Welcome to my blog. I spend half my life in coffee shops having honest conversations about how following Jesus works in real life. So, let’s learn together, grab a cup and – join the conversation.

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I’m a businessman, elder in one of the more conservative mega churches in Grand Rapids, Michigan and for over 25 years a full time spiritual mentor of men. I love introducing people to Jesus and truth from God’s perspective. I’m also an NPR listener and student of our culture because I want to understand how the world and a younger generation think, so I’m prepared to engage in conversations which are true to the Bible, intellectually honest and gracious.

Following Jesus is the only hope I have of living this life with purpose, energy and expectation. I hope to end my days on earth still meeting young men at Starbucks who have no interest in God, being the patriarch of my family, cheering them on to godliness, making sad people smile and the lonely – laugh, giving the poor hope, pointing wayward men back to their families, teaching the whole counsel of God and keeping myself unstained – God’s reputation and mine intact.

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Welcome to my blog.
I spend half my life in coffee shops having honest conversations about how following Jesus works in real life. So, let’s learn together, grab a cup and join the conversation.

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4

What Kind of Catholic is She?
Posted by Clare
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A man I’d never met called last month and asked for an appointment about an urgent matter. So we did.

“My son is dating a Catholic girl and my wife and I are sick about it! What should we do?”

As they say, this isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve been asked this question dozens of times over the years, so I’ve learned to ask this question;

“What kind of Catholic is she (or he)?”

Invariably the reaction is always the same. “What do you mean by that? She’s Catholic. How many kinds of Catholics are there?” Here’s how I answered.
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1

The Upside Down Gospel
Posted by Clare
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Almost everything Jesus taught is counter-intuitive to human wisdom. If you’re looking for logic, go to math. But if you’re searching for truth, come to Jesus.

That’s the way I began my mentoring of several post college young men a few years ago. These men were raised Christian, but at best were secular Christians. What’s a secular Christian? A person who believes what the Bible says, and has an outward veneer of spirituality, but has little spiritual depth, or a worldview that actually governs their day to day decisions.

Signs of a secular Christian?
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5

Red Letter Christians
Posted by Clare
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Last week’s blog was on the authority of the Bible. If you’re a parent, grandparent or mentor, there’s a second alarming trend coming your way – “red letter Christians”.

A few years ago, two hugely influential writers, Tony Campollo and Shane Claiborne, wrote a book entitled, The Red Letter Revolution. In the author’s own words, the basic premise of their book is this;

“Not only do we say that the red letters (the actual words of Jesus in red letters in the four gospels) are superior to the black letters of the Bible, but Jesus said they were! Jesus over and over again in the Sermon on the Mount, declared that some of the things that Moses taught about such things as divorce, adultery, killing, getting even with those who hurt you and the use of money, had to be transcended to a higher morality.”

In all fairness, I agree, as do most theologians, that the last part of this quote is true. Jesus did “toughen up” and raised the bar of Moses’ teaching in almost all of these areas. But that’s exactly why this book and this red letter revolution idea is so dangerous. It mixes, “let’s just live like Jesus” (and who’s going to argue with that!) with making commands in the rest of the Bible, including the balance of the New Testament books a virtual footnote.

But, this blog isn’t a personal assault on Tony, or Shane, two men I’ve not always agreed with theologically, but who clearly are trying to be serious followers of Jesus and are courageously calling others to do the same. But, it is a warning about red letter Christianity. My concern is that these views will only further undermine the confidence of younger Christians in the reliability and authority of all scripture for their lives. So, why would these authors do that? Here’s my theory;
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1

What Does the U.S. Constitution and the Bible Have in Common?
Posted by Clare
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Does God have the right to…? (and you can complete that question any way you want.)

We older evangelicals believe we know the answer to that question and can’t imagine any Christians not agreeing with us. “Yes! Of course God has the right to do, or ask of us whatever it is he wants! We live under the authority of God, as expressed in the Bible.”

But the truth is, even if we believe he has the right to order our lives, even those of us who willingly say we put ourselves under his authority, still buck his commands occasionally.

I’m asked all the time why I decided in my late 60’s to tackle the LGBT topic. The answer is simple. The real battle today is not LGBT questions or same-sex marriage, or homophobia, co-habitation, racial discrimination, or divorce. Those are simply the unintended consequences of a far more dangerous trend. Here’s what that is;

Confidence in the authority of the Bible is being eroded.
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