The Paradoxes of Church Membership

If you’re a church member, have you ever stopped to think about how weird you are? Because you are. Very, very weird. But don’t take it personally. It really has nothing to do with you. (You’re totally normal. I promise.) Instead, the weirdness has to do with the nature of church membership itself. Most of us…

The Works of Wisdom (Jas. 3:13-18)

We are living in what is arguably the most informed and educated society in history. Yet in spite of our vast knowledge, it would be hard to argue that we’ve collectively become any wiser. If anything, we’re more foolish than ever. Why is this? What keeps us from growing in the kind of wisdom that…

#MonthlyMusic: New Jams for July

The stars have somehow aligned to make this summer the summer of incredible brand-spankin’-new music. Over the course of the next few months, an impressive roster of great artists will be releasing much-anticipated albums. And that means that right now we’re in prime season to sample the singles that these artists are releasing in anticipation…

Mayweather, McGregor, and Our Modern Hypocrisy

[Note: The following article contains strong language some may find offensive.] The sports world is abuzz with hype surrounding the upcoming fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. And the fact that the two fighters are in the middle of a “world tour” to promote their impending showdown certainly adds fuel to the fire. On…

The Universal Superpower (Jas. 3:1-12)

Whether we realize it or not, we all have a superpower: the tongue. It’s a small, unimpressive part of our bodies, but it has tremendous power and influence. The problem with superpowers, however, is that they’re not always used for good. So what does it look like to use this powerful instrument in a constructive…

Justified by Works (Jas. 2:20-26)

It may well be one of the most difficult sentences in the Bible: “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” To those of us who have been around sound, gospel-centered theology, this can sound like outright heresy! But what James is trying to tell us is not heretical,…

Hypothetical Grace

Have you ever participated in one of those group ice-breaker activities where you’re asked questions about far-fetched scenarios? Something like, “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” Or, “If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only have one item with you, what would you choose?” Those questions can be…

Naked Faith (Jas. 2:14-19)

What good is faith alone? That is the question James asks to challenge those of us who tend to think of Christianity merely as an internal, privatized set of beliefs. He wants us to see that if our faith doesn’t lead us to serve others and meet the needs of those around us, then it’s…

Living in the Depths of Love (Jas. 2:8-13)

God has called all followers of Jesus to demonstrate indiscriminate and inclusive love toward all people, regardless of one’s external appearances or worldly status. However, this requires us to live at a depth of love that most people aren’t familiar with. In order to survive and thrive at such a depth, we must be aware…

Stay in Your Seat

What do you do when you’re upset? When you find yourself in sharp disagreement with someone? When your voice doesn’t seem to be heard? Here’s one suggestion: stay in your seat. By now you’ve probably heard about the Notre Dame graduates who walked out on Vice President Mike Pence during his commencement address a few…

When the Church Plays Favorites (Jas. 2:1-7)

Although you may feel that favoritism in the world is frustrating and unfair, you’ll have a hard time denying that it’s normal. Everywhere we turn, we see “insiders” getting special treatment and “outsiders” being marginalized. But James calls the church to a different standard. What is accepted in the world should be unthinkable in the…

A World of Difference (Jas. 1:22-27)

Two people are sitting in front of their Bibles, reading the words before them. One walks away and looks for ways to put into practice the things she has read. The other walks away and gets caught up in the craziness of life, forgetting the things she just read. James wants us to understand that…