The Problem with Being “Gospel-Centered”

the gospel

Over the past decade or so, many churches in America have been espousing that they are “gospel-centered.” Just as in culture, there are many buzzwords within the church: missional, organic, intentional, etc. And another one happens to be gospel-centered.

But what’s the problem with being gospel-centered? That’s a good thing, right? Continue reading

N.T. Wright Speaks at Google

A couple of weeks ago, N.T. Wright was invited to speak at Google. Interesting, to say the least. I don’t believe Google is looking to “Christianize” itself by any means. Rather, they probably brought in a top-notch, well-known Christian scholar for ratings.

Regardless, he was at Google and he took the time to speak on a topic related to his newest book, Simply Good News. His premise: good news is not the same as good advice. Christians announce good news, not good advice.

Watch it below.

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Kingdom Conspiracy: Reflections

kingdom_conspiracyBack in fall, Brazos Press sent over a copy of Scot McKnight’s newest release, Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church. I am very grateful for the book, as I appreciate McKnight’s biblical-theological approaches.

Scot McKnight, professor at Northern Seminary, is one of the leading New Testament scholars of today. In all, this was a needed book in the discussion around our understanding of three key theological areas: the kingdom of God, church and mission. Continue reading

Simply Good News

simply good newsOn Christmas Eve, a nice little gift arrived in the mail, thanks to HarperOne Publishers. It was N.T. Wright’s newest book, Simply Good News: Why the Gospel Is News and What Makes It Good. It’s set to release on January 6th.

The book comes in the vein of a few of Wright’s other releases in recent years:

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Victoria Osteen and the Rest of Us

the-american-dreamI don’t spend much time offering my thoughts and reflections on the American dream-centered church, which some identify as the preachers of the “prosperity gospel”. Their message is basically focused on God wanting you to be healthy, happy and have lots of money. Well, there is the actual factor that God wants us to be whole, fully restored – and that will be done when all things are summed up in Jesus at the final consummation of all things. But there is a difference between that authentic storyline and the prosperity mirage.

One of the most recent blunders to send shockwaves around the social media world is Victoria Osteen’s video clip where she states: “I want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God. I mean, that’s one way to look at it…we’re doing it for ourself. Because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. That’s the thing that gives him the greatest joy this morning…”

You can see the clip here, including someone adding in a little Bill Cosby response clip at the end. But it was weird watching the clip. I could only grimace with embarrassment for her.

However, I’d like to take this opportunity by having us all reflect on just how spiritually anthropocentric, or human-centered, we really are in America. Not just those 25,000+ who sit in a Osteen-led service in Lakewood week by week. But the many of us who have truly had the wool pulled over our eyes in this regard, so much so that we don’t really see the undergirding foundation for what it is. Continue reading