October 18, 2017

How God’s Greatness and Glory is Made Most Powerful: Celebrating the Life of My Beloved Wife, Karen Preston McDaniel 1957-2017

“For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. […]
August 24, 2017

How the Stage in Charlottesville is a Portal to our Post-Christian Culture

Most of us saw the tragic events in Charlottesville that sparked a continuing national awareness and debate over a number of social issues centering in racism, ethnic supremacy, monuments, and the like.  Like many, I have spent respectable time pondering these issues and now want to add my reflection to this discussion in the hopes that it will bring some clarity and focus to the confusion that has arisen.  In many ways, understanding what happened in Charlottesville (and other places for that matter) is a portal in seeing how post-Christian our culture really is. Several observations that frame my reflection: […]
July 24, 2017

What Post-Christian Thinking People Want: 9) Vulnerability

Dr. Brené Brown said it well: “vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”  In days when people mount up shields of defense and deflections to prevent others from getting to “the real you,” one mark of an effective gospel witness to post-Christian thinking people involves making yourself vulnerable, showing a life-openness that invites others to see how the truths of the Faith bring hope and wellness to the brokenness of daily life. As a general rule of thumb, I’ve found through the years that most people are attracted to admissions of brokenness: things like failures, mistakes, deficiencies, and shortfalls. […]
May 26, 2017

What Post-Christian Thinking People Want: 8) Personal Problem-Solving

“I got problems.  You’ve got problems.  All God’s children got problems.”  It seems that problems and difficulties are a common denominator in the human experience.  But it is how those problems are addressed and resolved that gives Christians enormous opportunities for gospel witness and persuasive leverage towards post-Christian thinking people. A generation or two ago, our western society found many answers to their life problems either in their own nuclear family, broader family, or close-knit neighborhood relationships.  Those were the days when far more marriages and families were kept intact, and where people received “community-wisdom” to the life issues challenging them. […]
May 8, 2017

What Post-Christian Thinking People Want: 7) Genuine Faith in Real Life

Martin Luther, famed leader of the Protestant Reformation in Germany, once wrote: “Faith is a living, daring, confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.”  In these days when fear is actively present in our society, one thing that captures the attention of many post-Christian minded people is the way real faith is displayed when challenging trials and heartaches come into Christians’ lives.  People want to see in authentic ways how faith is lived out as they watch believers deal with grief, life-threatening illness, unforeseen catastrophes, and difficulty. […]
March 15, 2017

What Post-Christian Thinking People Want: 6) Engaged Listening

I can still remember my father’s wisdom growing up: “Son, always remember that God gave you 2 eyes, 2 ears, and 1 mouth. Listen and watch twice as much, and speak half of what you should.” His words remind me then and now that listening—genuine engaged listening—is something practically everyone appreciates, but is especially an important element in connecting and reaching a world that has largely become post-Christian in thought and in action. What does engaged listening do to a relationship? Consider these quality benefits: • Engaged listening shows respect and trust. It reveals that you value the other person […]
March 8, 2017

What Post-Christian Thinking People Want: 5) Authenticity

I appreciate the words of the Skin Horse in The Velveteen Rabbit: “Real isn’t how you are made. It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”  This notion of “becoming real” is about the primacy of authenticity in the presentation of our ideas, intentions, and motivations. In short, authenticity involves presenting the genuine “YOU” with no barriers, no screens, no covers, and no disguises.  In our post-Christian thinking world, people want to see the heart, not a cover-up. Part of the […]
February 21, 2017

What Post-Christian Thinking People Want: 4) Relational Initiative

Robin S. Sharma once stated: “the business of business is relationships.  The business of life is human connection.”  We live in a world with so much communication technology at the touch of our fingers, yet the touch that most people need and want–especially post-Christian minded ones–is the touch that comes from altruistic human initiative. The kind of relational initiative that I am referring to is not a utilitarian kind of connection (“I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”), but rather the genuine attempt to connect with another person for who they are, and for what you see in them […]
February 15, 2017

What Post-Christian Thinking People Want: 3) Passion and Compassion

Back in my youth group days, Sunday nights were regularly spent in gatherings known as “Singspiration.”  One of the popular songs that we sang around the guitar was the familiar, “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” I believe you can take that song line and have a robust discussion around a number of topics that could fill-in the blank: “They’ll know we are Christians by our ________.”  To stimulate our thinking, let me suggest a BIG topic in our post-Christian times: passion and compassion.  Post-Christian minded people often pay attention to people who have zeal for something/someone and […]
February 8, 2017

What Post-Christian Thinking People Want 2) Transparency

Mother Teresa, the late Founder of the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India said often: “Honesty and transparency will make you vulnerable.  Be honest and transparent anyway.”  Her words remind us that in an age of skepticism, criticism and doubt over motives, what post-Christian thinking people want is transparency, something that illuminates an open path directly to the human heart. The idea behind transparency is allowing light to enter freely so that people can see to the core with clear and unobstructed vision.  In increasing ways, society has become more skeptical of the way advertising is presented and politics are played because people […]