Theology

Oswald Chambers: Job and the Meaning of Suffering

Oswald Chambers: Job and the Meaning of Suffering

Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) was a pastor, author, and WWI military chaplain, best known today for his classic devotional book My Utmost For His Highest. His less familiar books include a study of the book of Job entitled Baffled to Fight Better. Chambers addresses the problem of why God allows tragedy by contrasting Job’s friends’ assured religious platitudes with Job’s […]

The Galatian Road out of Legalism

The Galatian Road out of Legalism

(Originally published in 2010 as a guest post on “The Cult Next Door.“) Legalism. It’s one of those nasty words that everybody points to as an example of religion gone wrong. Everybody knows that you shouldn’t be a legalist. Everybody knows that legalism is unbiblical. Everybody would be affronted if you called them a legalist. […]

How Does Jesus Love You?

How Does Jesus Love You?

In May 2010, Hillary McFarland invited me to write a guest post for her lovely website Quivering Daughters, which offered healing for victims of Spiritual Abuse within the so-called “Biblical Patriarchy” movement. Not knowing at the time that this would turn into an unlikely recurring ministry for me over the next two years, I decided to get a […]

The Truth about "Effeminate Worship"

The Truth about “Effeminate Worship”

Several popular (though controversial) preachers have taken up a refrain of social commentary I’ve heard a few too many times. They denounce what they see as a trend of “Effeminate Worship.” (Here’s a typical message. Here’s another and another.) Apparently, modern churches have become “feminized,” unlike the old days when men were men. This means […]

The Myth of the Weaker Vessel

The Myth of the Weaker Vessel

In response to a popular pastor’s perplexing pronouncement that “God has given Christianity a masculine feel,” Rachel Held Evans asked Christian men to write a blog post “that celebrates the importance of women in the Church.” Here’s mine. Lately, both from online creepers and respectable preachers, I’ve seen several comments that come back to one […]

Ashamed of the Gospel? <br/> A Case Study of Teen Mania and Works-Based Doctrine

Ashamed of the Gospel?
A Case Study of Teen Mania and Works-Based Doctrine

By Eric Pazdziora Note: This post was written in 2011. Since then, in what one Christian magazine fairly described as “a stunning fall,” Teen Mania Ministries has closed its doors permanently, following a precipitous loss of support amidst allegations of abuse and financial mismanagement. In a discussion with Teen Mania’s communications director a few years prior, she admitted that “enrollment […]

Did I Miss God's Will for My Life? (By R. A. Torrey)

Did I Miss God’s Will for My Life? (By R. A. Torrey)

Originally published in The King’s Business, June 1913, pp. 292-297. I recently received a letter from one who is evidently an earnest Christian woman but who was in a condition of great depression because some years ago, when in college, she felt that perhaps she was called to go to China but did not want to go […]

Calvin and Hobbes, Revisited

Calvin and Hobbes, Revisited

This just in from the Department of Really Awesome Things that Made My Day: Yes, kids: it’s the heartwarming adventures of mischievous little John Calvin and his possibly imaginary sidekick Thomas Hobbes. Imaginary because he might not have been born for another century or so, but who cares, this is fantastic. (Fun fact: Bill Watterson […]

Recommended Reading: Worship and Spiritual Abuse (again)

Recommended Reading: Worship and Spiritual Abuse (again)

Yes, they’re my two favorite subjects to write about, apparently, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I like to read about them. Here are some good things I’ve found lately on the subjects of worship and spiritual abuse, and (in one case) both together: Things that Will Make You Think: Songwriter Matt Blick (whose Beatles […]