The Importance of Giving up Our Rights


Yesterday morning, I made an offhand comment on Facebook:

I’m always amazed to hear Christians talking about “defending our rights.” One of the most fundamental aspects of Jesus’ message is that we must give up our rights.

I should have known better.

I thought this was one of those things all Christians agree about in theory and just have a hard time remembering and practicing. I get that. I have a hard time letting go of my rights. It’s one of my biggest struggles on a day-to-day basis. In that comment, I was preaching to myself as much as to anyone else.

Yet I wasn’t expecting to return and find a barrage of comments from Christians actually arguing against the principle of self-denial.

The Book I Contributed to Is Now Available!

Simple Church

I just wanted to give a quick update and let you know that Simple Church: Unity Within Diversity is now available!

If you get the Kindle edition, you’ll be able to read it immediately. Or, if you have Amazon Prime, you can get the paperback with free two-day shipping. (And you can get a free 30-day trial of Prime if you don’t already have it.)

In addition to getting a copy for yourself, it would also make a great Christmas gift.

Order your copies today!

The Skeletons in God’s Closet by Joshua Ryan Butler (Book Review)

The Skeletons in God’s Closet

We believe that God is love and God is good. All Christians affirm these simple truths. But for a God whose defining attribute is love, his actions don’t always appear to be very loving. And for a God who is perfectly good, he seems to have done some things that aren’t very good at all.

Does our beautifully good God have an ugly side? Does God have something to hide?

In The Skeletons in God’s Closet, Joshua Ryan Butler sets out two answer three questions: Would a merciful God send people to hell? Would a loving God condemn people at the judgment? And would a good God wage holy war?

Butler contends that we have set up caricatures of God—pictures that contain a semblance of the truth without the substance of reality.

Simple Church: Unity Within Diversity

Simple Church: Unity Within Diversity

A renewal is taking place in God’s church. People are realizing that we don’t need all the ritual and tradition we’ve added over the years. We’re returning to the simplicity of the earliest believers. But if we’re not careful, we could allow this renewal to divide us from those who don’t share our views.

So I’m thrilled to announce the upcoming release of Simple Church: Unity Within Diversity. Twenty-four of us have come together to share the passions that drive us—while keeping unity as our focus. We certainly don’t agree with one another on everything, but we share a common Savior.

In my chapter, I discuss the way we hold to our theological convictions. Why do we allow our differences to separate us? Can we remain united in Christ while maintaining our specific beliefs? Should we defend sound doctrine? What makes a belief heresy?

Check out this excerpt for a sample. I haven’t read the other chapters yet myself, so I’m really excited to get my own copy!

Here’s how to preorder your copy:

The New Covenant by Bob Emery (Book Review)

The New Covenant

The New Covenant is a collection of three historical novels by Bob Emery which were originally published separately. In this volume they are labeled as parts titled “The Messenger,” “The Message,” and “The Marriage: The Final Revelation.” All three feature the Apostle John as the main character.

Part I follows John and Timothy as they tour Jerusalem and discuss the life and times of Jesus. Part II dramatizes the writing of the books of the New Testament by John and the other apostles. And in Part III, John spends an evening discussing the book of Revelation with a group of believers.

These are very unusual novels. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but they’re not what one would typically expect.