Why “Preaching the Gospel” is Both a Show and Tell Ministry

Homeless, poor, hungry man with sign asking for help with food or money.

It struck me this week reading Luke 9 that everywhere Jesus went, as he taught people about God and his kingdom, that he also met physical needs.

Sometimes it was giving food. Sometimes healing. Sometimes exorcism. Sometimes physical touch. Sometimes simple friendship around the table.

I’ve always known this of course, but perhaps because of the social and cultural moment we’re in, it hit me differently.

It was Luke 9:11 this time. …


Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

There’s a Christmas song that is not even really a Christmas song that I love and am also haunted by. It’s called “The Rebel Jesus” by Jackson Browne.

The song shows a stark difference between what Browne sees between Christians and Christ. Browne, according to his own lyrics, does not follow Jesus. But his perspective is helpful for those of us who do.

Written almost 30 years ago, Brown recently recorded the song again from his home. Watch and listen closely:

The third and fourth verses particularly stand out:

[3] We guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard…


Why Protestants Don’t Need to Be Afraid of Celebrating a Saint’s Day

St. Lucia Day Candle to celebrate this church calendar festival
Photo by David Tomaseti on Unsplash

Yesterday, December 13, was the Feast of St. Lucia, a festival of lights celebrated in honor of St. Lucia (or Lucy), a martyr who was killed by the Romans in AD 304.

The name Lucia/Lucy comes from the Latin root lux which means “light.” Celebrated in the darkness of winter, St. Lucia Day reminds us that the true Light of the world has come.

It’s celebrated primarily in Sweden and Norway, but also in Italy (where Lucia was born) and in parts of Finland.

It’s also celebrated in our house.

My wife has quite a bit of Scandinavian heritage and…


A Christmas Poem

Father and child holding hands.

I have a goal to write and post something for 90 straight days. I’m on day 4 and today was a packed day. My wife and I also recorded a new podcast episode tonight that just released a few minutes ago.

So here I am at 10pm to write something.

But I’m cheating. I’m not writing something new or original.

I’m reposing a Christmas poem I wrote a few years back. It takes the perspective of Joseph, Mary’s husband and Jesus’ adoptive father.

I hope you enjoy it.

“Hands”

Open on your mother’s chest
or after a bellowing belch.
Taut when you’re…


Spoiler Alert: It’s Way Better

Photo by Marla Prusik on Unsplash

I’m a 90s kid. That means I watched a lot of TV. And one scene from a cartoon (Looney Tunes maybe?) is forever etched in my mind.

I can’t remember the context of the episode but it’s a picture of heaven. It’s portrayed as an expanse filled with clouds. A chubby little baby in a diaper is an angel seated on a puffy cloud playing a harp.

Apparently this is paradise for all eternity.

This image shaped my theology of heaven more than anything when I was a kid. It made me not want to go to heaven. Ever. I’m…


The Conversation Christians in America Need to Have

A person trying to get through their depression looking out a window

There is a massive conversation that needs to happen within Christianity in America right now. More specifically, within the evangelical movement.

It will be a messy conversation with too many topics to cover. Nationalism and racism are priorities. But I don’t think these top the list. What does?

Leadership.

Right now, we have a leadership crisis in our churches and organizations.

Just today, I began reading Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership by Ruth Haley Barton. In the introduction, she writes:

Jesus indicates that it is possible to gain the whole world but lose your own soul. If he were…


Different color hands showing diversity.
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash.

Let’s start at the right place.

Critical Race Theory is not the problem.

That seems obvious enough. But we are making it difficult.

The day before George Floyd was murdered, most Americans had no idea what Critical Race Theory (CRT) was.

But then it burst onto the scene like a firework. It was everywhere as people searched for education, encouragement, and empowerment. Then something strange happened.

Everyone became an expert on CRT.

Especially Christians.

I’m not an expert on CRT. Hardly even a novice. What I do know is that CRT, like every other philosophy/theory, departs from Scripture at many…


Why It’s Right to Grieve Your Losses from the Pandemic

Covid-19 Mask Spray Paint Graffiti
Photo by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash

I’m trying to get my refrigerator fixed.

My wife and I bought a brand new GE fridge at the end of May. Not by choice. Our other one became a bit temperamental (bad dad fridge joke, I know).

The new one’s problem? The digital screen went out. That means no digital buttons to push to get filtered ice or water.

Normally, it’s not a big deal to call the manufacturer when a major appliance is under warranty and get a repairman to come out to do the job.

But it’s 2020.

So, obviously, that means back-ordered parts.

I’ve called GE…


Don’t Ignore this Important, Balanced, Biblical Book

Recovering From Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: How the Church Needs to Rediscover Her Purpose by Aimee Byrd (Zondervan, 2020).

I just finished reading Recovering From Biblical Manhood & Womanhood by Aimee Byrd. I read this book because I first learned about Aimee on the Worthy podcast, hosted by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Eric Schumacher. This review is much shorter than it could or should be. I’m won’t be able to cover all of the important content but want to highlight a few important arguments of the book.

Byrd, who subscribes to male-only ordination, set out to confront some of the teaching…


I’m looking for America
I’m looking for a place to breathe in
A place I could call my home
I’m looking for America
I’m looking for the land of freedom
A place I can call my own

America who are you?
Am I asking for too much
America who are you?
Has your dream become out of touch
America who are you?
Do you get what you deserve
Between the violence and entitlements
Which nation do you serve?

These lyrics from the song “Looking for America” by Switchfoot and Lecrae encapsulate the feelings of many young Christians in America. We’ve…

James Pruch

James writes about faith, culture, and leadership. When he’s not writing you can find him with his family or watching old Husker football highlights on YouTube.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store