God Gives the Law (Story of Scripture 6)

Listen to the podcast here. This week we are diving into the Law! Our story began in the beginning, with God’s good creation. This good creation was broken through human sin. God launched a rescue operation, calling Abraham to bring blessing to the nations. Abraham’s descendants, Israel, ended up enslaved in Egypt and God liberated…

The Call of Abraham (Story of Scripture 2)

Listen to the Podcast: The Call of Abraham (Story of Scripture Episode 2) Let’s start with a question: How have you understood the story of the Bible? Do you move right from the fall of humanity in Genesis 3 to the coming of Jesus? There are hundreds of pages and years between Genesis 3 and…

Social Justice and Caring for the Poor in the Early Church

A while back a popular conservative commentator got all up in arms over the term "social justice", warning his listeners to flee their church if the pastor mentioned it because it was code for communism.  He may be surprised to learn that the idea of social justice has roots as old as the Christian faith…

Reflections on a Decade of Short Term Mission trips

When I moved to University Park, the "main" campus of Penn State, for my junior year I got involved in Christian Student Fellowship (CSF).  Later that year I went on my first short term mission trip, rebuilding houses in North Carolina.  The next year we went to Miami and worked with Habbitat for Humanity.  Then…

What is My Purpose – CSF Weekly Word

What is my purpose in life? What does God want me to do? Over the summer I asked students, via Facebook, to suggest some topics for study this fall.  One student asked those questions, and they seemed like the perfect lead-in to the entire semester.  So last night at CSF we tackled those questions. My…

Reflections on a Crazy, Wonderful Weekend

I still remember my first ever fall retreat with Christian Student Fellowship as a student.  It was way back in the fall of 2000.  We went to Sylvan Hills Christian Camp, about 20 minutes from State College, PA.  The guest speaker talked a lot about Jesus' disciple Peter.  That's about all I remember, other then…

Real Church in a Social Network World = Relationships (A Book Review)

I've wanted to read a book by Leonard Sweet for years. A good friend of mine studied under Sweet for his Doctor of Ministry degree and has always spoken very highly of him. Along with that, I've noticed Sweet's work throughout the years, often making a mental note to pick up this or that book…

Shallow – Young Adults Who Wander (You Lost Me 7)

One of my favorite people in the world is Ron.  Ron retired after a long and successful career as a chemist.  He spends his retirement on campus at Penn State Berks, tutoring students in chemistry.  Ron does this because of his Christian faith: he is using his gifts to connect with young people and speak…

Is the Church Overprotective? Young Adults Who Wander (You Lost Me 6)

A few years back I was talking to someone about what I do as a campus minister and I made a comment along the lines of how I don't really listen to Christian music.  The person was kind of surprised, thinking I listened to such holy music so I could recommend it to my students.…