Leading in Changing Times: A Q&A with Pastor Michael W. Foss

"The biggest challenge churches have is casting a vision for ministry that is compelling. And by compelling I mean one that can create enough energy and hope to overcome our addiction to the past." -- Rev. Michael W. Foss, author, Reviving the Congregation This month at the Patheos Book Club, we're featuring a new book on pastoral leadership called Reviving the Congregation: Pastoral Leadership in a Changing Context. Bestselling author and Pastor Michael W. Foss visited with us recently … [Read More...]


Let Dry Bones Live: Some Reflections on Reviving the Congregation

Reviving the Congregation: Pastoral Leadership in a Changing Context, by Michael W. Foss, is the kind of book that should be read by every seminary student on a pastoral ministry track or lay leader/minister in a local congregation in need of some ministry training. It’s as much about maintaining and nurturing congregational vitality, health, and vision as it is about “reviving” – so I’m not sure the title is accurate. Foss offers much sound, seasoned, practical wisdom for pastors and congregat … [Read More...]


Michael Yankoski: Three Ways to Embrace The Sacred This Year

by Michael Yankoski Earth’s crammed with heaven And every common bush afire with God; But only those who see, take off their shoes.-Elizabeth Barrett Browning Being oblivious to the Sacred is endemic these days.Amidst our drive by, fly by, shop-till-you-drop frenzy of a world, most of us have conditioned our capacity for attentiveness, for contemplation, for hearing the “still small voice of God” right out of ourselves.Some blame electronic technology, others blame their family … [Read More...]

Intimate Silence: Spirituality of Desert Preservation

Reflection by Jim Burklo Desert Stewardship Project event, 9/6/14, Joshua Tree National MonumentA young Muslim woman student at the University of Southern California once told me that the reason she fasts at Ramadan is to manifest an essential human quality. Human beings, she said, are the only creatures that are able to restrain themselves from doing what they want to do. When animals are hungry, they find something to eat and eat it. When they are thirsty, they find something to drink and … [Read More...]

Stump a Bible Scholar: What Happened to the Women’s Stories?

Tuesday is Stump a Scholar day here at Patheos Progressive Christian — and no question is too tough or too radical for our experts! This month, we’re answering your questions about the Bible with resident expert Professor Jerry Sumney. Dr. Sumney is professor of biblical studies at Lexington Theolog … [Read More...]

Reviving our Congregations: On Reorienting and Restructuring

by Michael W. FossJesus looked at them and said, “With human beings this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 (TNIV)Can congregations be revitalized? The answer is yes. But it will take both a spiritual renewal and organizational restructuring.Spiritual ren … [Read More...]

Shane Claiborne on Dr. King, Nonviolent Uprisings and Learning from Ferguson 

Dr. King said: a “riot is the language of the unheard.”What happens when folks do not feel like their voices are being heard?They shout louder.Rioting is what almost happened in Ferguson, and all of us who live in fragile neighborhoods with a backdrop of deep racial injustice need to pay … [Read More...]

No More Wars That Devour the American Purpose

by Timothy VillarealOn August 8th, one of the most respected non-governmental organizations in the world, Amnesty International, released a damning report alleging that U.S. military forces committed war crimes against Afghan civilians, including torture and murder, and covered-up for the … [Read More...]

Apple, the iWatch, Bono and Time

Yesterday was according to Apple and the press a watershed day for Apple Inc. These days, most of us fully expect Apple to change the world for the better every few years or so, and yesterday was approximately the 4th highly anticipated iteration of Apple as tech mini-Messiah.There is a kind of … [Read More...]

Stump a Bible Scholar: Following “the Law”

Tuesday is Stump a Scholar day here at Patheos Progressive Christian -- and no question is too tough or too radical for our experts! This month, we're answering your questions on the Bible with resident expert Professor Jerry Sumney. Dr. Sumney is professor of biblical studies at Lexington T … [Read More...]

Penile Substitution

If you ever had any doubt whatsoever that the Church was patriarchal, consider the fact that the very first HUGE fight the early Christians got into was over what the penis should look like (Acts 15).Now, I know what you’re thinking. I’m being provocative. It wasn’t about foreskins as much as it … [Read More...]

Stump a Bible Scholar: What About Israel?

Think you can stump a scholar? No question is too tough or too radical (this IS the Bible after all — a tough, radical book) for our new Stump a Scholar series at Patheos Progressive Christian. Every Tuesday, we’ll answer your questions about the Bible, Christian history, the Church, theology; and we … [Read More...]

Viral Slacktivism or Social Media Fundraising Win?

Hey, here’s an idea. Let’s raise money for a charity by daring each other to pour buckets of ice over our heads. Two months ago, if someone had suggested this in a planning session at church, I doubt I would have gotten behind the idea. It never occurred to me that so many people—young, old, famous, … [Read More...]

Finding Jesus: Ben Corey on What’s Missing in American Christianity

"The more I wrote about the radical nature of Jesus’ message, the more I felt willing, one hundred times over, to completely sacrifice whatever it takes to continue living it out." -- Benjamin Corey, author, Undiluted The summer of 2014 has been a rich one for Patheos Progressive Christian authors. … [Read More...]