Airing my dirty laundry at Bob Jones University

How was it that I had begun to take certain wrongdoing so lightly? How was it that I could justify theft?

I was a graduate assistant at Bob Jones University. That meant while I was taking my grad classes, I was also working thirty hours a week at Bob Jones University Press to pay my school bill.

Except there came a point where I wasn’t working. I don’t know how it happened, really, Continue reading

The Heavenly Man: Revival in China . . . and Iran

I first posted this piece in February of 2010. Update on it below!

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I’ve been reading The Heavenly Man to my two teenagers at lunchtime. This book, which deeply influenced me three years ago, is about the great revival that took place in China in the 1970s and 1980s, in the very midst of the spirit-numbing Cultural Revolution. When people heard about the salvation of Jesus Christ and embraced Him, then giving their lives for Him seemed like a reasonable sacrifice. It was a no-brainer.

Over and over again, while I’m reading, I stop, with tears in my eyes Continue reading

What is repentance, really?

Jesus cried out, “Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

A couple of years ago I posted on Facebook a question about the Greek word translated “repentance.” (It’s metanoia and its variants.) Yes, I admit, it took me a long time to get back to all the links and ideas people sent me, but here I am again, studying repentance.

It’s because three things happened at about the same time. First, I was praying for pastors and other Christian leaders (the ones who have treated and counseled sexual abuse victims as if they were pariahs) to repent about their wrongdoing. Second, I’ve been praying for revival for a long time, and in the context of that, having a discussion with a Christian leader about whether or not repentance is necessary for salvation. Third, I’ve been studying II Corinthians, where Paul talks about repentance in chapter 7.

I always used to hear repentance being taught as a change of mind. That very sterile, academic definition vaguely dissatisfied me. It seemed to accompany the academic, intellectual acceptance of Christ embodied in the “sinner’s prayer.” Continue reading