The Last Reformation … and the Next Reformation

The last reformation is said to have begun on an identifiable day – October 31, 1517, corresponding to a single identifiable event – Luther’s nailing 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg church. In fact, the conditions for the reformation had been building for more than a century. Similarly, the next reformation has been building for over a hundred years and is gaining momentum as we speak. The last reformation is associated with one “great man” – Martin Luther…. Read more

The ‘Alt-Right’ Has Created Alt-Christianity

If good religion slumbers and stagnates, bad religion is the alternative. Read more

Why Pastors and Priests Are Leaving the Church (Part 1)

A lot of people have been talking and writing about the departure of Millennials from the ranks of the churched. I think people would be surprised to know how many pastors and priests have either left already or are thinking about leaving. I meet them in my travels constantly. Take Clarke, for example. Here’s what she wrote to me recently: The longer I work in the church the more I wonder if the church has become impotent in its ability… Read more

The Conservative Evangelical Project: An Unexpected Grief

I just took my first sabbatical. Turning 60 seemed like a good time to get off the road, quiet down, take stock, recharge. It was all I had hoped for. I rested. Walked. Rode my bike. Fished. Played my guitar. Finished a book. Stayed out of airports. Binge-watched a couple TV series with my wife. Worked with a coach and developed a set of priorities and plans for the decade ahead. But unexpectedly, near the end of my sabbatical, I… Read more

Q & R: Why Celebrate a Swing of the Pendulum?

Here’s the question: A friend quoted you recently as saying a) that you see a shift in society from a view of God that’s violent and judgmental to one of grace and acceptance, and b) that this shift is a good thing. Why should we celebrate another swing of the pendulum? Did Jesus call us to choose between a God of gracious acceptance and a God of judgment? For example, is it responsible to focus on the wonderful words of… Read more

In Praise of Political Correctness (A Poem)

I don’t know if they know what they mean When they mock it, but I sure know what I mean When I praise it. It’s like gun safety, people. You don’t point a loaded sentence At someone. You never walk through a crowd without clicking The safety on your mouth. Certain words are like triggers. One careless political speech or misfired paragraph And bullets fly, children die, and mothers cry. Print it on a billboard and read it every day:… Read more

Q&R: Hate the Sin and Love the Sinner?

Here’s the Question: I am a Canadian who attends [a contemporary evangelical church] in Toronto. We practice a third way of accepting LGBT people into our family with love and non judgement but do not conduct Same Sex marriages. My father came out to me a few years ago and my wife and I have embraced his partner as part of the family. I feel a conflict, how can I practice faith in Jesus when I see brothers and sisters… Read more

Announcing: “The Great Spiritual Migration”

From the publisher: The Christian story, from Genesis until now, is fundamentally about people on the move—outgrowing old, broken religious systems and embracing new, more redemptive ways of life. It’s time to move again. Brian McLaren, a leading voice in contemporary spirituality and religion, argues that— notwithstanding the dire headlines about the demise of faith and drop in church attendance—Christian faith is not dying. Rather, it is embarking on a once-in-an-era spiritual shift. For millions, the journey has already begun…. Read more

Q & R: Is There Any Part of Christianity That I Can Continue to Embrace?

How should we deal with the trade-ups that need to be made in the New Testament view of God and Jesus? It seems that even the character of Jesus and other parts of the New Testament (e.g., the symbolic yet extremely violent book of Revelation) might need a trade up. This is has been very disturbing to me, and I’m not sure where to go from here or if there’s any part of Christianity that I can continue to embrace. Read more

We Make the Road Church-Wide Curriculum…and Beyond

When I wrote We Make the Road By Walking, I hoped that churches could use it either for a season or a whole year … as an “alternative lectionary” to frame sermons and worship, as a curriculum for small groups and youth groups, even as a framework for a kids ministry program. It has been deeply gratifying to see the book work in all these ways and more. If you’d like to consider using the book to give your group… Read more

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