Posts in Joel Hess
The Gospel is Only for Consumers

Recently, Francis Chan made headlines for stepping down from leading his very large church.  To explain his decision he wrote a book, A Letter to the Churches, where he makes some very good critiques of American Christianity.  Perhaps a driving critique can be summed up with his comment to an interviewer, "Too often we add in our own voices, thinking that if we just offer just the right services or package the gospel in just the right way so no one gets offended, we can convince people to stay. By catering our worship to the worshipers and not to the Object of our worship, I fear we have created human-centered churches.”  

Read More
Joel HessJoel Hess
He Must Be Out of His Mind

There was a time when everyone thought Jesus was nuts, His mom included. The Pharisees accused Him of being possessed and His family thought He was insane. They actually wanted to take Him away, maybe get some help, or hide Him from the public for a little while.

Read More
I Don’t Want To Be A Poor Widow

You have probably heard of the widow’s mites. Sadly, we focus on the pennies of the old lady, but forget the old lady, nameless and formless. We crucified those braggadocios Pharisees who loved to be popular, in the spotlight, let alone rich.

Read More
Joel HessJoel Hess
We Only Baptize Babies

Often times friends of mine complain about our practice of baptizing infants. I used to take time arguing the fine points of why. But now I just tell them, “We only baptize infants.” It’s true.

Read More
Joel HessJoel Hess
Beware It's a Trap

These divisive days are bringing out the worst in pastors and churches. The devil knows just what to do. If he can get congregations and their shepherds excited about anything else except Jesus, he wins. 

Read More
Joel HessJoel Hess
The Joy of Repentance

Repentance and joy are two words we don't usually see near each other. It’s not exciting to be told that you are doing something wrong, or worse, that you stink in life! I like how our modern world invented the term ‘constructive criticism’ to dilute the sting of criticism.

Read More
Joel HessJoel Hess
Here We Still Stand 2018

On October 19-21 we gathered in San Diego to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the reformation at the Here We Still Stand conference. And what a celebration it was! Perhaps you thought that was it.

Read More
Joel Hess1517