Five Elements of Church Error – The Unexpected Jesus (Part 1of 4)

Part 1: Were We Wrong About Jesus Being Wrong About Eschatology?Early in my journey to a fulfilled eschatology perspective, I had the question, “How could the mainstream church have been so wrong for so long about eschatology?” I asked the question this way, because I held to the presupposition that God wouldn’t let the faith I grew up in be in error about something as significant as the timing and nature of the coming of Jesus for “most” of history.I had the perspective that the majority … [Read more...]

To Lament Injustice

A few months ago I wrote about a situation at Northwest Nazarene University where Tom Oord, tenured Professor of Theology, was laid off due to budget and enrollment concerns. For many students, alumni, and faculty, that was seen as a smoke screen from the very beginning. A vote of no confidence in the President came from the faculty, a commission was set up to investigate the layoffs, and in the middle of their investigation, President David Alexander resigned. A few weeks later the commission … [Read more...]

Us or Them versus Us for Them

Us or Them versus Us for Them Ahh. The Bible. Romans 14. Read this for a second.14 Welcome those who are weak in faith,[a] but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions. 2 Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. 3 Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgement on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. 4 Who are you to pass judgement on servants of another? It is before their own lord that … [Read more...]

Recovering Storytelling

Mobility is an ongoing issue, and church statisticians tell us that a church has essentially a new (not 100% new, but vastly turned over) congregation every 7 years due to individuals' mobility. The idea of being grounded in one geographic location will continue to change as people move and travel once again becomes both affordable and ordinary. For many of us who travel for business and pleasure regularly, distance of place no longer is viewed in the same light as our parents' and grandparents' … [Read more...]

Stepping Away from Leadership Voluntarily

I have had, over the years, some interesting and deeply thoughtful conversations with leaders, primarily in the church, on the subject of leadership. Prior to my engagement with church leadership, I had experienced leadership roles in community nonprofit organizations, professional associations, and my career as a commercial banker.I believe that many leadership skills can be taught and enhanced through education and training, especially in workshop and seminar settings with other leaders … [Read more...]

The Hiddenness of God, How Resurrection Can Be Disappointing, and the Future of the Church

Kelley Hudlow is an attorney and Episcopal Deacon who lives in Alabama. She recently invited me onto her podcast  for a conversation about Resurrection and the story of the two disciples walking with Christ on the road to Emmaus. As we spoke, I was greatly encouraged by the idea that God's resurrection life may be all around us in our sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly, ordinary lives. The conversation explored different topics: the hiddenness of God, how resurrection can be disappointing, a … [Read more...]

A Life of Love and Academic Freedom

 tenure: the right to keep a job (especially the job of being a professor at a college or university) for as long as you want to have it  --Merriam-Webster Tenure is the beautiful thing that allows professors to have a guaranteed position at a college or university for as long as they want it. It is a highly coveted achievement and one that is celebrated when it is received.Part of the beauty behind this is that it gives teachers the ability to do their work with a sense of … [Read more...]

Accompaniment as Emergence

I’ve been called to a ministry of accompaniment that means I have chosen to walk with one or two people or a family, serially, one after the other, to be a support for whatever it is that they are going through. To me, emergent church in the world looks like the ministry of accompaniment. Grounded in scripture, I cling to Jesus’ new commandment to love others as Jesus loves me; by this I will be known as his disciple. [John 13:34-5]In the past, our accompaniment has been to families with imm … [Read more...]

Any Resemblance is Purely Coincidental

Spoiler Alert: If you are a huge Star Wars fan and are currently watching or plan to watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Netflix, this does contain a spoiler about Ashoka (Ah-sew-kah) Tano and the end of Season 5. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.Ashoka Tano is a blue and white haired alien that is apprenticed to Anakin Skywalker (the future Darth Vader). The Clone Wars series takes place between movi … [Read more...]

On Darkness and Light

Wash and make yourselves clean.    Take your evil deeds out of my sight;     stop doing wrong.  Learn to do right; seek justice.     Defend the oppressed.[a] Take up the cause of the fatherless;     plead the case of the widow. “Come now, let us settle the matter,”     says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet,     they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson,     they shall be like wool. Isaiah 1: 16-18Have you ever noticed how we speak abou … [Read more...]


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