Latest Posts

Editor Series: Richard Clark Asks: “What Can You Give the World That No One Else Can?”

This year I’m starting an occasional series of interviews with editors. I’ve had the privilege of knowing, writing for, and learning from many fantastic editors in my writing career. In my view, good writers are good because they have good editors. Today I interview Richard Clark, the online managing editor of Christianity Today. CT has meant much to me, allowing me opportunities and a platform to grow as a writer. Richard is an incredibly gifted writer and editor. Prior to that he helped found and edit Christ and Pop Culture. I have had the opportunity to work with Richard quite a bit over the…

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Editor Series: How different writing styles influenced Matthew Schmitz

This year I’m starting an occasional series of interviews with editors. I’ve had the privilege of knowing, writing for, and learning from many fantastic editors in my writing career. In my view, good writers are good because they have good editors. Today I interview the literary editor of First Things, Matthew Schmitz. First Things is a terrific publication. I try to read most of the articles in every issue. It stimulates thinking on culture, faith, and life. I’ve had the honor of writing for them. Today I ask Matthew to answers some questions about his writing and editing approach. Dan Darling: Let’s…

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Editor Series: Matt Smethurst on rap music and writing

This year I’m starting an occasional series of interviews with editors. I’ve had the privilege of knowing, writing for, and learning from many fantastic editors in my writing career. In my view, good writers are good because they have good editors. Today I interview Matt Smethurst. Matt is the managing editor of The Gospel Coalition. I am deeply grateful for the way Matt and his colleagues at TGC curate rich, biblical, creative content that really helps pastors and church leaders. When I was a young pastor, TGC was a very helpful resource in helping me think through difficult theological issues. I’ve…

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Editor Series: David Bennett on the impact of storytelling

This year I’m starting an occasional series of interviews with editors. I’ve had the privilege of knowing, writing for, and learning from many fantastic editors in my writing career. In my view, good writers are good because they have good editors. Today I interview David Bennett. My friend David is a terrific editor. He serves at Lifeway Christian Resources as managing editor of Homelife, where I’m privileged to write a monthly column. I’ve been working with David for many years and am grateful for the way he’s sharpened my writing. Dan Darling: Let’s talk about your calling. Has writing and editing…

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The Way Home featuring David Prince

What does our love of sports teach us about God? Can sports be used to glorify God and introduce others to him? David Prince, author, pastor, and professor joins the podcast to share from his excellent new book, In the Arena: The Promise of Sports for Christian Discipleship. He says that we make one of two mistakes with our relationship with sports: we either idolize sports or we dismiss sports. He says there is a better way. Prince also offers helpful tips for parents in making youth sports decisions and with pastors and their preaching and application. If you love sports…

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Editor Series: How reading made Jamie Hughes a better editor

This year I’m starting an occasional series of interviews with editors. I’ve had the privilege of knowing, writing for, and learning from many fantastic editors in my writing career. In my view, good writers are good because they have good editors. Today I interview Jamie Hughes. I’ve worked with my friend Jamie for many years. She’s the managing editor of In Touch Magazine, a beautifully edited and designed magazine. Jamie is a first-rate editor and a lover of words. Dan Darling: Let’s talk about your calling. Has writing and editing been a lifetime pursuit or something you picked up late in life?…

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Sanctity of Life Sunday Resources

This Sunday, January 15th, many churches around the country are acknowledging Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. Some churches are doing this the following week on January 22nd. This is a good time for the people of God to stand up for the unique dignity of human life, from conception to natural death. If you are planning these services, we have some resources that might be helpful: Here is a bulletin insert/handout I wrote, published by ERLC. Here is a small group study guide I wrote, published by Lifeway’s Gospel Project Leader guide Personal study guide Here is a great video…

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Editor Series: How writing changed Marvin Olasky’s life

This year I’m starting an occasional series of interviews with editors. I’ve had the privilege of knowing, writing for, and learning from many fantastic editors in my writing career. In my view, good writers are good because they have good editors. Today I interview Marvin Olasky. I’ve been reading World Magazine for almost two decades and have been reading Marvin Olasky’s work at least that long. Marvin is the editor-in-chief of World. He is the distinguished chair of journalism and public policy at Patrick Henry college. Marvin has also trained and mentored hundreds of journalists. Dan Darling: Let’s talk about your calling.…

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The Way Home featuring Trillia Newbell

In this 100th episode, Trillia shares her compelling story of race, conversion to Christianity, and pro-life activism. Trillia Newbell is our director of community outreach, but more than that she is a gifted author, an inspirational speaker and Bible teacher and one of the most encouraging people I know. We are going to talk to Trillia about her life story, growing up as a black woman in the South, her conversion to Christianity in college, what changed her views on the pro-life issue, her interracial marriage, and her new book, Enjoy on what it means to truly enjoy the good gifts from…

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James K. A. Smith on the importance of the dinner table

I’m reading through James K. A. Smith’s excellent new book, You Are What You Love. I highly recommend this book. Here are some of Smith’s thoughts on the formative power of families eating dinner together: For example: never underestimate the formative power of the family supper table. This vanishing liturgy is a powerful site of formation. Most of the time it will be hard to keep the cathedral in view, especially when dinner is the primary occasion for sibling bickering. Yet even then, members of your little tribe are learning to love their neighbor. And your children are learning something about the…

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Do You Really Believe This? On Santa Claus, Jesus, and the Unbelievable

It is during this season, the glorious Christmas season, that my wife watches her favorite channel the most. Unfortunately for me, that channel is not one of the ESPN family of networks, but the Hallmark Channel. I’m generally a fan of Hallmark’s usually wholesome television programming, stuff you can actually watch with your nine-year-old in the room, so please don’t misunderstand what I’m about to say. Here it is: The endless string of Christmas rom-coms I’m forced to watch with my wife makes me want to channel William Wallace in Braveheart, rip off my shirt, and yell, ”Freedom!” Maybe it’s…

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What is Advent, and Why Should We Celebrate It?

There is something really wonderful about the word, advent. We know this word from other contexts besides religion. We say things like, “Since the advent of the automobile…” Or “Since the advent of the modern era…” Advent signals something new is coming. The dawn of a new and better era. This is really what Christmas is about, isn’t it? It’s the celebration of the coming of a new era. God broke into time and space and entered our world. He is Immanuel, God with us. He broke in the midst of the sin and clamor and the fallenness. He came…

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Equipping Students for Ministry in a Post-Christian Age

Facebook may not seem like a discipleship tool to most pastors. But when I served my congregation in northern Illinois, this social networking tool provided me with an unexpected assist in discerning the spiritual lives of my parishioners, particularly the students. Facebook provides a platform for young people to share what they really think, liberating them in ways they may not feel comfortable with in front of parents or other influencers. One night I was scrolling my timeline and I came across a shocking post from a kid I thought I knew. This was a young person I thought I…

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Some Things I’m Reading Right Now

First I tweeted this and then I got the idea to share a short post on some things I’m reading lately. As for books, I just finished the brilliant Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance. I highly recommend it. I did the audiobook version. Now I’m onto another audio book, this time, Churchill, A Life by Martin Gilbert. This last year I’ve picked up audiobooks in earnest, listening on my commute, long drives, and my daily walks (yes, I sound like an old man, but what can I say?). Audiobooks allow me to consume even more material and are a way to…

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My New Project on Human Dignity

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve just signed a contract for my next book project. I’m pleased to be working with The Good Book Company on a book on human dignity. I’m deeply grateful for my agent, Erik Wolgemuth and for The Good Book Company for believing in this idea. I’ve been impressed with TGBC, both in the quality resources they publish and in their great interest in this project. It’s an honor, not a right, to have a publisher willing to publish my work. The issues of human dignity have captured my attention for a while. I’ve been writing…

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Evangelism After the Bible Belt: Why Sharing Christ is Both Easier and Harder in a Post-Christian culture

Evangelism is the one topic that is guaranteed to get the most amens in church and yet produces the most fear and guilt in those of us called to share the good news of the gospel. And today, in an increasingly post-Christian culture, the job of fulfilling the Great Commission seems more impossible than it was a generation ago. But there is good news for Christians: the same Holy Spirit who empowered the first century church and breathed life into every generation of the Church since is still active today. God is not surprised by your Muslim neighbors, your gay…

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A modest, post-election goal for everyone

We just finished perhaps the most divisive election in modern history. The good news is that the election is over and we are experiencing what few countries experience: a peaceful transfer of power. It was good to see the President and President-elect meet and discuss the transition. But there is stil much division in the country. I can commend a few pieces to you on this. First one by my boss Russell Moore and another by a favorite pastor of mine, Erwin Lutzer. You might also read this great piece at Desiring God and this analysis of the election by Kirsten…

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Five Great Reads on Theo Epstein

If you haven’t heard, the Cubs just won the World Series. No really, they did. The pathway from a team mired in mediocrity to a first-class operation began with the brilliant hire, by new owner Tom Ricketts, of Theo Epstein as president of baseball operations. When Ricketts made this move in 2011, I knew the Cubs were finally serious about building a wining club. I’ve been indulging, lately, in profiles of Theo. Here are a few of my favorites: The Curious Have Won – a terrific Ringer piece by Rany Jazayerli on the vindication of the gradual move in baseball toward a data-driven approach.…

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How Pastors Can Help Their People Find Their Calling

I remember sitting in church hearing sermon after sermon on the importance of giving it all up to serve God. These were great convicting sermons God used to melt my heart toward him. But I never knew exactly what God’s will looked like, specifically. Did it mean leaving it all behind to go to the mission field? Did it mean surrounding to so-called full-time ministry? Could non-professional ministry types possibly be doing God’s will in the “secular” culture? It wasn’t until much later, after studying Scripture and reading some helpful books such as Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung and…

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Shepherding the Flock: A Conversation About Pastoral Ministry and Cultural Engagement

At the 2016 ERLC National Conference: Onward, I sat down with David Prince, Robby Gallaty, Jimmy Scroggins, and Bryan Loritts to discuss pastoral ministry and cultural engagement.  I asked Bryan Loritts, “Do you feel that many churches, by being afraid of speaking on cultural issues, have seeded authority in many ways to other voices in the culture?” He responded saying, “Absolutely. I think many of our preachers and pastors lack prophetic courage, and I think that if the gospel we preach does not have what my grandma called “shoe leather” and it is not portable, and we can’t take the…

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