Moment Maker

For a few weeks now I’ve been thinking about my message for our worship night last Sunday. We landed on the theme “Moments.” When I met with some of the Creative Arts people to talk through it a few of them recommended I read a recent book on a similar subject by Carlos Whittaker. His book is called Moment Maker and turned out to be a surprisingly engaging experience. Whittaker reads like a young Bob Goff (a bit crazy with a healthy dose of witty humor). He’s the perfect guy to write a book about making moments happen. As you can see in the video above, he has a track record of crazy stories happening around him.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from his book:

(more…)

Top 20 Quotes from Leadership Summit (2014)

Top 20 Quotes from Leadership Summit (2014)

I spent the last two days flooded with insights and encouragement from speakers at the Leadership Summit. For those of you who may be unaware, The Leadership Summit is a two day conference hosted by Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. Central has hosted the event the last few years at one of our campuses.

Below I’ve selected twenty of my favorite quotes from the event. Each of these quotes is my best representation in writing of what they said verbally or a summary thereof. Any errors in wording are my own. Click here to see other posts I’ve done featuring my top 20 quotes.

(more…)

A Theological Response to Robin Williams (and Matt Walsh)

This is one part of a two part response to the suicide of Robin Williams and Matt Walsh’s blog about him. Click here to see a psychiatric response.

It’s hard to miss headline writers like Matt Walsh these days. He gives voice to the super conservatives among us and is one heck of a catchy writer. In light of the latest celebrity tragedy this week, Walsh wrote the following tweet for his blog post.

As you can imagine, this garnered a fair amount of criticism. He wasted no time returning the fire and putting the blame back on his critics: 

To answer his question, we were reading his post where he said that the disease Robin Williams had was irrelevant to the fact that he chose suicide. Walsh chooses to play dumb to this association but he shows a dangerous way of approaching people with pain in the midst of weakness.

(more…)

The Vine

The closer you get to Jesus the more vibrantly you’ll experience life.

Top 10 Theology Books

***List updated August 2014

I originally made this list in October of 2013 and since then it has been continually in my mind as a resource for others. As I continue to read I also continue to refine my list. Below are my most up to date ten recommendations for theology books.

These are not the deepest theological books you’ll ever find, or even books you are likely to find in a Bible college setting. Instead, these ten books serve as great examples of practical theology that is approachable enough for anyone to understand (as is not the case with most theology books). As such, I’d highly recommend this list to anyone looking to deepen their understanding of Scripture and how God interacts with His people. Upon those we can properly build an understanding of how to fully treat others as God intended.

While I can’t promise that you’ll agree with all that you read on this list (I don’t myself), I can promise you that they will cause you to ask new questions, to think new thoughts, and to walk away with a stronger grasp of your faith.

(more…)

Misquoted Verses of the Bible (Job 1:21)

This post is part of a series looking at misquoted verses of the Bible. Click here to see others.

Is it true that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away? It’s generally accepted to be that way. We often hear this at funerals or whenever some unexplainable disaster hits us. It’s a way of acknowledging things don’t make sense and throwing all responsibility to God alone. This statement originally came from the lips of a man who loses everything himself. In the book of Job we see the awful experience of a guy who loses his possessions, his health, and his children. He gets to keep his wife, although I have a feeling he would have traded her for one of the things he lost after she tells him to “curse God and die” (2:9).

Job expresses his reaction to his suffering like this:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (1:21)

We sing worship songs with this lyric as you can see from the Matt Redman video above (at the 2:16 mark). If you’ve been around in church for the last ten years you’ve likely sang it. The context for Job saying it was worship as well (1:20). But stop a moment and consider what this means. If you lose your job, did God take it away? If a woman is raped, did God take this away from her? For the little child who is murdered, did God take them away? Is God the source of pain in our lives?

What kind of a sadistic view of God does this actually create?

(more…)