Identity and Mission in a Post-Christian Culture— Lessons from 1 Peter

Having recently finished preaching 25 sermons through Peter’s first epistle in a series entitled “Exiles on Mission,” I have chronicled some of the most important lessons learned. I chose this book because I found it to be particularly relevant to our church’s situation: a new church plant in one of the most secular, unchurched, post-Christian parts of our country. Peter’s letter is like a roadmap for our journey or an instruction manual for our life that contains our marching orders. I tailored the application and implications of his letter specifically to my congregation as we are breaking into new, hard soil and establishing our culture from the ground up. The advice of Diane Chambers (from the show Cheers) to a belligerent Yankees fan in Boston is particularly relevant to our situation: “Please bear in mind, you are in an alien camp. Tact is perhaps your wisest recourse.” My simple hope is that these ordinary, timeless principles are an encouragement from one fellow, weary exile on mission to another as we find ourselves in an increasing hostile, alien camp.

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Top Seven Books Read in 2022

This has been a whirlwind year for me. With moving across the country, buying and renovating a house in rural NH, planting a church, and taking on the role of senior pastor, I did not read as much as I have in years prior. I’ve also started working out, watching the Celtics, and tackling more projects at our home. This year has also been one of continuing lament and grief as I try to make sense of life here in NH without Mom. I foresee my reading goals shifting in the years to come and will probably set a goal of 30 books instead of 60. I need to slow down, read bigger books, better books, prioritize my Bible reading, and overall, pursue a more balanced approach. I was playing catch up after seminary, but now I’m ready for a more ordinary and sustainable reading plan.

Here are my favorite books read this past year—

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