Sacred Space: The Church vs. Naturalism

Every Friday in Sacred Space, Brad Williams explores the place of popular culture in the local church.One of the present challenges to the church is compelling narrative of naturalism. By naturalism, I mean the idea that everything always has and always will be governed by "natural" laws.  In this worldview, science is naturally king because  its business is to study that which is observable. So if one never observes a miracle, why should it ever be taken into account in a naturalistic wo … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: Facebook as the New Door-to-Door Ministry

Every Friday in Sacred Space, Brad Williams explores the place of popular culture in the local church.There was a time in the United States when a visit from a neighbor was always a pleasant surprise. When the country was more rural, when televisions and computers and cell phones did not exist, a visiting neighbor meant news to be shared and fellowship to be had. It broke the monotony. Plus, neighbors counted on each other for help.Today's world is different, and a surprise knock on the … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: Accountability Beyond the Local Church

Every Friday in Sacred Space, Brad Williams explores the place of popular culture in the local church.I pastor a church where we do our best to resolve conflict according to the outline that Jesus gave in Matthew 18:15-17. That is, if someone offends you, you ought to talk to them about it first. If that doesn't resolve the matter, take a couple of non-biased judges with you, preferably elders. Finally, if one or the other will not listen to anyone, then the matter is put before the church, … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: There's No Need for Cynicism

Every Friday in Sacred Space, Brad Williams explores the place of popular culture in the local church.Sometimes, it is easy to forget that Christians are a people whose reason for being is built on a message of good news.  If you talk to the average evangelical, or read their posts on Facebook, it often feels as if they are a people who are purveyors of bad news. The economy is in shambles, the President is doing a horrible job because he is a Kenyan socialist, gay people are ruining the c … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: Saving Your Pastor From Himself

Every Friday in Sacred Space, Brad Williams explores the place of popular culture in the local church.If it is true that discretion is the better part of valor, we might earnestly pray that our pastors would realize this. While you are engaged in intercession for pastors in such matters, it will not take long to also mention bloggers in that particular request as well.  You could even mention me, if you please, I am a pastor and a blogger, and I need help as much as anyone. Ask my editors. [E … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: Is Arizona Persecuting Home Bible Studies?

Every Friday in Sacred Space, Brad Williams explores the place of popular culture in the local church. I was eating breakfast Wednesday morning with a church member at a local diner. The large LCD television was set to FOX news, and the headline that I glimpsed as I was draining the last dregs of my coffee was, "Pastor Arrested for Preaching!" I was surprised and immediately intrigued. The day before, I had heard of Pastor Michael Salman's arrest via this article I had come across. I felt that … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: Towards Freedom of Religion, for Everyone

Every Friday in Sacred Space, Brad Williams explores the place of popular culture in the local church. One of the things we Americans thrilled to celebrate on the Fourth of July is the fact that our country protects our freedom of religion. Notice carefully that I did not write that the United States grants us freedom of religion, I wrote that it protects our freedom of religion. We believe that our freedom to believe as we choose is a right granted to us by the Creator, not by the federal go … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: Why didn't John Piper Endorse the Marriage Amendment?

Every Friday in Sacred Space, Brad Williams explores the place of popular culture in the local church. There is an intriguing article in the StarTribune entitled, "Key Minnesota Pastors opt out of Marriage Fight." One of the main pastors mentioned is John Piper. Why, do you suppose, would John Piper, who is hardly one to hold back what he thinks, choose to remain silent regarding the marriage amendment that Minnesota will soon vote on? After all, the amendment seeks to define marriage as … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: Mars Hill Church as Music Patron?

Every Friday in Sacred Space, Brad Williams explores the place of popular culture in the local church.Mars Hill Church in Seattle is launching a record album. You can watch the announcement here. I confess that I nearly did not survive the first two minutes of the video, especially when Pastor Mark said that in the Seattle area a single guy had a better chance of getting pregnant than he did of being active in a local church. However, I did persevere because, like it or not, the idea of the … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: What's Wrong with Videogames in Church?

Every Friday in Sacred Space, Brad Williams explores the place of popular culture in the local church.An article that Rich Clark recently linked in our Elsewhere sidebar has seized my attention. I think that Rich's reaction to this, as well as some of the reactions in the comment section, indicate that we have lost a little bit of our grip on what is supposed to happening in the context of worship in our local church. I'm going to be careful how I put this for two reasons: 1) This is an i … [Read more...]


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