The Joy and Blessings of Churches Worshiping Corporately Online

by John Ellis My daily social distancing-approved walk takes me past the sprawling athletic complex that houses the baseball fields where my son’s Babe Ruth league plays. Played. Most days my eyes sweep the empty fields as I wonder when my son will again join with his teammates on those fields. Yesterday, though, my gaze … Continue reading The Joy and Blessings of Churches Worshiping Corporately Online

Is Social Distancing a Christ-Like Response to Covid-19?

by John Ellis For the first three decades of my life, my native Floridian father scoffed at tourists, Yankee transplants, and anyone else who took preemptive measures beyond simply boarding up their windows whenever hurricanes would threaten the Panhandle. While in high school, I laughed along with my dad as he mocked the Pensacola Christian … Continue reading Is Social Distancing a Christ-Like Response to Covid-19?

The Purity Culture’s Sins: Holiness Is Not Self-Serving

by John Ellis Without any trace of shame, my friend turned on his barstool, looked me in the eyes, and said, “I regret not having had sex before I got married. I only know what it’s like to have sex with one woman and feel like I’m missing out.” In the aftermath of his confession, … Continue reading The Purity Culture’s Sins: Holiness Is Not Self-Serving

Valentine’s Day Played a Role in My Salvation

by John Ellis As a general rule, my wife and I do not celebrate Valentine’s Day. By no means are we opposed to the holiday. But as newlyweds, attempting to live on my theatre artist’s “salary,” we decided that instead of being locked into certain days – Valentine’s Day, our anniversary, birthdays, etc. – we … Continue reading Valentine’s Day Played a Role in My Salvation

Why Sex Outside of Marriage Is a Sin

by John Ellis Below in italics is my attempted re-creation of a story I haven’t read in at least three decades. No doubt, my blatant plagiarism contains some errors. My apologies to the author, whomever that might be. I’ve also attempted to remain true to the original story’s thematic tone and objective – a tone … Continue reading Why Sex Outside of Marriage Is a Sin

Theatre + Theology = Apologetics

by John Ellis When many Christians think of Apologetics, they think of a formal debate. On one side of the stage, in their mind’s eye, sits a sartorial atheist who, no doubt, is a professor at the local state university. Maybe a philosophy professor. Maybe a sociology professor. Whatever he probably teaches, the whiff of … Continue reading Theatre + Theology = Apologetics

Repost: Christian Apologetics as Interactive Theatre

(Note: I originally wrote this article for my previous blog and am reposting it as a companion piece for a new article. You can read that new article by clicking here.) by John Ellis The brilliant director, acting teacher, and theatre theorist Peter Brook opened his seminal book The Empty Space with the well-known sentences, … Continue reading Repost: Christian Apologetics as Interactive Theatre

The Gospel and Poverty

“Blessed is the one who considers the poor.” Psalm 41:1 by John Ellis In 2011, successful Wall Street bond trader Chris Arnade walked into one of the Bronx’s worst neighborhoods. Prior to his foray into America’s world of poverty, Arnade was warned that “it was too dangerous, too poor.”[1] He didn’t care and went anyway. … Continue reading The Gospel and Poverty

The Gospel’s Relation to Social Justice and Mercy Ministries

by John Ellis I wrote and posted this article on my previous blog a few months ago (October 2019). It’s a topic that continues to concern me. And it’s a topic that exists within a larger cultural framework that prioritizes this earthly kingdom’s concerns over that of the Eternal Kingdom’s concerns. During a long phone … Continue reading The Gospel’s Relation to Social Justice and Mercy Ministries

The Necessity of Christ’s Active Obedience in Salvation

by John Ellis During membership interviews at my previous church, the elders ask the prospective member to briefly share the gospel. It’s not asked as a membership test; if you forget to include Jesus’ Resurrection, you don’t fail and aren’t prevented from joining the church. The question is asked because the gospel is central to … Continue reading The Necessity of Christ’s Active Obedience in Salvation