Archive for October, 2011

Speaking of Jesus


Carl Medearis has a way of making what might appear to be a complicated issue seem both simple and exciting at the same time.

He is a creative and provocative story teller and has a way of inviting you into a life of following Jesus that seems as exhilarating as one of Indiana Jones’ adventures. Watch this video I blogged recently of Carl discussing the life of Jesus to see what I am talking about.



While Carl’s new book, “Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism” should technically be located under “Evangelism, How to”, in contrast Carl is showing how the common evangelistic methods are so very much misrepresenting and distracting folks from engaging with the actual person and life of Jesus.

Medearis talks about how often times many people find themselves making the mistake of getting defensive over Christianity when talking with someone about there faith. This just muddles any hopes of getting anywhere fruitful in the conversation.

Carl shows us the way out of these kinds of traps and pitfalls, explaining how simply speaking of Jesus almost always pays the best dividends. Not giving a defense of Christianity, Church Doctrines, and the like. Simply Jesus.

In Carl’s own words, “Here it is – the thesis of this book: if you don’t feel like you have to evangelize someone away from their team onto yours, you can speak of Jesus much more freely, and thus, much more effectively.”

You might find his CNN article, “Why Evangelicals Should Stop Evangeliziing” interesting. I did, so I followed through with getting the book and now am including you in on it.

I have really been quite encouraged and very impressed with Carl as he makes the conversation about Jesus. Jesus is where the life is. Just sayin.

Celebration of Discipline

Richard Foster’s excellent book, “Celebration of Discipline, The Path to Spiritual Growth”
explores many of the classical spiritual disciplines: meditation, prayer, fasting, simplicity, solitude, submission, service, confession, worship, guidance, and celebration. Foster  shares from his own experience and involvement with the Quakers. While he does quote from many of the leaders of the Friends Church he by no means limits himself to this stream of the Christian Faith. He pulls from many of the influential voices through out Christian history.



I know you might be thinking that a book about the Christian spiritual disciplines is probably quite dry and lacking lustre. That is usually what has kept me from any such titles in the past. Actually this book is quite full of energy and life. He indeed challenges the reader to consider that some of the disciplines do take some real effort, but he is so very quick to qualify these notions with the reality of the life that is behind all of these disciplines. A whole chapter is about “Celebration” and joy.



In fact he says that the discipline of celebration is a kind of linchpin to the rest. Concerning celebration Richard writes, “Celebration is central to all the Spiritual Disciplines.” “Celebration brings joy into life, and joy makes us strong. Scripture tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength” “Joy is part of the fruit of the Spirit. Often I am inclined to think that joy is the motor, the thing that keeps everything else going. With out joyous celebration to infuse the other Disciplines, we will sooner or later abandon them. Joy produces energy. Joy makes us strong. Ancient Israel was commanded to gather together three times a year to celebrate the goodness of God. Those were festival holidays in the highest sense.  They were the experiences that gave strength and cohesion to the people of Israel.”