August 19, 2019

What Did Jesus’ Version of Community Look Like?

Commenter: Please explain what you mean by:”community as Jesus exemplified it”. Thanks It is the community that Jesus created and demonstrated during his earthly ministry. I would describe it as: Cross cultural: Jesus crossed every available cultural barrier to announce and practice the Kingdom. Counter cultural: Jesus was offering an alternative to the dominant cultural […]

Searching For A Community of Strugglers

Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives. (Paul the Apostle, Letter to the Galatians, 4:19, NLT) This line from Paul has stayed with me for two days. It comes from a section of the […]

Jesus: The Glory of the Christian Journey

I can’t speak for anyone else, just for me. When I became a Christian in 1974, I was immediately taught to define myself three ways. First, did I believe that I was a sinner and that Jesus died for my sins so I could go to heaven? Second, was I doing the the things my […]

Where Is Church Discipline When You Need It? (Part 4): Does Church Discipline Always Look Like Church Discipline?

My posts so far have carried an agenda. I would like readers to consider what church discipline looks like when it is the church’s compassionate ministry to those who are suffering, rather than primarily a punitive action toward those who are sinning. I am aware that, according to a full understanding of church discipline, it […]

The Love Of Jesus Is Enough: A Meditation on Morality

NOTE: I have chosen not to post a larger number of comments than usual. If you want to know why comments aren’t posted consult the IM F.A.Q. where this is addressed in one of the questions. I could have posted some perfect examples of moral reasoning following our love, but I think the point is […]

Where is Church Discipline When You Need It? Part 2: What does Matthew 18 Teach?

Without any intro, I’d like to get right into what I would be saying about Matthew 18 if I were lecturing on the “What does Matthew 18 tell us about church discipline?” I’d begin by noting that the church discipline material in I Corinthians 5 predates Matthew 18 in composition. Assuming Markan priority, it’s safe […]

Where Is Church Discipline When You Need It? Part 1: A Better Approach

Down through the years, I’ve been part of a few in-church discussions about church discipline. They were all memorable. Almost everyone was against it and treated me like I was going off the deep end for bringing it up. Being against church discipline was an issue worth yelling over, and I’ve been yelled at more […]

iMonk 101: What Kind Of Person Will Be A Disciple?

From April of ’08. Now – here is my secret: I tell it to you with an openness of heart that I doubt I shall ever achieve again, so I pray that you are in a quiet room as you hear these words. My secret is that I need God that I am sick and […]

iMonk 101: Jesus, Joel and The Hard Parts of the Gospel

From February of 2005. I’ve never reprinted this one and it’s one of the most “Jesus shaped” essays I’ve written. I have renamed it. It was originally called “Read It Again…And Don’t Skip The Hard Parts.” Let’s be honest. A lot of Christians have no idea what to do with the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ […]

What Is Jesus Shaped Spirituality?

The past year and a half has been the most personally tumultuous time I’ve ever experienced as a Christian believer. At one time or another in this past year, I have re-evaluated every area of my Christianity, often with many tears, prayers and hours of reading. Much of this has been in response to the […]