The Grace of a Great: A Farewell to LeBron James

What is it about LeBron James that generates so much raw emotion and passion among his fans? Is it because of his two NBA championships, four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, two NBA Finals MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals, an NBA scoring title, and the NBA Rookie of the Year Award? His pure athletic […]

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Unburdened

In 1 John 5:3-4 John makes what seems, on the face of it, to be a ridiculous claim: the commands of God are not burdensome. What? Has John not read the Old Testament with its 613 commandments? Was he not there for the Sermon on the Mount, complete with Jesus’ proclamation that his followers are […]

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“Get Better” Doesn’t Work

In a New York Times op-ed, Oliver Burkeman suggests something counter-intuitive, but obvious: the more you force someone to have fun, the less fun they’ll have. His piece is called “Who Goes to Work to Have Fun,” and the money quote is this one: “Psychologists have shown that positive-thinking affirmations make people with low self-esteem feel […]

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God Threw a Stone

As I’ve said before: God speaks two words to the world. People have called them many things: Law and Gospel, Judgment and Love, Critique and Grace, and so on. In essence, though, it’s pretty simple: first God gives us bad news (about us) and then he gives us Good News (about Jesus). This is perhaps […]

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Punk’d by Grace

During a radio interview last week, the interviewer told me a story that gets to the heart of how grace transforms. He was a camp counselor one summer and one of his responsibilities was to go around with another counselor and check the cabins every morning while the students were at breakfast. In order to […]

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Progressing Downward

Last month, I talked about Reader’s Digest Christianity, and how it reduced the Christian faith to pithy, easily-achievable goals that ensure our personal improvement. Today, I have a different (though depressingly similar) target: “LiveStrong” Christianity. LiveStrong bracelets are today even more popular than the infamous WWJD bracelets were 10 years ago, despite the public fall […]

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Reader’s Digest Christianity

For a while, my parents were getting Reader’s Digest every month while I was growing up. Because they were stored next to the toilet, they were widely read. In each and every issue there was an interview with some celebrity, usually an actor or an athlete. Reader’s Digest‘s favorite kind of celebrity was the “self-made” […]

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What Binds Up Broken Relationships

It doesn’t matter where you live, what you do for a living, or how you spend your free time, you have experienced, are experiencing, or will experience the wreckage of broken relationships. Infidelity, divorce, misunderstanding, fragmented workplaces, even death…these things touch us all, even in the “safe haven” of church. Broken relationships are everywhere. But […]

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Redeeming Repetition

“Christianity can be summed up in the two terms faith and love…receiving from above [faith] and giving out below [love].” Martin Luther One of the most common objections that those of us who are committed to preaching the gospel of grace week in and week out hear is, “Ok…I get it. Can we move on […]

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