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Church and Mission

Toxic People: How to Absorb Their Force and Turn Their Momentum against Them

One of life’s greatest challenges is learning to deal with people who are draining, unsupportive, difficult, and adversarial; with people who are bent on systematically diminishing—and even finally destroying—your inner life. And, given the teeming ecosystem of toxic people laid before us in history and public life, how can we go about identifying the archetypal [ Read More ]

Toxic People 104: Biblical-Theological Categories for Understanding Toxic People and Responding to Them

Now that we have explored the concept of toxicity and delved into how we can identify people who are toxic to us, we can explore the concept theologically, employing biblical-theological categories to understand the phenomenon and to craft a faithfully Christian posture toward toxic people. As Gary Thomas writes in When to Walk Away, Scripture [ Read More ]

Toxic People 103: Seven “Subspecies” of Toxic Wildlife in the Human Kingdom

Author Robert Tew once wrote, “Don’t let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out.” And he’s right; his modern proverb expresses well the way Jesus and other biblical exemplars such as Nehemiah treated toxic people. Thus, the first installment of this series focused briefly on the [ Read More ]

Toxic People 101: How did Jesus Respond to Toxic People?

One of life’s greatest challenges is learning to deal with people who are draining, unsupportive, difficult, and adversarial; with people who are bent on systematically diminishing and finally destroying your inner life. In this series of posts, I will talk about how to identify and respond to the words and actions of such toxic persons. [ Read More ]

The Gospel of the Kingdom

Joe Anderson’s and Tim Nichols’ “Proclaim” is a biblically grounded and richly provocative essay offering great insight into the task of proclamation in our secular age. Given that Westerners have learned to manage life without reference to God, and that Christianity is now often considered implausible, unimaginable, and even reprehensible, our need to understand the task [ Read More ]

Should Pastors Address Political Debates from the Pulpit?

It’s an age-old question, made more relevant by the insistence of media outlets and political pundits: Should pastors directly address contemporary political issues? Some commentators argue that Christianity offers a moral framework that is directly relevant to policy issues and thus the pastor should speak to politics. At other times the argument is made that [ Read More ]

Feeling Lonely? You’re not Alone

There is an epidemic that kills more people than obesity and has the same negative effect as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says it causes “an insidious type of stress” that can lead to chronic inflammation, heart disease, dementia, depression, and anxiety. This condition is no respecter of persons, afflicting [ Read More ]

3 Ways to Communicate Truth in a Fake News Era

Recently, the Pew Research Center published a study demonstrating Americans have difficulty distinguishing between fact and opinion. Only 26 percent of adults correctly identified five factual statements as such, and only 35 percent were able to do the same for five opinion statements. The research also found we’re significantly more likely to consider something “factual” rather than [ Read More ]