How Not To Become a Celebrity Pastor

America—and the Western world in general—loves celebrities. That much is not in doubt. Whether they be athletes, actors, or successful CEO’s, we are fascinated with people who are rich, powerful, and at the top of their game.

Indeed, we’ve been taught that the way you make an organization successful is by finding an exceptional person to lead it—a franchise player—who can put it on the map. Whether it’s Lebron James or Jeff Bezos, all organizations need a superstar.

Unfortunately, the church has sometimes adopted this same approach to leadership. If our churches are going to “succeed,” we figure we need our own franchise player to lead us—someone who is strong, …

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What Does It Mean To Be Winsomely Reformed?

There’s been a lot of discussion in the last year (and the last week) of what it means to be winsomely reformed. And, sadly, the loudest voices have been undeniably against the idea of being winsome. It has been critiqued as wishy-washy, a failed cultural strategy, or as an expression of weakness rather than strength.

While this is certainly an important conversation for any evangelical right now, it is particularly relevant for Reformed Theological Seminary because we have historically emphasized the importance of being winsomely Reformed.

Indeed, I can still remember that I was asked about this issue in my original faculty interview, back in 2001. The concern was not …

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5 Misconceptions about Spiritual Abuse: #1 “Loving the Church Means You Don’t Call Out Her Problems”

Prophet Jeremiah

Last week I announced the upcoming release of my new book, Bully Pulpit: Confronting the Problem of Spiritual Abuse in the Church (Zondervan, 2022). The book releases on November 1st.

As a lead up to the book release, I am launching a new blog series entitled, “5 Misconceptions about Spiritual Abuse.”  In my research for the book, it became quite evident that people have a lot of misunderstandings of spiritual abuse, how it manifests itself in the church, and how it should be addressed. Some of these are rather innocent misunderstandings, and others perhaps less innocent. Either way, it is important that they be addressed for the health of …

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How to Prepare Your Student for College

Now that high school graduation season is coming to a close, I know that a lot of parents out there have one simple question on their mind: Have I done a good job preparing my child for college?

Every Christian parent wonders this. We pray that we’ve adequately prepared our high school graduate to enter into the fray of college life: intellectually, spiritually, and morally. Indeed, this is why I wrote my recent book, Surviving Religion 101: Letters to a Christian Student on Keeping the Faith in College.

If you are asking these same questions, I talked at length about these issues in a recent podcast with Reformed Youth

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Pastors, You Don’t Have to Be an Expert on Everything

Every once and a while I read a book that provides one of those genuine (and rare) light bulb moments. It’s not so much that the book changes the way you think about the world, but rather it explains why the world works the way it does. And in our ever-more-confusing world, that can be a game-changer.

One such book is Tom Nichol’s, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters (Oxford, 2018).

Everyone’s An Expert

In this intriguing volume, Nichols catalogs how technological changes have provided the average person with unprecedented access to information. Through the internet, blogs, and the 24-hour news cycle, …

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