Reverse the Conveyor Belt

David Hayward shared the cartoon below: I don't see the church as a place that should convert humble questioners into confident (and, if the cartoon is accurate, rather grumpy-looking) exclaimers. I used to see it that way, but now my view is essentially the opposite. If anything, the church should be a place that brings [Read More...]

Pub Theology

A news article recently drew attention to the phenomenon of people gathering to drink beer and sing hymns. And then my pastor mentioned “Pub Theology” in his sermon on Sunday, which is apparently a popular phenomenon not just here in Indianapolis but in many other places.  This is their logo: It sounds more like the [Read More...]

Churches and Intellectuals

Stephen Mattson has written a piece for Sojourners, “Do Churches Alienate Intellectuals?” Here is a sample: By their very nature, intellectuals are curious. They analyze, theorize, and love to ask questions. These attributes are often criticized by church leaders and seen as an attack on traditional and established institutionalized beliefs. Innocent inquires are often met [Read More...]

Amazing Grace Book Burning

Via Matthew Paul Turner. One advantage of being Baptist is that you don’t have to be like other Baptists. One disadvantage of being Baptist is that you often hang your head in embarrassment at other Baptists, and have to explain “I am/we are not at all like those other Baptists.” [Read more...]

The Most Honest Places in Town

“Churches should be the most honest place in town, not the happiest place in town.” – Walter Bruggeman Pete Enns shared the above quote in a post that highlights the psalms of lament. The Bible, taken as a whole, doesn’t suggest that human beings ought to simply believe, or keep their doubts and complaints to [Read More...]

Context Contest

Lots of people post pictures and then have a caption contest. But this photo seems to have its own “caption” included. What’s missing is the context. I took the photo of this sign in front of a local church here in Indianapolis. But what does it mean? Rather than try to find out the actual [Read More...]

Sacred Theories

Hemant Mehta shared this church sign. What it says is quite ironic, given that, since it is from a Free Methodist church, it is probably intended to be antievolutionist. But taken at face value, it is an excellent summary, putting in a nutshell a point made at greater length in a chart that Scott Bailey [Read More...]

Narrow vs. High Standards

Stuff Fundies Like shared this questionnaire that would-be guest speakers at a fundamentalist church have to complete: I suppose the main point to make in response is that rejecting lots of things does not mean that your standard is high, only that it is narrow. And unless one figures out the difference early enough, the narrow approach [Read More...]

The First Millennials

The conversation about millennials and church decline continues – see for instance posts by Richard Beck, Bob Cornwall (and another), Tripp Fuller, Hollis Phelps, Eddie Kouya, Allan Bevere, Travis Mamone, Caris Adel, Ann Fontaine, David Hayward, Chris Attaway, and Shannon Barber. Many have suggested that this discussion is one that happens, if not every generation, at [Read More...]

We Love Hurting People

Unfortunately the sentence on this church sign can be understood in two different ways. And unfortunately there are churches for which each of the possible meanings is true.   [Read more...]

Building a Church in Minecraft

A young and creative individual in my church, David Peacock, created this in Minecraft: It is a rendition of the building where my church meets, Crooked Creek Baptist Church. Here is a photo, for comparison: I am very impressed with the likeness, and the creativity in doing something like this. It got me thinking about [Read More...]