children

What Makes a Church a Family?

February 9, 2017 // 71 Comments

The gospel of grace has exploded over the past few years. Ten years ago you probably hadn’t heard of Joseph Prince, Andrew Wommack, or Escape to Reality. But today many people are preaching grace, writing about grace, singing about grace, and walking in grace. There are countless sermons, books, and videos on [...]

8 Signs that a Church Doesn’t Get Grace

July 7, 2016 // 120 Comments

A while ago I listed eight signs of hyper-grace churches. A hyper-grace church is one that is so focused on Jesus that it begins to look like Jesus, talk like Jesus, and smell like Jesus. To highlight a positive it helps to accentuate the negative. So how do we get it wrong? What are the signs that a church is [...]

Fatherless Fiction

September 17, 2014 // 25 Comments

I have four children under the age of ten so I read a lot of children’s books. Sometimes I even read them to my kids! A recurring theme I have noticed in children’s literature is this: Moms and dads are usually absent. And if the parents are mentioned, they are often negligent kill-joys who hinder and [...]

Three Books on Parenting

August 6, 2014 // 24 Comments

Recently, I have read three books on parenting. One of them was good, one was not so good, and the third was a surprise. Let’s start with the good one. Grace-Based Parenting, by Tim Kimmel Dr. Kimmel observes that many parents are motivated by fear rather than faith when it comes to raising their children. This [...]

What about Those Who Never Hear the Gospel?

July 29, 2014 // 86 Comments

Everybody responds to God’s love and grace, one way or another. But what about those who die before they get a chance to respond? To pick an extreme example, what about those Palestinian children who perished last week and who presumably never heard the gospel, never heard that God loves them, and never heard [...]

What Happens to Babies Who Die?

July 24, 2014 // 153 Comments

What do you say to the parents of a deceased baby? What would you say to the families of the 80 children who died on flight MH17 last week? I’m not sure what you should say but I know what you shouldn’t say. Don’t ever tell them their children are in hell. “Paul, I would never say such an awful thing.” [...]

“The Jesus Storybook Bible” by Sally Lloyd-Jones

May 27, 2014 // 27 Comments

A question I am often asked is, “What grace resources are available for children?” It seems there are hardly any. In Sunday School children are much more likely to learn about Christian values or the Ten Commandments than they are the unconditional love of their heavenly Father. This should trouble every [...]

What is Your Dream?

August 28, 2013 // 39 Comments

Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and gave one of the most stirring speeches of all time. His “I have a dream” speech was a defining moment in the American Civil Rights Movement. It captured the sentiment of a nation stumbling towards racial equality and [...]

Would You Free A Slave? Would You Feed a Child?

December 15, 2012 // 14 Comments

If you lived in the 1850s during the time of slavery, and you had the resources to purchase and liberate slaves, would you do it? Would you go to the slave markets and buy people in order to give them their freedom? Would you buy orphaned slaves and set them up with new and loving families? Of course you would. [...]

The Secret to Grace-Based Parenting

July 5, 2012 // 13 Comments

When people learn that I have three children (ages 3, 5, and 7 if you’re interested), they assume that I must be an outstanding parent. They write to me with questions like this: “How do you raise your kids under grace?” I invariably respond, “Ask me in 10-15 years.” Ask me when I’ve done it. For the [...]

Jesus’ Medicine – Tastes Like Ribena

April 24, 2010 // 14 Comments

My 5 year old came home from school yesterday with a fever. We wrapped her up in her doona, made her comfortable on the couch, and we prayed for her. She got worse. By the time dinner was served she was lying on the floor moaning. She said she couldn’t get up. It was time for Jesus’ Medicine! It might [...]

Grace and Law in the Chronicles of Narnia

March 12, 2010 // 10 Comments

One of the consequences of learning about grace is that you become sensitive to anything that smacks of legalism. This can lead to some nasty surprises. One moment you’re enjoying a sermon/MP3/book and the next you’re jolted because the speaker or writer has just smacked you over the head with the stone [...]