Leading From A Healthy Soul

Resilient Church Leadership invites you to join us in rest and reflection. What do you need? My friend’s words hung mid-air, like a half-deflated helium balloon. They didn’t fall; neither did they rise. Slightly deflated, just impossibly suspended in mid-air, right in front of my face. I could practically reach out and touch the question. At that time in my life, it seemed everything in my circumstances was hopelessly falling apart. Broken relationships, failed initiatives,... Read More

Let My People Meet: Capitol Hill Baptist, and Inconsistent Government Rules

Real violations of religious liberty occur when the government singles out churches, not when everyone has to follow the same rules. In recent news, Mark Dever and the members of Capitol Hill Baptist Church has filed a complaint against the mayor of Washington D.C. Muriel Bowser. The basic message of the complaint centers around “…the right to gather for corporate worship free from threat of governmental sanction.” For those who may not be familiar, here are some of the... Read More

Mental Illness and the ‘Medical Theodicy’ Trap

Why do we feel such a palpable sense of spiritual relief when the problem is with the body rather than the mind? Five years ago I received a telephone call from a friend. She told me that one of our mutual friends had taken his own life. No one knew why. Brian was a successful health-care professional, with a wife, a family, and an apparently very bright future. Many of us had not seen any indications that something was wrong, although those in close contact with him knew there were... Read More

What Pastors See as the ‘New Normal’ for Preaching After the Pandemic

COVID-19’s ministry disruptions are generating lasting insights. The sanctuary was empty. But that didn’t distract Claude Alexander. He had just finished preaching from Jeremiah 8 on the temptation to despair amid COVID-19 and the hope found in Christ. As he called on musicians to sing “Lead Me to the Rock,” Alexander was visibly moved to tears by his sense of God’s presence, and worship continued another 30 minutes on the livestream. For Alexander, senior pastor... Read More

Some Things Mean More: The Friendship of Ginsburg-Scalia

How do we foster friendships that transcend polarization? “He is something of a pagan, and like many other pagans, he is a very fine man.” This was the reflection the G.K. Chesterton of his friend George Bernard Shaw. As was characteristic of his biting wit, Chesterton simultaneously poked fun at Shaw and those who devalued his friendship with an atheist. Just as in Chesterton’s day, these friendships continue to befuddle us. How would that even work? Like a rotary phone,... Read More

Mark Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist Sues to Not Forsake the Assembly

Without online preaching or multiple services, the DC church crossed state lines to gather legally during the pandemic. Capitol Hill Baptist Church this week became the first house of worship to file suit against Washington, DC, for its ongoing restrictions on religious gatherings meeting indoors or outdoors during the coronavirus pandemic, the Washington Post reported. The move by Capitol Hill Baptist—a 1,000-person congregation led by Mark Dever, the founder of the 9Marks church... Read More

Why the Supreme Court Makeup Matters Beyond Abortion

Legal experts cite religious freedom and free speech among the major issues for evangelicals in a post–Ruth Bader Ginsburg court. Last week’s death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg represents the third opportunity for President Donald Trump to nominate a Supreme Court justice. A third of evangelicals by belief cited Supreme Court nominees and abortion stance as reasons for voting for Trump in 2016. Many evangelicals and pro-life Americans have celebrated the possibility that another... Read More

Our Personal Scars Can Help Others Heal

There are four marks of wounded healers. When asked to describe 2020 thus far, many have used the words uncertain, divisive, and disruptive. When I asked my friend this question, her response summarized it sufficiently: wounding. Now over 200,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States, almost 70 times more than those who died in the September 11 attacks and more than the Vietnam, Korean, and Iraq wars combined. Even if we avoided the virus, we have experienced its wounding... Read More

Pandemic Denial Sows Division and Endangers Others

When pastors and church leaders deny that we are even in a pandemic, it can cause wide-ranging problems. Yesterday, as the United States passed a grim milestone, I tweeted: As of today, 200,000 dead in the United States. Just a reminder that we are still in a global pandemic, even if your pastor says it is not. The tweet was widely shared, with hundreds of retweets and thousands of likes. Most pastors were overwhelmingly positive. However, some were upset. Some pastors felt attacked,... Read More

Rediscovering the Pedagogical Power of Narnia

C. S. Lewis’s fiction can teach virtue, according to a new curriculum. But the true potential is so much more. My mother read The Chronicles of Narnia to my brother and me at night, while the four of us—my father half-listening while reading a novel of his own—lay on my parents’ enormous bed. I remember such strong emotions with the series. When we got to The Last Battle, the final installment, I felt warm affection for the foolish donkey Puzzle, grief at the fall of... Read More