Showing posts from September, 2013

In honor of a dear, departed friend, Sherwood Carthen


What is a "sinner?"

In order to be people whose lives are centered in the gospel of Jesus, we need to understand grace. And in order to understand grace, we need to understand sin and what it means to be a sinner. But what if we fundamentally misunderstand the word "sinner?" The trouble is, most people, both non-Christians and Christians, tend to think a sinner is a person with loose morals or a mean spirit or some other vice. But that's not at all what the Bible means by "sinner."

Eugene Peterson gives a helpful explanation of what "sinner" means. The word "sinner" is not a moral designation...
The word sinner is a theological designation. It is essential to insist on this. It is not a moralistic judgment. It is not a word that places humans somewhere along a continuum ranging from angel to ape, assessing them as relatively "good" or "bad." It designates humans in relation to God and sees them as separated from God. Sinner means something i…

Evangelism in a coffee shop

This morning I witnessed a person witnessing about Jesus. From a certain angle it was funny, but there were important aspects of the situation.

I strolled into one of my favorite coffee shops to sip a beverage and knock out some work. As I approached the counter to purchase a cup of black tea, on the couch next to me was an attractive woman on one end and a young man on the other. Both were reading with beverage in hand. A minute later I engaged in the all-important ritual of pouring just the right amount of milk into my black tea (you are supposed to drink black tea that way; ask a British person). Turning away from the beverage prep station, I saw him sneak a look at her. I was pretty sure I knew what he was thinking: "How can I start a conversation with this woman?"

One of the few spots open was at a table a couple feet away from the sofa. While I set up my computer and things, I noticed the guy had accomplished his first objective. He had asked her some question, and she…