Author: Jonathan Dodson

  • It has been a true grace to livestream our services on Sundays–to worship at the same time, in our homes, across the city, during a pandemic. But a greater grace has returned: church in-person. Church “in-person” is actually a redundant expression. The Greek word for church, ekklesia, means “a regular gathering of people with shared belief.”…

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  • Church, here is a prayer I’ve written and prayed for you. Consider joining me in this prayer by praying it too, with family and friends around a meal, or before bed. You may just want to read it aloud and reflect. Whatever you do, I hope you’re encouraged. Lord, we come to you in a…

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  • In graduate school I picked up the intriguing book, The Three Mile an Hour God, by Japanese author Kosuke Koyama. As I turned each page, my tightly wound inner clock slowly unwound. I had no idea how time conscious and efficient I had become; in fact, I thought these to be virtues. Koyama confronted my…

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  • The Church is God’s zip code, his favorite place to dwell. Yet for us church can seem ordinary, a mess even. Add in the challenges of social distancing, digital services, and cultural division, valuing God’s favorite place can be a real struggle. But what would happen if we chose to see ourselves as God sees…

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  • Dear City Life, It has been a complicated, difficult, strange year, but we can take comfort in the fact that our Lord is no stranger to political division, rampant disease, and suffering. Hebrews tells us Jesus “learned obedience from what he suffered” (5:8). His full embrace of our humanity, and patient endurance through suffering, qualify…

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  • C.S. Lewis once wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” God wants to rouse, not just the world but the church, our church. What is he saying through our pain? No doubt, many things including a more just, less busy society, but he’s also…

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  • The headlines this past week exposed, yet again, the deep-seated, enduring racism in our country. Anger-fueled riots left cities in smoldering ruins. What resources do we recommend? How can we respond? Messages Each of these messages contain theological reasoning, apologetic work, and steps for action. Gospel Works in Controversial Times (Jonathan Dodson) What about Racism?…

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  • Headlines often disparage Christians, sometimes for good reason. What kind of headlines should we make? It can be tempting to fear economic collapse, point fingers at politicians, or judge others who fail to respond to the pandemic as we do. However, the Church should stick out as: lovers of the good (1:8), models of the…

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  • The coronavirus is an occasion for both fear and faith. Some people are rushing to stores to purchase non-perishables and buy facemasks that don’t help. Others are indifferent to the virus altogether. How should we respond? Responding to Bad News The current facts are that COVID #19 has resulted in the loss of over three thousand…

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  • Unfortunately due to travel restrictions and health concerns we will be postponing this event until later this year. Stay tuned for more info on the new dates. Over the past decade City Life Church has helped plant churches and fostered renewal in the cities of Montreal, Dublin, Kuala Lumpur, and Nashville. On March 28-29, key…

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  • People often have questions about the claims of historic Christianity. Over the last decade some of these questions have shifted from key doctrines of the faith (inerrancy of the Bible, the resurrection) to social and cultural concerns (race, gender, sexuality). People want to know if Christianity is good not if it is true. Whatever the…

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  • A surprisingly high number of people attend religious services in our secular age. What are they looking for? Some want to meet people; others to go to heaven, or do some good. Each of these reasons is driven by longing for meaning—meaning in relationships (church), spirituality (Christ), service (mission). But there is a near and far side…

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