What Makes News Good?

What makes news good news?

This is the question N.T. Wright tackles in his excellent book, Simply Good News: Why the Gospel is News and What Makes it Good.

His answer is that news, or news that is especially good news, is an announcement.

It’s an announcement about something good that has already happened (often unexpectedly).  Because of this good thing that’s happened, things are now changed and things are changing!

We live in a news-saturated world.  Much of is often not good news.

So, what makes news good news?

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Reclaiming What’s Lost

Christ’s earliest followers sensed a fresh wind blowing.  They sensed that, as the resurrection-story poured forth, they were experiencing and living in the new-kind-of-Kingdom vision that Jesus often proclaimed.

No, they didn’t fully realize what was going on at the moment.

But that didn’t matter.

The earliest followers of Christ stumbled, bumbled, and tumbled their way into this new-kind-of-Kingdom promise of the Gospel.  As they did, they experienced power, proclaimed hope, and dispensed love – gratuitously, I might add.

They began, in short, a journey as a new-kind-of-people within a new-kind-of-community.

It must have been exhilarating.

Can you imagine walking into one of the earliest temples, synagogues, or homes where this new message was the new way?

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A Hope-Inspired Existence

The early church was a raucous bunch!

Stumbling, bumbling, and fumbling their way into this new-way-to-be-human the Gospel so clearly proclaimed.

You don’t have to read too far into the New Testament to pick up on the sense of dynamic power at work within and among them!

They (the earliest followers) are not a second-guessing kind of people.

They aren’t a “Hey, I wonder-if-this-is-true” study-group kind of people.

We don’t find them huddled up in bible-study groups complaining about how bad the world is.


None of that.

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Ministry, MLK, and Making Time to Write


It’s been nearly a month since I’ve blogged.

I’ve been locked in a busy season of life and ministry.  For many involved in full-time (or even part-time and volunteer) ministry, the Advent Season is full and vibrant.  Busy but rewarding.

I find that, when ministry demands are high, moments for writing are few and far between.

That’s when I have to create space to write.

Time to Write Doesn’t Just Happen

This morning, I looked at my calendar and was stunned to find that it’s already January 10th.  We are ten days into the New Year, and I’ve not written (at least not for this blog) one single word of reflection or encouragement.

So, I am stopping everything else to take time to write.

If you love writing, as I do, then I’d encourage you not to wait until you have time to write before you write.  No, make time to write.  Even in a post-literate society (one that don’t read :^)), we need our authors.  We need to hear from those who help us put words to what we feel, sense, and perceive but are unable to articulate.

So today, on this day that’s already quite full, I am going to pause and reflect on the hope Martin Luther King once had of our world.  It seems an appropriate topic since we will celebrate his life in just over a week.

His hope, though not his only hope (after all, we cannot narrow any one man or woman’s entire life down to one idea, no matter how grand) was that Love would win the day.

He did, in fact, repeatedly propose that love is the only hope any of us have.

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Preach What Pours Forth!

I have the privilege of preaching every Sunday.


It is a privilege!

After all, I get to present ideas on a wide range of topics lifted from the most popular book in the history of humankind.

That book, of course, is the Bible.

Two years ago, I was encouraged by a mentor to try preaching one Sunday without notes.  I still remember shuddering when he recommended it.

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