A Conversation About ISIS

Last weekend I preached a message that touched on the way we view our enemies (you can watch it here). I then receieved an email from a lady in our church who began to wrestle with these ideas and explore them further. I’m reposting my correspondence with her (with permission) in hopes that it might address questions you have as well. Or even better, get you to a place where you start asking these types of questions. I have edited it slightly for grammar or for better readability.

I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m physically sickened when I hear or see what ISIS is doing. My heart aches as I know does the heart of God. Arriving at some of these tougher answers is not by ignoring the darkness we see in the world, but rather by looking for the light of Christ in the midst of that darkness.

Here’s her initial email:


A Few Good Men… and Women

Do you see what God sees?

Intentional Living

Here’s a video we shot for TheIntentionalLife.com about our experience as foster parents.

"Save us from these comforts. Break us of our need for the familiar. Spare us any joy that’s not of You, and we will worship You."

18th Century Puritan Prayer

The Story Comes Full Circle

We are going through The Story at Central right now and this past weekend we covered Joshua and the city of Jericho. I had a few people ask me about how we reconcile God’s command for the Israelites to wipe everyone out. That includes women and children. Stop for a moment and actually imagine God asking you to carry out that order. Sound horrific? Hopefully it does. This leads us to a problem that any critical thinker who ponders this story has to wrestle with. What do we do with this story in light of what we see in Jesus?

We have a few obvious answers to this question:

  1. It is literal history and we must accept it as is.
  2. It is an allegory and is not to be taken literally in any way (as the early theologian Origen does)
  3. Something else is going on with this narrative that requires deeper interpretation.


The Gift of Bad Leaders

I’ve arrived at a leadership axiom after a couple different observations collided together in my head.

Example #1: Recently I watched as one of the people on my team had to navigate a difficult situation. To top it off, he was fixing a problem from someone else. On one hand, it wasn’t fair he had to do this. But that comes with the territory when you lead well. It was precisely because of his great leadership he was given the task of fixing another person’s problem.

Example #2: This coincided with a story I was reading about Moses. As Moses is receiving the “big ten,” his brother Aaron is busy enabling the Israelites to start making their own gods and essentially forgetting everything God had just done for them. When Moses confronts his brother, Aaron gives a typical—yet awesomely moronic—defense of his poor leadership: