Understanding the Times

The spread of COVID-19 has everyone from governments and business to families and churches trying to tell what the future holds and how they should respond. We’ve been confronted with a disease we’ve never seen before. Yet, this time we’re seeing unprecedented steps, like whole nations being put on lock down, to prevent and contain its spread. When uncertainty runs high, panic and fear begin to reign.

Recognizing Advent

Advent was not a season that I recognized growing up. I was part of a conservative evangelical tradition that, for one reason or another, eschewed the liturgical calendar. As I’ve aged and (hopefully) matured I’ve come to appreciate more of the rhythm and cadence of the church calendar, although I’ve had to grow into it and submit myself to its influence.

I had to learn that

We’re not giving up on evangelism

The latest EFC survey numbers are in and they aren’t pretty. Canada is increasingly trending towards secularism. This is probably not a surprise to many. I remember reading a blog by John Stackhouse in reference to the 2011 Statistics Canada census data. He made the observation that, as piety in Canada has evaporated, Canadians have raced the Dutch for the fastest de-Christianization since the French Revolution. It’s a pan-Canadian quiet revolution as older people slowly but surely abandon Christian identity while an increasing number of younger people have never known the inside of a church and are in no hurry to see it.

Stewarding Fear

Perhaps you’ve heard, as I have, that there are 365 “fear nots” in the Bible – one for every day of the year. The impression given is that fear is a bad thing, something we should resist, avoid and turn from. The problem is that we are also told in Scripture to fear God. So are we to fear or not fear?

What’s Fear Got to Do with It?

What does fear have to do with the Missio Dei? This was the question I was asked when I pitched the idea of doing a series of blogs on fear. The truth is that fear is very influential in our engagement with God’s mission. What we fear, how we steward our fear, and our manner of processing fear all get played out, to some degree, in how we love God and our neighbour…