Four ways teaching Christians to embrace “I’m the worst sinner I know” is harming the church

SermonTitleSome background of the teaching

When CJ Mahaney began proclaiming “I’m the worst sinner I know” somewhere around the late 1990s, it certainly wasn’t the first time this teaching had been promoted. But from what I could find, this was when it began to go mainstream.

Mahaney himself claimed it regularly, often even as a way of introducing himself when he would stand up to speak. “I’m CJ Mahaney, and I’m the worst sinner I know.”

But it isn’t only Mahaney who is supposed to be the worst sinner he knows. Each one of us Continue reading

A song I love to hate

I don’t really hate it . . . but I dislike it a lot.

It has such a beautiful title: “I Am Satisfied with Jesus.” My heart leaps up in response to that title. Yes!

It’s an old song, sung in the churches in which I grew up, so you may not know it. It goes like this: Continue reading

“If you died tonight, what would you say to God to get Him to let you into His heaven?”

I had opened the front door to find two women standing there. I think they may have introduced themselves, and possibly told what church they represented. But then one of them said this line. This memorized line.

My first thought? What a confrontational thing to say!

My second thought? This is what it feels like to be on the other side of the door. Continue reading

Should my life be centered around the gospel?

“So what do you mean by gospel?”

My friend was taken aback by my question. She had just been talking about the importance of living a gospel-centered life, based on the transforming power of the gospel.

But I had been feeling some concern that gospel is becoming more and more of a buzzword Continue reading

Lessons from Teaching English as a Second Language

Teaching English as a Second Language has taught me something about English: There are loads of rules. People from other countries who just have to learn the rules and then all the rules about the rules (meta-rules?) can feel utterly overwhelmed with the complexity of the language we speak naturally. They can even become resentful. They could wish that English were their first language, but of course that cannot be.

But if you grew up in a home where English is spoken all the time, and spoken correctly, then it will seem natural, and the rules will come easily. In fact, you’ll be able to intuit rules you’ve never even heard. “Oh yes, I see. I thought so.” Continue reading