In the 3rd century, Emperor Claudius II was faced with defending the Roman Empire from the invading Goths. He believed men who were not married made better soldiers so he forced the military to ban traditional marriage. He also forced the Senate to deify the former Emperor Gallienus, including him with the Roman gods to be worshiped.
There were ten major persecutions of Christians in the first three centuries in which many historical records were destroyed, but the legend passed down in Legenda Sanctorum by Jacobus de Voragine, in 1260, was that Saint Valentine was a priest or bishop in Italy.
When the Emperor demanded the Church violate its conscience and worship pagan idols, Bishop Valentine refused to comply. Valentine risked the Emperor’s wrath by standing up for traditional marriage and secretly marrying young men and women.
Saint Valentine was arrested and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and then have his head cut...
I recently took a trip with a Millennial or two, and while their photos might be good, they missed many of the moments while they Insta-posed and selfied their way around ancient sites. This phenomenon is not limited to the next generations. Take a ride on a subway, a bus or a plane: observe how many people are absorbed in social media. Sporting events, concerts, beaches and construction sites... the same gadget-driven-distractions.
There is no question that knowledge can be useful. What we tend to ignore is that there are different types of knowledge, and if we don’t discern the difference we will be so full of the wrong kind of knowledge there will be no space left for good knowledge.
King Solomon the Wise puts it this way in his first chapter of Proverbs:
29 Because they hated moral knowledge, and did not choose to fear the LORD…31 Therefore they will eat from the fruit of their way, and they will be stuffed full of their own counsel.
If I am...
If the Early Church had the technology we have today, I don’t think it would have lasted too long. If Paul had sent a rebuke to the Corinthians in an email, a juicy extract would have been tweeted and sunk the Corinthian ship. If Paul and Barnabas sorted out their differences on Facebook that missions venture would probably have crashed. If Ananias and Saphira were part of the real estate LinkedIn group…
Years ago I was asked to speak on the topic, “What is the church doing with technology?” and, in my opening address, I pointed out the error in the question. The real question was “What is technology doing to the church?” Technology can be a good thing, but it can spread darkness at the speed of light. I suspect I wrote more this week than the average New Testament writer did in a year, but it does not mean that my work will last. Today we can do more: more YouTube broadcasts, more tweets, more TikToks... but will our “more” last for...
Many businesses want to be "disruptive" yet their paradigms have not changed from decades-old thinking. Transformed people repurpose businesses; repurposed businesses repurpose spheres; transformed spheres shape policy; transformed policies contribute to societal transformation.
This video is a talk given by Brett Johnson to the faculty at Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma.
My wife likes the TV series, Call the Midwife; it is a little too blood-and-gory for me, but, I must say, I feel like a midwife for businesses.
During my first visit to a chiropractor, he asked, at the end of the exam, "So, what do you do?" "Oh, I am a corporate chiropractor!"
This led to a conversation about a key thing I do: coming alongside existing businesses and helping them align with truth, or at least with an amazing purpose. Some of the companies we work with describe themselves as faith-based, some as purpose-driven.
Being a chiropractor happens after a regular old business sees the light or, as one client put it, gets "born again." Just as Christian parents do not automatically give birth to Christian children, likewise Christian businesspeople do not inevitably have businesses that further the business of what some call "the kingdom of God."
On a trip to Morocco, which is a kingdom, I realized how little Westerners know about living under the rules...