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The NewLife Blog

October 2, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Looking for someone willing to play the part of the preacher

A recent unique posting on churchstaffing.com (since deleted) was making the rounds in articles on Christian websites this past week. Apparently, a newer church in Colorado was looking for a pastor willing to memorize the sermons of certain megachurch pastors and preach them to their congregation every Sunday. The reasoning went like this: if worship teams learn and play Chris Tomlin or David Crowder songs for worship, adding in their own personal contributions, why not do the same with preaching? Why settle for listening to Joe Pastor when you can listen to Joe Pastor preaching a Steven Furtick or Andy Stanley sermon?...Keep Reading

Tags: Church, Preaching

September 25, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

There are no easy answers in suffering

As a preacher, I often quote from C.S. Lewis, because, well, that’s what evangelical preachers do. I must confess, however, that as quotable as he is, I have only actually finished two of his books, because I find his style difficult to read. One of those books is Mere Christianity, a classic and one of the first books I ever read as a Christian. The second is called A Grief Observed, and contains his journals and reflections after losing his wife, Joy Davidman, to cancer. One of the amazing things about A Grief Observed is that it is the personal reflection on deep suffering written by the same man who wrote The Problem of Pain, one of the enduring Christian classics on suffering....Keep Reading

Tags: Suffering, Death

September 18, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

If I could go back to college...

In the years after I graduated from UConn, I found myself wishing that I could go back to some of my classes and defend my faith against some of the messages I heard from my professors. I became a follower of Jesus right at the beginning of my freshman year at UConn, and although I was an eager learner when it came to my newfound faith, I had no idea how to answer many of the criticisms of Christianity I heard in my classes. For example: “Missionaries are arrogant, evil, and ethnocentric.”...Keep Reading

Tags: College, Apologetics

September 11, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

What vows would you make to God?

AW Tozer was a prominent American pastor and author in the early to mid-20th century, best known for his enduring works The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy. I wanted to share a summary of a short treatise he wrote called “Five Vows for Spiritual Power,” which can be read in its entirety here. His approach in this treatise is to argue that if you are truly concerned about growing spiritually, then you should make vows and keep them. If you fail to keep them, don’t give up, but confess, repent, and start over. Don’t let the possibility of failure keep you from making vows that point your heart in the direction of God and holiness....Keep Reading

Tags: Discipleship, Vows

September 4, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

How often do you think about heaven?

In a book I read recently, an American Christian interacted with a seminary student from Africa. The man from Africa expressed his amazement at how little Americans speak of heaven in church. In his country, he said, they talk about heaven all the time. But, he realized, Americans don’t talk about it as much here because we have everything we think we want in this life. We are so comfortable that we don’t need to look ahead to heaven. Perhaps there is some truth to this....Keep Reading

Tags: Death, Heaven

August 28, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

How do you see yourself?

One of the mysteries of the gospel of John is that one of the disciples is referred to as “the disciple Jesus loved.” According to church history, this disciple is none other than John himself, the author of the book. Consider what you would be like if you saw that as your primary identity, the way you viewed yourself....Keep Reading

Tags: Jesus, Identity

August 21, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

What is my problem???

In my opinion, Romans 8 the greatest chapter in the whole Bible. Filled with promises about the love of God and His commitment to us, it builds from verse 1’s declaration that “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” to the crescendo of verse 35-39, where we are exhorted that NOTHING can separate us from God’s love. Hallelujah! But perhaps just as important as Romans 8 is the end of the preceding chapter, Romans 7. After all, Romans 8:1 begins with “therefore,” which should prompt us to ask what it is “there for.” Romans 8, the passionate declaration of God’s great love for sinful, undeserving humans, follows Paul’s most candid confession of his complete inability to live up to not only God’s standards, but even his own. Listen to these words:...Keep Reading

Tags: Gospel, Discipleship

August 14, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Blaming God for our suffering

Soon after the Holocaust, an East German pastor by the name of Guenter Rutenborn wrote a play called The Sign of Jonah, in his attempt to make sense of all the horror had transpired in his country. In his play, a group of German people attempt to come to terms with the atrocities that had been committed on their soil, asking who was to blame for the Holocaust. Some blamed Hitler. Others blamed the munitions manufacturers. Still more blamed the German people in their apathy. Finally, the people realized that above all the others, that God was to blame. After all, God had created this world. God had placed all of this power in such unworthy hands. And God had for some unknown reason allowed all of these tragedies to happen....Keep Reading

Tags: Gospel, Suffering

August 7, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The legacy of a faithful life

I went to a funeral today. It was for the man who taught me the Lord’s prayer. Mr. Taylor graduated to heaven at the age of ninety-six. He spent more than thirty-five years...Keep Reading

Tags: Sunday School, faithfulness

July 31, 2018 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Should I read that Christian best-seller?

One of my favorite things about my time in seminary was the library. I love to read, so you can imagine my delight at finding a place that housed what seemed like every Christian book ever written. There was even a shelf made up entirely of Max Lucado books! As much as I loved my seminary library, and as passionate as I am about reading good books, I am more cautious than ever when it comes to the average Christian book store, or Christian book distributor....Keep Reading

Tags: Culture, Books