufficiency. Materialism leads to pride and elitism. Materialism promotes injustice and exploitation. Materialism fosters immorality and the deterioration of the family. From Randy Alcorn’s “Managing God’s Money”

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Becoming Like Jesus is Like Farming

I have fond memories of my small-town upbringing in what was predominantly an agricultural community. If you’ve never walked half-paved country roads with a .22 rifle and shot birds and turtles indiscriminately … or leaped fearlessly (and rather foolishly) into mountains of recently picked cotton … or been thrown violently from a spinning go-cart on a gravel parking lot … you’re really missing out on a rural, even distinctly southern, upbringing. Those were the days. There is much to learn from those who live close to the earth … who work it … work around it … make it bleed […]

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Not Many of You Should Become Movie Directors, My Brothers

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. James 3:1 I was in Dallas, TX at a Catalyst Conference when I saw what was purported to be the very first public viewing of a trailer for the movie Noah. As the release date nears, there are stories in the press about how evangelical Christians invited to private screenings were frustrated or disappointed in the movie’s portrayal of Noah. Now, some three weeks from opening night, reflections like those of Jerry Johnson (positive and negative) are emerging. […]

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Christians or Cattle?

The boys and I are particularly into an author right now named Ralph Moody. He’s probably best known for “Come On, Seabiscuit,” but his “Little Britches” series is outstanding. Near the end of book two, “Man of the Family,” (there are 8 in the series), Little Britches has the summer of his life trading and moving cattle with other cowpokes. By the end of the summer, he not only has named most of the female dairy cattle after women in his hometown, but he also has an acute understanding of their personalities. While reading the section below, I couldn’t help but […]

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