Tag Archives: Jesus

Big Questions for God

When you meet God, what’s the first question you’ll ask him? Mine is easy: god-and-bible-front-coverWhy zits and mosquitoes, God? Sin and the fall of humankind is a serious issue. I get it. But acne and blood-drawing, itch-causing, malaria-carrying bugs seem like cruel and unusual punishment. For a kid who grew up in the mosquito infested South and battled extra-oily skin, my question was pressing!

Today I live in Southern California and I’m almost 40, so bugs and pimples are non-issues (thank God!). But my real questions for God linger, just as they do for every thinking Christian.

We believe God exists, we trust Jesus is the Way, but we’ve got tons of inquiries about him, the Bible, and this life.

Questioning is good. It’s vital, in fact. In our new book (the first of 3), we invite you to wrestle alongside us with some of those most important and toughest of questions.

Though the title says “Answering the Toughest Questions…”, we (Bruce Bickel, Stan Jantz, and myself) wrote this book not as a definitive response, but as an invitation to begin tackling, facing, exploring, and simply acknowledging the very real questions.

god-and-bible-title-pageFaith, God, the Bible, and the Christian life are rarely tied up in neat little bows. It’s messy. But we want to help.

in this book you’ll find great questions, thoughtful responses that welcome more questions, some answers to move us forward, Scripture to dive into, and humor along the way.

It’s been an honor to work with these long-time authors, and it’s a privilege to recommend our book to you!

Answering the Toughest Questions about God and the Bible is hot off the press and I’d love for you to pick up a copy and send me your feedback.

You have questions. We have questions. And we need permission, space, and opportunity to wrestle with them. I’m proud to say this book can be a very good start.

What questions are YOU wrestling with? I’d love to hear! Email me at ChrisGreer346@gmail.com.

Need a little incentive to start reading? If post a review of Answering the Toughest Questions  on Amazon, I’ll send you one of my devotional eBooks (Christmas Is Coming, my Advent daily devotional, or Easter Is Comingmy Lent daily devotional) free! Just post a review on Amazon and shoot me an email at ChrisGreer346@gmail.com and I’ll send you the eBook. Get to reading, friends! I can’t wait to hear from you.

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Hope Healed Her (and it just might help you too)

Imagine waking up one morning with the ability to see out of only one good eye, without the power to move your limbs, and with a tangle of tubes extending from your body like tentacles. Now imagine having no idea how you got in such a predicament.Jay and Katherine

Such is the story of my friend Katherine Wolf, who suffered a massive brain stem stroke a few years ago. And though she should be dead, she isn’t. And though her husband, Jay–who was was left alone to care for their six-month old son and his suddenly severely disabled wife–should have lost hope, he didn’t.

Their new book, Hope Heals, tells the story of their harrowing journey and the hope that has sustained them. In it they honestly and vulnerably recount all they lost and all they found and the Source for the miracle of life and their hope amid hopelessness.

I could not recommend a book more highly than this.

My wife and I have had our own journey with pain, unexplained suffering, and an unknown future, and in the pages of Hope Heals, in the retelling of Jay and Katherine’s profound experience, we connected again with the One we trust. And hope was rekindled.

This is story you need to read and, most likely, need to pass on to someone in your life who needs it too. Jay and Katherine are gifted story tellers who have navigated the nightmare, and in their tears, doubts, fear, and faith they have found new, life-giving hope. And they want the same for you.

Get Hope Heals here. 

Want a preview? Check out Katherine’s “Huffington Post” interview here.

Want a tiny incentive? Buy Hope Heals and send a screenshot of your receipt to christopher@christopher-greer.com, and I’ll send you a free copy of my e-book, 5 Core Christian Beliefs and Why They Actually Matter. 

Read on, friends. There is much to be hopeful about.

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God’s Will: Can It be Found and Followed?

What if knowing God’s will for your life was not as complicated as it seems?


pic courtesy pdpics.com

I have a friend who has struggled for a very long time to understand what God’s plan is for him. Like all of us, he longs to know that he’s in “the center of God’s will.” He’s wants to find that sweet spot where his work, relationships, family, and church jive perfectly and if feels like he’s enjoying God’s very best. Some of you know what that feels like. Some of you – like my friend – have no clue what that is like, but you wish (and pray) that you did!

I’ve been in your boat—a lot.  But there is good news for all of us who ask, “Can God’s will for my life be found and followed?”  It can. It absolutely can. And it’s not as difficult to figure out as we tend to think. Continue reading

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Baptism: Wading the Waters Together

My last post—The Power of Presence—was about the power of God’s presence with us and our presence with each other, and I want to share with you a beautiful moment from last week that illustrates again the gift of God’s presence through his people…

The story begins with AJ, who walked into the church where I work and said, “I want to know God.” As a pastor, I was more than happy to reply, “Well, brother, you’re in the right place!”

After a short conversation about Jesus the Christ and Scripture’s telling of who he is and what he did, AJ responded to God’s love, repented of his sin, and chose to follow Jesus. And just like that, the heavens exploded with joy (Luke 15:7, 10), as did AJ and I!

So last Thursday our small group of 10 folks—AJ’s first real experience with the Church—met at the beach for his baptism. The most important event of the evening was AJ’s baptism, but I could not help but be moved by the actions of the two other men in our small band of believers. Continue reading

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The Power of Presence

I’ll never forget where I first learned about the power of presence. It was in a hospice care facility in east Texas where my sweet grandmother, Jo, was dying. My grandfather, her husband of 58 years, never left her bedside. He comforted her, supported her, and helped ready her for eternity with the simple power of his presence. And after she died, I was humbled and grateful to learn that my consistent presence had comforted, supported, and helped him in that terribly difficult time.

In Psalm 139 King David celebrates this kind of presence. Only he was not writing about a human companion, he was writing about a holy One. Continue reading

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Not Opposed to Effort: Solutions for Better Discipleship (solution #2)

(This post is the 5th and final blog in a series about the nature of discipleship in our churches today.)


Making disciples is what the Church was made by God to do. In this series I explain why we aren’t doinRock Climbing The Southwest, USAg it well (Read it here)  and two things that stand in our way (read about them here—Roadblock #1: the Christian message that is too easy to be good, and Roadblock #2: we have traded acts for facts).

But there is hope! Blog #4 reminds us that the first solution is that  we must tell the full story!

Last but not least, here is Solution #2 for helping the Church do a better job of making true disciples of Jesus…

Solution #2 Reintroduce Rigor

If we want to be a church that effectively makes disciples of Jesus—people who actually value doing what God asks disciples to do and who actually live lives that impact the world around them—we must (must!) reintroduce and value rigor. Good old fashioned rigor.

Continue reading

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Not Opposed to Effort: Solutions for Better Discipleship (solution #1)

(This post is the 4th blog in a series about the nature of discipleship in our churches today.)


In the first post of this series (Read it here) I argued that the American church’s misunderstanding of the phrase “grace is enough” causes us to miss out on what it truly means to be disciples of Jesus.

To right the ship, we need to understand two roadblocks that prevent us, and others, from following Jesus into the life of discipleship we were created for.

  • Roadblock #1: The church presents a Christian message that is too easy to be good. You can read about it here.
  • Roadblock #2: True discipleship is obstructed because we believe facts are the same as acts. Read more here.

Two Ways Forward counting

I once had a friend who quipped, “No solution, no problem!” It was his funny way of dismissing critics who had a knack for opining about what was wrong but never offered  ways to make things right. I’m always thankful for those who are bold enough to articulate the problem and propose creative solutions. I hope to do the same here. After all, what good is it to point out two major problems with the church’s view of discipleship if I will not wade into the murky waters of solutions?

Continue reading

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Not Opposed to Effort: The Second Roadblock to Discipleship

(This post is the 3rd blog in a series about the nature of discipleship in our churches today.)

 In the first post of this series (Read it here) I argued that the American church’s misunderstanding of the phrase “grace is enough” causes us to misrepresent the Christian life and miss out on what it truly means to be disciples of Jesus.

To right the ship, we need to understand two roadblocks that prevent us, and others, from following Jesus into the life of discipleship we were created for. The first roadblock is this: we present a Christian message that is too easy to be good. You can read about it here.smartphone user

The second roadblock that obstructs authentic discipleship to Jesus is that we believe facts are the same as acts. Here is what I mean… 

Roadblock #2: We believe Facts are the Same as Acts

In a culture where the breadth of human knowledge is accessible with only a few key strokes, we often substitute learning for mastery. We have substituted facts for acts.

Continue reading

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Not Opposed to Effort: Two Roadblocks to Discipleship

sheep in the road

(This post is the 2nd in a series about the nature of discipleship in our churches today. Click here to read the first post.) 

In last week’s post (Read it here) I argued that our misunderstanding of the oft-used phrase “grace is enough” causes us to misrepresent the Christian life and miss out on what it truly means to be a disciple of Jesus.

We have a shallow view of grace and an incomplete definition of discipleship. In our addiction to “the easy life” we have eliminated the rigor of discipleship and simultaneously cheapened the grace God has given.

Dallas Willard’s phrase, “Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning,”[1] is good news. Though a life devoted to God in Christ is more difficult than we have often heard, it is also much better than we have often experienced.

To right the ship, we need to understand two roadblocks that prevent us, and others, from following Jesus into the life of discipleship we were created for. 

Roadblock #1: It’s Too Easy to Be Good

The “accept Jesus into your heart and you won’t go to hell when you die” approach to making disciples is too easy to be good. Let me explain.

Continue reading

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Not Opposed to Effort: The Work of Discipleship

steel worker

Grace is not enough.

That sentence alone will send the reformed crowd into orbit, and it just might make the rest of you scramble for Bible verses that refute works-based righteousness.

But when I was recently asked to comment on Christian discipleship today, I could not help but think that grace is not enough.

Obviously the truth of that statement relies on one’s definitions of “grace” and “enough.” Continue reading

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I’m only eating rice and beans this year (so far)

I’m never more content than the Sunday morning of Thanksgiving weekend. The previous 72 hours are filled (literally) with turkey and pumpkin pie. And lots of it.

And when Sunday morning rolls around I am primed and ready to worship God for all his bountiful blessings in my life.

But then, out of nowhere, the Holy Spirit shows up to reiterate how ridiculously good I have it here.  My contentment is turned into conviction.

In this case, the Spirit spoke through the testimony of Pastor Joel Amonde, a Kenyan pastor who runs an orphanage and primary school in western Kenya.

Orphans in Kenya

During the 11am worship service, our pastor talked with Joel: “On this particular weekend in America we eat about as much as we can. But what do the orphans in Kenya eat?” Pastor Joel replied honestly, “Rice a beans. One meal of rice and beans.”

One meal a day. Of rice and beans.

Continue reading

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5 Ways to Help Our Family…Will You Pick 2?


The letter ‘N’, or the Arabic symbol pictured here, is used by ISIS to mark the homes of the Christians they are murdering, capturing, and driving from Iraq. The Islamic terrorist group chose this letter because it stands for the Nazarene,that is Jesus of Nazareth. It represents the One the Iraqi Christians claim as their Lord, and the One that makes us family.

Hundreds of thousands of people  around the world have adopted the letter and joined the #WeAreN campaign to show solidarity with Iraqi Christians. And we should too. I have half a mind to go and paint the letter on the outside of my apartment right now.

This is just one, simple way we can begin to answer  the question I posed in my previous blog: what can we do to help our family? But we need to do more.

I’m writing today to ask for your help.

Continue reading

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How To Know God’s Will (Thank you Mother Mary!)

Konstantinos Mavroudis via CC

Image Credit: Konstantinos Mavroudis via CC


I am reading through the Christmas narrative in my Bible as I work on a Christmas writing project. It feels kind of weird to do it in August. But hey, if my little brother Andrew can record a Christmas album in August, I can write a Christmas book. (Andrew-Greer.com – How about that for a shameless Greer family plug?!).

As I read Mary’s journey with fresh eyes, I’ve thought long and hard about just how crazy of an experience it must have been.

Imagine being told by an angel that you would play a major role in God’s plan for the world; while you were still a teenager. And imagine that plan including an out-of-wedlock pregnancy in a society that stoned women for unmarried sexual activity.

With just those two things in mind, would you have believed that an angel actually appeared to you? Continue reading

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Super Jesus

Super Jesus - Emily Carlin

Photo Credit: Emily Carlin (CreativeCommons)


In the late 1930’s Superman made his comic book debut, and for the last seven decades readers and moviegoers of all ages have been thrilled by his use of super-human capabilities to rid the world of evil.

The idea of Superman resonates deeply with the American psyche. Though a fictional superhero, the man from Krypton embodies the independent, self-sufficient, nobody-to-somebody kind of story we love. He’s a loner. An island. “Supe” is the kind of guy boys dream of being and the kind that men actually try to be. Superman is the one guy everyone turns to and the one guy who never needs to turn to anyone else. And we admire that about him.

Sometimes we admire the same thing about Jesus.

Jesus is the one man who changed the world forever. He stepped to earth from another place, humbly rose to epic fame, and conquered evil all by himself. But unlike the fictional Superman, we believe the Bible tells the true story of how this no-name carpenter rose to the occasion to single-handedly defeat death itself.

It’s a good story. But it is not the whole story. Continue reading

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Extreme Hospitality (The Third Thing I Learned in Egypt about being a Christian)

Johnny Wilson CC

 Image courtesy of Johnny Wilson at CC


I attend and work at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, and part of the church’s mission is to exhibit extreme hospitality. The church does it well. In fact, it was this genuine hospitality that brought my wife and me to the church in the first place and part of why we chose to stay.

But as welcoming as our church is, I’ve never encountered hospitality like I did in Egypt last month. I was there to help my friend explore new mission opportunities, and from the moment our hosts met us at the airport until they dropped us off again, we were treated like royalty.

The practice of extreme hospitality was the third lesson I learned from Kasr al Dobara Evangelical Church (KDEC) about being a Christian. Continue reading

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