Politics in Exile

Today I am giving a little talk on politics in exile, how Christians engage in such a way that our witness is unhindered. It is not a complete survey of our posture and it won’t make anyone too uncomfortable or gleeful! You can read it here.

Otherwise I thought I would share a few things that have been helpful in forming my thinking that you might find helpful as well.


I point to it a lot but This Cultural Moment is a podcast with valuable, rich content on the underlying realities in our Western culture. Mark Sayers, and Australian pastor and author, has brilliant insights. John Mark Comer interviews him in most of the episodes and each will help you think through how our worldviews are being formed and lived from. Check it out here.


A book that I found extremely helpful recently in shaping the way we engage is from Scott Sauls. Jesus Outside the Line: a way forward for those tired of taking sides. This is centering for Christians and guides us rightly. Check it out.


Justin Taylor highlighted the work of Georgetown professor Paul D. Miller, specifically his white paper for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Council. Faith and Healthy Democracy gives some great clues for civility in public discourse and political engagement. Where I gave three steps in my talk Miller gives individuals a number and churches six key ways to participate without losing our ability to share the gospel. Read it here.


Lastly, I have to go way back to a time I read The Courage of a Conservative by James Watt and The Conscience of a Liberal by Paul Wellstone one after the other and thought through them asking what Jesus would have to say.

I choose Watt’s book over the famous Conscience of a Conservative by Goldwater because Watt represented values voters.

The books are very old now and my reading of them was close to 20 years ago. But I think they give some great insight to safer times to be part of the American political landscape and might draw us toward something similar today.


Go forth and be Christian in how you engage!

A Persistent Boy and the Faithfulness of God

I found myself emotional while I preached Sunday recounting a gentle reminder from the Lord of continued pursuit of him and I thought I would share it here to encourage you as well.

This last week I have been reading Terry Virgo’s No Well-Worn Paths which tells the story of New Frontiers International and the early days of charismatic renewal in the UK that merged with grace-centered doctrine in the church. As I have been reading of the some of the moves of God, the filling of the Spirit and healings, prophetic words, and boldness in his people, I have been wondering, why not now?

God is the same as he was decades ago. Of course he could pour out his Spirit for his glory and the good of the church (and he has in a number of ways). But hearing the stories I found myself wrestling with God desiring the same gifting and power spiritually as told in the book.

I took my lament into the desert as our family scheduled a day away to rest and reboot. Then Saturday on an early morning hike with my seven-year-old son Ewen, God showed me his kindness.

The night before we had been hiking on the same trail but dinner was approaching and my oldest who was hiking with us wanted to turn back, so halfway through the trail we cut the hike short and returned to camp. Saturday morning though, Ewen could not be stopped. He wanted to press on and arrive at the Palm Oasis promised on the map.

It was such a joy to make the journey with him, talking about life, the groaning of creation for redemption, and how fun it is to grow up together. As we progressed on the trail we turned a corner into a valley surrounded by hills/mountains and beautiful rock formations.

Ewen was ecstatic. “This is so beautiful! If we had turned back we would have never seen this!”

His statement struck me. “If we had turned back we would have never seen this.” As I paused to think about it I knew this was the Lord urging me to keep going. Here I was crying out for the Spirit to move in the church, in my own life, and he was saying, keep coming, don’t stop.

If a small church pastor needs to hear anything often it is this! So with a thankful heart I got back to hiking. We reached the Oasis and had a wonderful time, father and son. Ewen is already planning our next hiking trip.

And I settle back into the routine of discipleship, study, and prayer aching for a move of God, knowing he will, knowing we will keep pursuing him, we will keep going.

Worthwhile: April 12, 2019

You guys, it’s April 12. Easter is next week. Spring Break. Oh my times flies.

This week one very important piece to share and a new resource that will keep on giving. Both things that are worthwhile as you embark on the weekend and the beginning of Holy Week.


First up, the piece that needs you attention, Kyle Korver on privilege. He speaks with honesty about disparity and our need to listen and pay attention.

As a white male it can be a task to recognize my privilege. We don’t see the opposite so we don’t notice our benefit against the backdrop of systemic racism in our culture.

Take up and read. Keep your eyes open.


For those keen for more solid Word and Spirit material, Advance, a church strengthening and planting movement, has just launched a podcast as a resource pile of some great teaching. Check it out.

Good news for everyone who is part of the Podcast world! Advance’s substantial conference recording library is now available as a podcast on all major apps!

The library includes every conference recording since the very first Global gathering in 2015. Now in your pocket!

iTunes https://apple.co/2Z5g7zY
Google http://bit.ly/2Gi1Ad9
Spotify https://spoti.fi/2UuztQy