Sinners, judgment, and fear in Psalms 25

I knew something was missing from my spiritual rhythm the last two weeks and this morning I realized what it was: Wednesday morning prayer, which a very small group of dedicated prayer warriors celebrates together each Wednesday at 8:30 am. In addition to liturgical and extemporaneous prayer, we always read a psalm responsively as part of our routine. Two months ago, this small prayer meeting got flat-out Pentecostal. For a month after that, the Spirit was breathing all over the place every time I opened the Bible. I went through a dry spell for a month and a half largely because of my lack of discipline but the breath of God came roaring back today as we read Psalm 25 and encountered sinners, judgment, and fear in a quite surprising form. Continue Reading

Salvation from “getting saved”: the first 6000 words

Getting saved. These two words describe the best-selling product of one of the most successful industries of the last half-century: the American evangelical church. If it were a publicly traded company, investors who bought shares in the early 1970’s would be looking at capital gains of some thousand-fold at this point. Mainline Christians and Catholics get confirmed; Orthodox do whatever they do; but evangelicals, we get saved. And some of us, at least according to twitter, get #oversaved (look it up). The way that you prove you’ve been saved is through your zeal to get other people saved. It’s a genius business model, if that’s your goal. I happen to think that the mystery of Christ we are called to embody has been painted over by a man-made commodity we’ve been given to consume. Continue Reading