The God Who Forsakes Us

We live in a world that almost thrives on the need for closure or an ending. We like happy endings in particular. This is why Hollywood makes so much money, we want to believe that happy endings exist. But let’s be honest, life is more like a beautiful piece of quilted patchwork. The colors don’t always match. The lines acrosss the quilt don’t always line up. And it might be shorter than we anticipated. But, it is life. What if Christianity was meant to be more like the the quilt and less like the Hollywood endings? [Read more...]

Picturing God in a Fragmented World: Blogging from An International Gathering of Teachers of Preaching

Trying to sneak into a professional meeting late doesn’t work when you’re wearing shoes that squeak and have to walk the entire perimeter of the room to find the last empty chair. Once seated I took a deep breath and turned my attention to the scene and the speaker before me. 70 teachers of preaching from all over the world sat in the beautiful Chapel at Yale Divinity School. As twilight darkened into night outside, two speakers inspired us to believe that preaching’s day is still dawning. [Read more...]

The Thief is at Your Door: Lectionary Reflection for August 8, 2010

“Dr. McKenzie,” asked one of the students, “if I fast from anxious thoughts, what else will I have to think about?” The rest of the class laughed nervously. She looked embarrassed because she hadn’t been kidding. [Read more...]

Giving Up God(s)

According to process theology – everything is in process – (some ancient jews defined perfection as being in process) – then the last thing we want to do is “arrive.” This is why deconstruction as part of our process is so important, it keeps us ‘perfect’ – maybe idolatry is about worshipping the ‘god’s we don’t dismantle. [Read more...]

Bruce Reyes-Chow on the Future Church

A week ago, I spent a lively hour interviewing Presbyterian Minister Bruce Reyes-Chow as part of our “Future of Mainline Protestantism” series here at Patheos. Bruce just finished up his 2-year stint as the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (the highest office of the Church) and spoke candidly and passionately about the challenges facing the mainline church, as well as the places for opportunity and growth. We could have talked for hours. Bruce clearly loves the Church and has great hopes for what we are yet becoming as the Body of Christ, even as he raises the serious issues we must address if we are to survive as a denomination. Here is an excerpt from the interview … [Read more...]

Cordoba House: In Support of American Religious Values

In the last week a conversations has popped up in the blogosphere, presenting us with a unique conversation. To begin with was the ramblings and non-sense of former Republican speaker Newt Gingrich as it relates to the proposed Cordoba House mosque near Ground Zero, New York. Mr. Gingrich is not alone in his ramblings – the Koran burning pastor of Florida comes to mind – but they alone indicate the gross disregard for American values that are required for a movement of thought as seen in Mr. Gingrich. [Read more...]

Perpetual Vertigo: A dream for the church

“This is an unfinished ‘pictionary’/dreaming out loud possibilities ‘manifesto for the future of the church…” I remember a few years back listening to the buzz of this new idea of a ‘church without walls’. And i thought to myself how inventive is this, a belief that god doesn’t need bricks to dwell somewhere… [Read more...]

A Vibrant Future Church #2

“Mainline Christianity is now at the margins of North American cultural and religious life; but the margins can become frontiers for a new vital faith.” Read the rest of Bruce Epperly’s response to the question “What would a vibrant mainline church of the future look like?” [Read more...]

A Vibrant Future Church

What would a vibrant mainline church of the future look like? That’s the question we posed to a number of pastors, thought-leaders and bloggers as part of our Future of Mainline Protestantism series here at Patheos. We’ll be posting their responses throughout the coming weeks here at Faith Forward. First up, Lutheran Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, who begins her response with the question: “If the mainline church did the right thing, what would it be in 10 years?” [Read more...]

“The Rich Fool” Lectionary Reflection on Luke 12:13-21

We don’t get a memo teling us when our time is up, but we do have the information about how to use the time we currently have. And it’s not in accumulating more possessions than one person could possibly use in a lifetime while others go without. [Read more...]

Welcome to the Future of Mainline Protestantism!

Mid-way through our Future of Religion summer series here at Patheos, we’ve finally arrived at The Future of Mainline Protestantism! This week, more than 20 thought-leaders, from pastors to scholars to bloggers, offer provocative perspectives on the future of the mainline church. We’ll also feature more conversations on the church here on the blog each day, to further feed the conversation. To get us started, retired Columbia Seminary professor Ben Campbell Johnson shares his dreams for a vibrant mainline Protestantism in the 21st Century… [Read more...]

Enchanted Deconstruction

The word deconstruction tends to conjure up a lot of different responses. Some fear it. Others embrace it, still yet, there is hope in deconstruction. I think though from the variety of responses across the internet some have become disillusioned with the art of deconstruction. But, what if it doesn’t have to lead to disillusionment? [Read more...]