Brian Zahnd Articles

Beauty That Saves the World

On Nov. 13, 2010, the 80-voice Chorus of Niagara from Niagara Falls, Ontario, gave a performance of the “Hallelujah...
Why Do We ‘Tame’ the Gospel Message?

Why Do We ‘Tame’ the Gospel Message?

Many believers ‘tame’ the gospel story by making it pragmatic, logical and relevant. But like a Gothic cathedral, the Good News has to be experienced in person to discover its true breathtaking wonder.The Gospel of Mark was the first of the four Gospels to be written,...

What Is Your Story?

What Is Your Story?

So, what is your story? Who has been cruel to you? Perhaps
bitterly cruel. What injustice have you suffered? How have you been mistreated?
Perhaps miserably so. Who has cheated you? Abused you? Mistreated you? Lied to
you? Lied about you? Maybe it was last
week. Maybe it was a lifetime ago.

Brian Zahnd: ‘Unconditional?’

Brian Zahnd: ‘Unconditional?’

zahndIn his book Unconditional?, Brian Zahnd
challenges believers with a “radical call of Jesus to forgiveness.” Using
stories, historical and theological insights, Zahnd, pastor of Word of Life
Church in St. Joseph, Mo., reminds us of the foundation of Christianity.
Although forgiveness is not an easy command to obey, as Christians, we have the
grace to do so—no matter what.

 Featured in The Buzz is an
excerpt from Zahnd’s new insightful book. (Click here to purchase
Unconditional?)

What does it mean to be a
disciple? If someone were a disciple of the sitar master Ravi Shankar, it would
be assumed that they hoped to learn to play the sitar with great skill. If
someone were a disciple of a kung fu master, it would be assumed that they hope
to eventually master the art of kung fu. So, if we call ourselves disciples of
Jesus, what is it we are trying to learn? What is it that Jesus offers to teach
us when we heed the call to follow Him? 
What is Jesus the master of, which we seek to learn? The answer is
“Life.” Jesus is the master of living well, living rightly, living truly. Jesus
is the master of living a human life as God intended.  And at the center of Jesus’ teaching on how we should live is the
recurring theme of love and forgiveness. 

For those who are serious about
being a disciple of Jesus, serious about learning to live the way He taught,
the Sermon on the Mount is of supreme importance. This is where Jesus sets
forth His radical vision of how we should live. And make no mistake about it;
it is radical—so radical that for much of Christian history, the church has
occupied theologians in finding ways to get around it. Some theologians have
suggested that Jesus never actually expected us to live the Sermon on the
Mount; rather it was a disingenuous teaching to “drive us to grace.” As the
argument goes, in attempting to live the Sermon on the Mount we would find it
simply can’t be done, and then we would look to grace as an alternative to
obeying Christ. Not grace to live the Sermon on the Mount, but grace not to
live it.  This interpretation is pretty
far-fetched, to say the least, but surprisingly common.

Bless Those That Murder Your Child

Bless Those That Murder Your Child

A brutal act was answered with a radical act of forgiveness by a grieving Christian communityFrom time to time we hear a story that reminds us there really are people who dare to live the life of radical forgiveness. The Amish are such a people.On a sunny fall morning...

Forgiveness That Transcends

Forgiveness That Transcends

How—and why—God calls you to a forgiveness that overcomes evil, tragedy and anything else thrown your wayForgiveness lies at the heart of God’s project to set right a world gone wrong. Ours is a gospel of forgiveness: a gospel intended for the healing...

The Protestant Reformation

The Protestant Reformation

A brief look at a major shift in church historyThe Protestant Reformation began in Germany in 1517 with Martin Luther, a Saint Augustine friar and professor. Luther wrote and published The Ninety-Five Theses as a protest of clerical abuses aimed at the hierarchy of...

End of the Line

End of the Line

God is shifting the church from one seasonal platform to another. Are we ready?There is an uneasy feeling in evangelicalism today that everything is changing. Long-held certitudes are being challenged both within and without the Christian faith. The way things were...

End of the Line

End of the Line

God is shifting the church from one seasonal pIatform to another. Are we ready?   There is an uneasy feeling in evangelicalism today that everything is changing. Long-held certitudes are being challenged both within and without the Christian faith. The way things...

How to Encourage Yourself in the Lord

How to Encourage Yourself in the Lord

All of us face difficulties in our lives. But we can have victory over them if we keep our eyes on God.Not many of us have experienced as bad a day as David did when he returned to his home in Ziklag after a journey and discovered that his enemies, the Amalekites, had...

Your Worst Day Could End in Victory

Your Worst Day Could End in Victory

What is the worst thing that’s ever happened to you? The death of a loved one? A bad diagnosis? A painful divorce? No doubt you’ve experienced some very bad days—and have wondered how to not only survive them but also find hope in the midst of them. Brian Zahnd,...

When God Is Silent During Difficult Times

When God Is Silent During Difficult Times

I have a word for all of us living through the global challenges of the 21st century and in particular for those who on a personal level are facing what you would call the worst day of your life: Everything is going to be all right. I believe that. ... I believe it...

Brian Zahnd: Encourage Yourself in God

Brian Zahnd: Encourage Yourself in God

Brian Zahnd: Encourage Yourself in GodTo help and encourage his congregation, Brian Zahnd, founder and senior pastor of Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Missouri, developed a sermon series based on the story of David at Ziklag in 1 Samuel 30. When David and his men returned to Ziklag, they found that the Amalekites had invaded the city, burned their homes, ransacked their possessions, and kidnapped their wives, sons and daughters. This was surely the worst day of their lives. But David did 10 things when faced with this horrible reality. In his new book, What to Do on the Worst Day of Your Life, Zahnd discusses David’s 10 responses and how we can follow his example. Here is an excerpt from the book, Step No. 3: “Encourage Yourself in God.”

David could sink into the black hole of depression and give up and quit. Or he could ?ght back. But before David could ?ght, he would have to get his strength and courage back. As David looked around him, he saw nothing but discouraged and down­cast men. David had no one to encourage him, so he had only one recourse: He “encouraged himself in the Lord his God” (1 Sam. 30:6, KJV).

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