Serving Millennials on the Journey Toward Significant Life
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The Positivity Gospel

The positivity gospel of “you are enough” and “your positive words can overcome your negative world” is all around us, but what if it isn’t true?

On this episode Eric Nelson outlines what the positivity gospel is, what it gets wrong, how to handle conversations with those sharing its message, and much more.

Listen to the episode below (click here email readers):

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About Called Out

Called Out is a show helping the church move from the reality of its brokenness toward the healing power of Christ.

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The Ministry of Touch with Lore Wilbert

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The #metoo #churchtoo movement has vividly shown how broken our understanding of touch is. At times we misuse and abuse physical touch, and then negatively react to these realities by offering weak side hugs.

This much is clear: we don’t know how to approach physical touch well. Listen as Lore Wilbert approaches an obviously needed discussion on Jesus and physical touch.

Listen to the full episode below (click here email readers):


Or find the episode wherever you get podcasts, including:

Apple Podcasts || Spotify || Google Podcasts || Overcast

Links from the episode:

About Called Out

Called Out is a show helping the church move from the reality of its brokenness toward the healing power of Christ.

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If God Knows Everything…

In Luke 5, the story of the healing of the paralyzed man is told, followed by an interaction with Jesus and some religious leaders. Here are the verses of this initial interaction after Jesus forgives the sins of the paralyzed man:

The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?

—Luke 5:21-22

Though rarely shown within his earthly ministry, Jesus is displaying omniscience in Luke’s declaration that he “knew what they were thinking.” This has me considering the omniscience of God, which is a fancy word for God being all-knowing.

On the one hand, omniscience means God can understand your thoughts, but the significance of God being all-knowing goes far beyond that. Nothing has happened or will happen outside of God’s knowledge. This differs, of course, from God predetermining everything, yet is still significant.

God’s omniscience is truth embraced on some level by nearly every Christian I know, but the implications of it are not. Let’s consider two:

1. Nothing exists outside of God’s awareness. We often approach God as if he’s unaware of our deepest longings. We try to get God’s attention. 

2. God doesn’t need to learn anything. We often want God to evolve to our understanding of things. We try to inform God of how things are. 

Rather than approaching God as if he’s in need of a lesson from us, or that he may be unaware of what we need, I think God’s omniscience should prompt two responses from us:

1. Humility. God knows everything there is to know about you. He knows you better than you know yourself. That means he knows the parts you try to hide.

2. Security. God knows you and he promises that he will meet your every need. He knows all the parts you might try to hide and he still loves you.

This balance of humility and security is a helpful approach in relating with God and communicating that relationship to others. On the one hand, there is someone you are completely exposed before. On the other hand, nothing can stop the eternal reality and blessing over your life.

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Grief and the Prosperity Gospel

richard clark podcast

Quite often we are quick to either reject our emotions or let them run rampant, with little middle ground for allowing God to speak to us through them. Listen as Richard Clark shares about his podcast Living and Effective, and how the focus it had on the 5 stages of grief can teach us about a better way to approach these emotions.

Richard Clark leads the Creative Studio for Christianity Today. He is a producer and host for Living and Effective, a podcast about the ways the Bible has influence within history and current events. He also produces and hosts the No Chill Enneagram podcast.

Listen to the full episode below (head here email readers):


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The Best Christians Albums of the 2010s

porters gate work songs

I recently joined a panel of voices helping come up with a list of the best Christian albums of the 2010s. If you’ve been around my writing for a while, you know I’m a huge fan of celebrating noteworthy music.

As part of the process of the group, I came up with my own list of the 10 best albums in the last decade. This list is a blend of personal favorites, music celebrated far and wide, and music that moved the genre of “Christian” music forward in a substantial way. Here’s my personal list:

—Josh Garrels “Love & War & the Sea in Between”

—Needtobreathe “Rivers in the Wasteland”

—John Mark McMillan “The Medicine”

—Andrew Peterson “Counting Stars”

—Lauren Daigle “Look Up Child”

—Tenth Avenue North “The Light Meets the Dark”

—The Porter’s Gate “Work Songs”

—Hillsong United “Of Dirt and Grace LIVE”

—Chance the Rapper “Coloring Book”

—Lecrae “Anomaly”

Honorable mention: Gungor “Beautiful Things” (Not only does Gungor no longer exist, I’m not sure they would call themselves Christians leaving me with no choice but to omit what I do see as one of the great albums of the last decade).

For the article this panel produced, I wrote up a summary/explanation for two of the albums I had on my list that also made our top 25 list:

The Porter’s Gate, Work Songs (2017)

The Porter’s Gate debut is a visionary endeavor, bringing together a variety of artists (Josh Garrels, Liz Vice, Audrey Assad, Aaron Keyes, Madison Cunningham, and many more) to build up the church for the six days of the week beyond Sunday. While Works Songs has a stripped-down feel (there are no drums), there’s an overwhelming sense of power evident as each track was recorded live in a single take. Standout tracks: “Little Things With Great Love,” “Wood and Nails,” “We Labor Unto Glory,” “Establish the Work of Our Hands.”

John Mark McMillan, The Medicine (2010)

While many know of this album because of the song “How He Loves,” this debut release from John Mark McMillan represents a new standard for how an artist can write singable songs for the church while still embracing their unique artistry. Having released many other albums since, The Medicine stands out as establishing McMillan as an artist others look to as a voice of heartfelt honesty and worshipful reverence. Standout tracks: “Death In His Grave,” “Carbon Ribs,” “Skeleton Bones,” “Reckoning Day.”

Listen to my podcast with John Mark McMillan

You can read about all 25 albums the panel I was on came up with. Also you can listen to all 100 “noteworthy” tracks we selected from those albums down below. I’ve loved listening to these songs for the last few weeks. Come here to listen email readers.

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A Secular Age

We are embedded in and overwhelmed by a world that is increasingly secular—a world without a need for God—leaving many Christians at a loss for how to navigate being people of faith. Listen in as Andrew Root helps navigate these tumultuous times for Christians looking for a way forward.

Andrew Root is a professor at Luther Seminary, author of many books, and one of the many tortured Minnesota Vikings fans. In this episode Andrew Root helps explain the work of Charles Taylor: who he is, why his insights matter, and what we can learn from him.

Listen to the full episode below (click here email readers):

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About Called Out

Called Out is a show helping the church move from the reality of its brokenness toward the healing power of Christ.

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