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 […]

Dave Black on the American Dream

I just extracted a post from Dave Black’s blog and put it on The Jesus Paradigm. For those unacquainted with Dave’s blog, I do this so that I can get a permanent link, and I have his permission to do so.

Dave asks some important questions. How do our values impact the way that we […]

When Fear Drives


Recently the topic of risk and danger has come up in several discussions of Christian Ministry. Shauna Hyde, who I interviewed along with Chris Surber, has spent the night in tent town with homeless folks and earned the informal title “vicar of tent town.” People have told her she’s crazy. But she manages to live […]

From My Editing Work: Our Global Kingdom Citizenship

Two paragraphs from Rendering unto Caesar:

The most obvious conflict with the fusion of Christian and American identity is that it denies the universal nature of the Kingdom of God. When our allegiances are too strongly aligned with any kingdom of this world, be it the relatively benevolent kingdom of America or a malevolent kingdom […]