1
Apr
2015
0

The risk of preaching a grace-filled Gospel…

…is that your hearers might misunderstand grace to be a license for sin. But that was a risk Paul seemed to be very willing to take. You see, Paul’s letters in the New Testament are not his primary evangelism tool. They are not his first contact with the Romans, Galatians, etc. They are a follow-up to his in-person preaching of the Gospel in those places. So it is worth asking, based on these letters, “What would Paul’s original preaching have...
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19
Mar
2015
0

Pursuing Victory

I had one goal when starting out this series of posts – to end the Catholic love affair with suffering, at least in the minds of some. I’m convinced that there is a great overemphasis on suffering in popular Catholic theology that is preventing many from experiencing the victory of Christ in their lives. Up to now I’ve been naming the problem (part 1 | part 2 | part 3). In this final post, I want to focus on how...
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16
Feb
2015
0

Suffering: Part of God’s Plan?

In a recent post, I left off with this challenge: What I would like to invite is a fresh re-reading of the Gospels with this perspective in mind.  How does Jesus go about cultivating this more abundant life?  What are the elements of the kingdom of darkness that he will not tolerate?  What kinds of suffering does he encourage us to embrace and what kinds of suffering does he routinely obliterate?  How often does he speak of carrying your cross...
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24
Jan
2015
0

What I’m Reading: Blink

As a way of taking time to process what I’ve read and consider practical applications, I’ve decided to write a blog post whenever I’ve finished reading a new book.  What I’m Reading posts will not so much serve as reviews, but will take a look at these works through the lenses and focal points of this blog: evangelization and leadership in a Catholic context. The inspiration for this new What I’m Reading approach comes as a result of finishing Malcolm...
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18
Jan
2015
0

Talk: Inviting the Act of Faith

I was honored recently to be invited by the Youth Apostles community to speak at one of their regular formation nights.  The invitation was extended based on a series of posts I wrote on Inviting the Act of Faith, which was an exploration on my part of how we can invite people to make an explicit decision for Christ in a Catholic context.  The talk I presented, which can be viewed on Youtube below, was a summary of that series...
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18
Jan
2015
0

The Clash of Two Kingdoms

When Pope John Paul II proposed to the world a new set of mysteries for the Rosary, the Luminous Mysteries, in 2002, I remember the buzz and excitement over which Gospel scenes would be the focal point of each decade.  In my circles, the reactions were very similar – the Baptism of the Lord, the Wedding Feast at Cana, the Institution of the Eucharist, and the Transfiguration all brought with them a sense of mystery and intrigue, and these scenes...
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9
Jan
2015
0

What Is a (Mature) Disciple?

“Unless we are making disciples, we are not really evangelizing.” This poignant statement was made in a pastoral letter on evangelization recently issued by Bishope Paul Loverde in the Arlington Diocese where I live.  It effectively cuts right to the heart of the matter – the goal of evangelization is to make disciples.  If we want to learn how to evangelize, we need to learn how to make disciples.  And for that to happen, we need to answer the question:...
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27
Dec
2014
0

Ending the Catholic Love Affair with Suffering

Let me start off by acknowledging that there is a legitimate theology of suffering.  There is a place for taking up one’s cross in the Christian life.  There are times when, like a good soldier, we need to accept our share of hardship for the sake of the Gospel.  The Bible couldn’t be clearer about this. And yet, as one preacher put it, “In the church there is an admiration for pain and suffering that goes far beyond what the...
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