How To Grow A Church

I was struck by the headline that a man had “grown a church” – entirely from trees – in four years. Apparently he had some high-tech help. But I soon thought that it would be interesting to compare what is involved in growing what many people call a “church” today – i.e. a building – with [Read More...]

Why Didn’t God Stop the Church Shooting?

This cartoon should serve as a helpful reminder to fundamentalists. You must make sure to use the right implausible answer to the specific question asked. Otherwise, theological and ethical confusion might result (in other words, the problems with your worldview might be exposed to your conversation partner and, worse still, to you).   [Read more...]

Is Racism a Mental Illness? #CharlestonShooting

I had someone comment on a Facebook post about the Charleston shooting, suggesting that mental illness must be involved. I responded in a number of ways, including asking whether all the people in lynch mobs in the south some decades ago were mentally ill. On the one hand, to blame mental illness can be a reprehensible [Read More...]

The Church Needs a Revolution

Some years ago I blogged about Robin Meyers’ book, Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus. Recently Progressive Christianity shared an excerpt from his new book, Spiritual Defiance: Building a Beloved Community of Resistance. Below is a sample, from the larger section from which the quote above comes. Click through [Read More...]

From Jesus of Nazareth to Church of Jerusalem

A commenter asked a good question about the geographical shift in early Christianity, from Jesus of Nazareth active primarily in Galilee according to the Synoptic Gospels, to a church whose leaders are based in Jerusalem. One can certainly articulate reasons why a move of this sort would have made sense – Jerusalem was the hub of [Read More...]

Progressive Christianity in the Spotlight

The Fountains United Methodist Church recently had the experience of a number of conservative churches in its area banding together to preach against progressive Christianity. They promoted the sermon series with signs and news articles promising a series of sermons on conservative fundamentals: The Fountanins UMC church responded with a banner borrowed from another congregation: [Read More...]

Would Discovering Extraterrestrial Life Make us – and them – Platonists, Mormons, or Atheists?

The Week featured an article a while back which suggested that the discovery of alien life would turn us all into atheists or Mormons. Matthew Ferguson recently mentioned a number of issues which would, at the very least, raise issues for traditional Christian theology. In an article which quoted me (even if it gets my name and [Read More...]

Self-Defeating Religion

Hemant Mehta drew attention to the fact that what some conservative religious people in the United States today want – namely to obliterate the separation between church and state – is arguably the most self-defeating course of action they could pursue. In Europe, countries where Christianity is the national religion have seen Christianity decline significantly. Baptists, in [Read More...]

Transhumanism and the Church Deadline Extended

The call for papers for a conference on transhumanism and the church (which I blogged about previously) has been extended. Click through for more information.   [Read more...]

80s Rock Music for Worship

I had toyed with some reworked versions of 80s songs for use in church before – “Hosanna” to the tune of Rosanna by Toto, and “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” to the tune of Open Arms by Journey. My pastor left a comment on my wall on Facebook, suggesting that we do a whole service, [Read More...]

Church Committee Meeting Underground Map

A P.C.C. is a “Parochial Church Council” in Anglican churches. But the map works quite well for any denomination. Isn’t this a great variation on the London Underground map? Can you relate to it? The budget circle line that goes round and round. The intersection points of various subcommittees. The any other business tangents that [Read More...]


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