5 Reasons The Church Today Needs Matthew Paul Turner & Our Great Big American God

I’ve known Matthew Paul Turner for more than a decade.

We co-wrote Everything Twenties and 20 Things You Should Read together years ago. I remember his short-lived stint as an editor at CCM. Over the years, I’ve watched him grow and mature as a writer, editor, thinker, husband, father, and follower of Jesus. I’ve also had the privilege of watching Matthew—even from a distance—grow into who He was always meant to be—a provocative thought leader.

That said, I’ve never met anyone who has read much of Matthew Paul Turner, his wildly popular blogs, or his books including Churched and Hear No Evil that hasn’t gotten fire-engine-red faced angry. I’m sure that person exists.

Along with fairies, elves, and Sasquatch.

If you’ve read MPT for years and never once had your nose flare, show yourself. Then go to a doctor. You may not have a pulse.

This week, I read his newest book, Our Great Big American God, which provides a travelogue of God from the time He crossed the Atlantic until He arrived in what has become jesUSAMERICA. Beautifully written, Turner forces us to look at how Christianity has been influenced by nationalism, the economy, politics, entertainment, greed, agendas, and the history we prefer to ignore.

In his trademark playful style, some of Turner’s observations made me wince, others left me fuming, still others proved aha! moments. Some vignettes, much like a Gladwell book, only provided a sliver of the true tale, but still a shard we need to be aware of—even if it’s doubtful, questionable, or suspicious.

The reason the church today needs Matthew Paul Turner so much is because:

Continue Reading...

Why Are There So Many Unintended Consequences?

One thing I’ve been discovering lately is the role of unintended consequences in my own life.

Leif and I talk about this often. Continue Reading...

10 Things to Know before You Escape from Alcatraz

We had been looking forward to Leif's escape from Alcatraz for over a year. Continue Reading...

Let me introduce you to my friend, Kara. Kara Powell, PhD, is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. Recently named by Christianity Today as one of 50 women shaping culture and the church, Kara is the author or co-author of a number of books including The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith, Can I Ask That?, and Deep Justice Journeys.

This fall, I've invited friends around the sticky barn door table to share what God is teaching them. My hope and prayer is that their words are a blessing and encouragement to you.

9 Words to Add to Your Vocabulary Starting Today

by Kara Powell

Snorkel equipment. Check.

Books for the airplane. Yup.

Exhaustion and a sense of being overwhelmed. In spades. 

So went my packing list for our family vacation at the start of this summer. Fatigue and a sense of overcommitment weren’t on my list, but they were so embedded in the weeks leading up to our trip that they snuck into my luggage uninvited.

Busyness has always been a struggle for me. Continue Reading...

3 Most Tempting Scriptures to Yank Out of Context

Perusing the card aisle at my local grocery store, I searched for the perfect blend of witty and encouraging for a friend having a tough week.

Flipping through cards, I noticed a theme. Many contained Bible verses. Yet the verses they quoted were yanked out of context. The display reminded me of how often I reach for a passage without checking the context and digging deeper into the overall theme of the story of book. Though I’ve made this mistake, I’m working to become more diligent in this area.

Here are 3 of the most tempting Scriptures to yank out of context:

Continue Reading...