Category Archive for: ‘Featured’

  • Question #5: You never use numbers of people who have come to follow Jesus or any type of qualitative data for what you do. Why is that? It’s hard to follow what’s going on sometimes with your ministry when we don’t see specific or clear reports.

    A fairly typical newsletter from those in Christian Ministry will have quantifiable measurements of success built into the letter. So you know who you’re supporting and what they’re accomplishing. Fair enough. I’d say that’s the norm. So…why don’t I do that?
    Churches planed. Souls saved. Baptized. Or even conversation hours logged with those you’ve shared your faith. Maybe how many bibles or Jesus Films you’ve given out in the last year. How many homes you’ve visited. These are the things many ministries focus on.
    First let’s try to answer why most ministries do that. Why do you think they do? Here are my thoughts:

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  • Question #4: What is your position on Israel? As you’ve gotten more involved there, I’m often concerned that you may be anti-Semitic.

    I hope you can appreciate that I am attempting to tackle some huge issues, of which 100’s of books have been written, in a short space, in simple terms and in manner that reflects my heart and theology clearly.
    So here’s a biggee – “What about Israel?” I was recently almost disallowed from speaking at a Promise Keepers event because they weren’t sure I was “pro Israel enough.”
    I’ve already written one blog on this – it was a few months ago. You can find it under the name “Israeli for the sake of the Gospel.” Here would be my main thoughts:

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  • Question #3: Are you Evangelical in Your Theology and Missiology?

    Are you Evangelical in your theology and missiology? I never hear you use words that my other evangelical friends use and you always sound a bit fuzzy – almost like a Universalist or something. Can you clarify?

    This is the question I’m most often NOT asked, but I know people are thinking. Of course, “Evangelical” has come to mean many different things, much like the word Christian. So I typically don’t use it when referring to myself.

    The idea of someone being an “Evangelical” was popularized in the 1950’s by Billy Graham and then the publication Christianity Today (and Wheaton College). It was partially as a balance to the thoughts of “Fundamentalist Christians” who were becoming a bit stoic and overly focused on right theology (which, of course, was their theology). Rules and regulations had seemed to overshadow a vibrant relationship with Jesus. So some Christians were arguing for a more compassionate and embracing word to describe their belief as taught in the scriptures (as they saw it).

    The word “Evangelical” seemed to make sense because it had roots in the word “evangel” or the Good News (gospel). And someone who believed in the good news of Jesus Christ, would surely want to spread that news and we call that Evangelism. All fair enough.

    But, of course, words need reformation every few generations, just like cultures do.

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  • Question #2: Your idea that Muslims can follow Jesus and somehow stay Muslim has always confused me.

    This is a big one. And a cornerstone of what we believed God has called us to be a part of…seeing Arab Muslims love and follow Jesus and stay within their context.

    First of all, I’m not a Universalist. The scriptures are clear that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the one and only way to life here on earth and forever. All ways do not lead to God. Only Jesus does.

    Let me try several ways to describe what I mean when I say “Muslims following Jesus,” because it is complex.

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  • New Book Idea #1

    Would you be willing to do this little experiment and then send it to me for the book “Speaking of Jesus…?”

    Ask 10 people (ones who don’t yet have a friendship with Jesus) some variation of these two questions:

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  • Making Sure the Good News Is Good!

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  • Middle East Trip Video Update: 11/10

    In this final video blog from the Middle East, Carl talks from the beach in Tel Aviv about the simplicity of Jesus and the answer that He is to all the chaos, questions, and conflict — not just in the Middle East, but in every …

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  • …and they want to kill you?

    Several times over the years, I’ve been in sticky situations. In jail in Saudi. In Jail in Lebanon (twice). Taken at gunpoint in Iraq. Threatened with a gun in south Lebanon. Kicked out of Lebanon twice. Had our van windows broken out by an angry mob – when we were in the car. My wife has been spit on and cursed at. We know what it feels like to have an enemy want to hurt us.

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  • Willing to Follow

    The other day when I was driving to the post office, there was a young guy on a motorcycle in front of me with a Hell’s Angel jacket on. Right away, my mind thought of John, the beloved disciple. You are probably thinking – Huh!? As you recall, John and his brother James were referred to as Sons of Thunder. I love this because it reminds me that Jesus didn’t choose people to follow him who were completely refined, but he chose people who were willing.

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