mwittmer

mike wittmer

seminary professor. writer. US.

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bad religion

In his landmark books Soul Searching and Souls in Transition, sociologist Christian Smith surveyed American young adults and found that most held to what he called “Therapeutic Moralistic Deism.” They’re deists because they believe God doesn’t interfere in our lives unless we need His help... read more »

the real Jesus

When Peter brought the gospel to the Gentiles, he told Cornelius the story of Jesus. He explained how the Savior traveled throughout Judea healing people and casting out demons, died on the cross and rose again, and then appeared to His disciples and commanded them to tell everyone He was Israel’s... read more »

roots

My friend noticed that his maple tree was shedding leaves prematurely. The tree doctor told him his tree was suffering from a girdling root. It had taken 30 years, but the offending root had encircled the tree and was now slowly choking it. If my friend didn’t dig down and hack the root off, the... read more »

not bored

The picture in my news magazine showed a Moscow circus bear that was shuffling across a tightrope in preparation for its next performance. More interesting was the woman sitting in the background, slumped over, with her head resting on one hand, as if she had seen this act before. She couldn’t... read more »

hear the Word

Paul’s closing remarks indicate how his letters were presented. The church gathered to hear the letter read out loud and, when they had heard it, the letter was copied by hand before it was sent on to another city. So the average Christians heard God’s Word with their ears before seeing it with... read more »

don’t judge?

“Do not judge others” may be the most popular verse in the world. It’s the one phrase from the Bible that everyone seems to know—and often misapply. A former politician continued to text inappropriate photos of himself to strangers even after he apologized and resigned in disgrace. He... read more »

a stone’s throw

The teachers of the law stormed into the temple and interrupted Jesus’ teaching by thrusting a woman in front of the crowd. They said to Him, “This woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” (John 8:4-5). Jesus knew that if He sided with the... read more »

selfish servants

The lighthouse keepers had survived harsh and lonely conditions on a meager salary, endured the incessant roar of the foghorn, and rowed their lifeboat onto stormy seas to rescue sailors. But the keepers had also resisted efforts to install a new lens that would have doubled the amount of light... read more »

pass the bacon

As Peter was waiting for lunch, he slipped into a trance and saw a sheet drop from the sky full of unclean animals. The image must have startled him—Why was a good Jew like him having a filthy dream like this? What he heard next shocked him: “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.” “No, Lord,”... read more »

families and pendulums

My middle-aged friend was struggling to value his local church. He was raised in a home that emphasized a personal relationship with God but didn’t care much for organized religion. When his parents were younger, their church had stopped preaching the gospel, so they became suspicious of all... read more »
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