Seven Marks: Genuine Relationships

The fourth mark of a New Testament church that Dave Black finds in Acts he calls genuine relationships. The early believers devoted themselves to the fellowship, to their community. There are so many words for it.

In America today we rarely think of the church as a community and even more rarely as our community. […]

Seven Marks: Excursus on Change

nt church books

One of the most interesting and troubling things I’ve found about myself and my church (any of the churches of which I’ve been a member!) is the number of things we know we should do and even decide we will do, but which never get done. Seven Marks of a New Testament Church is certainly […]

Hey Folks, I Shrunk the Gospel!

Well, I didn’t do it alone, but I don’t think I can plead completely “not guilty.”

Tonight at 7 pm (about a half hour from when I’m posting this), I’ll be interviewing Lee Wyatt, author of the new book The Incredible Shrinking Gospel. Join me!

Google+ Event page.

Or watch live on YouTube:


Seven Marks: Baptism

nt church books

(This continues a series that started here, and continues with part 2, part 3, and part 4.)

The second mark of a New Testament church according to Dr. David Alan Black is Christian baptism. He explains why he explicitly uses the term “Christian” with baptism. There’s a distinction there that’s important and Dave discusses it. […]

Who Needs Evangelism?

nt church books

(This continues a series that started here, and continues with part 2 and part 3.)

Dave’s first mark of a New Testament church is evangelistic preaching. (Book: Seven Marks of a New Testament Church.) I’m a member of a church that’s part of a mainline denomination. I’m a mainliner. In general, we don’t like the […]

Experience, Belief, Action: An Exercise from Bruce Epperly


I will be putting more material from Bruce Epperly in as I post more on the church, but here’s an exercise he suggests in his book Transforming Acts, pp. 19-20.

Acts of the Apostles is clear that doctrines are symbiotically related to behavior. Our doctrines emerge from spirit-centered experiences. Our experiences are clarified by our […]

Some Lessons from Tilling My Garden

garden and tiller

Well, my prospective, perhaps presumptive garden, that is.

One of the important elements to understanding stories in the Bible, parables included, is our perspective. In Christian circles, when we hear “the sower went forth to sow,” (Matthew 13:3), or perhaps “a farmer went out to sow his seed,” we generally see ourselves in the role […]

Keys to a Church Following Jesus

Before I dig into this series organized around Dave Black’s book Seven Marks of a New Testament Church, I want to make a couple of off-the-cuff remarks.

Over the last few years I’ve come to believe that we have two key elements that need to be changed, but more fundamentally, we keep talking about the […]

Link: Sinners Don’t Come to Us

9 Reasons Why Sinners Went to Jesus but Don’t Come to Us.

Last Night on the Tuesday Night Energion Hangout: Stewardship


Pastors and church leaders cringe at the “s” word, because so many members don’t want to hear about it. Sometimes they blame the members for not wanting to dedicate their wallets to the Lord. But is that precisely what we should be asking church members to do?

I think the resources to carry out the […]