Vision, Promise, and Practice: A Response to Rodney Stark

“While it easy to dismiss Rodney Stark’s interview as insulting, inaccurate, and unworthy of a scholar of his stature, I have always followed the principle that a stopped clock is accurate at least twice a day. Although Stark gives a diagnosis without a prescription, his words inspire a thoughtful response on behalf of faithful pastors, seminary professors, and congregants whose theology is moderate to progressive.” Bruce Epperly offers another “mainline” response to Rodney Stark’s interview at Patheos. [Read more...]

Burning our Scarecrows: Re-redefining History

There has been a hip new influx of re-ideology. Or neo-ideologies. For example, there used to be evangelical, now there is a neo-evangelical movement in some churches. Its much like the straw men, they look like what they represent, but they depend on what is behind them to be informed. [Read more...]

Connecting the Dots? Lectionary Reflection for August 15th

The worst sermons I’ve ever preached were those that tried to “connect the lectionary dots” but didn’t offer a coherent message that tied them together. This week I did discern a thread that connected three of the lectionary text dots: texts from Isaiah 5, Psalm 80 and Luke 12. First, let’s look at the dots. [Read more...]