Theologically diverse churches?

One of the tenets of the “Revangelical” movement, which seeks to “renew, reform, and rethink” evangelicalism, is that churches today need to be “theologically diverse.”   I wonder what that means and if it’s possible.  And, according to both my experience and my convictions, I can’t see why it is desirable. [Read more...]

Finding the true Cross

Last Sunday was Holy Cross Day, an ancient celebration that originally commemorated St. Helena (Constantine’s mother) supposedly finding the “true Cross.”  You have got to see what our pastor, Rev. James Douthwaite, does with this, taking the occasion to plunge into some of the deepest waters of Lutheran spirituality, the theology of the Cross. [Read more...]

“Revangelical”

Brandon Robertson is one of the spokesmen for the “Revangelical” movement, the prefix meaning, in his words, the effort to “rethink, reform, and renew my evangelical faith.”

He has posted the results of an informal survey he conducted that goes against the grain of conventional “church growth” assumptions.  For example, 51% prefer a “liturgical/contemplative” service, with only 4% preferring a “contemporary/seeker” service; 80% prefer a small-medium size church (60-300), with 19% preferring a “large/mega” church (300-2000).

These findings, he says, support his Revangelical emphases, which I post after the jump (after the statistics).  We Confessional Lutherans might applaud some of these, though the thrust of the movement is “progressive.”  I offer them for your reflection and feedback.  One tenet in particular I would like to scrutinize tomorrow. [Read more...]

“Can Nadia Bolz-Weber save evangelicalism?”

As we’ve blogged about, Nadia Bolz-Weber has been getting a lot of attention as an ELCA “pastorix” who, for all of her tattoos, ministry to gays, and violation of “culture wars” stereotypes, preaches justification by grace through faith, Christ’s Atonement for sin, and the theology of the Cross.

Now a British journalist has written an article that asks the question, “can Nadia Bolz-Weber save evangelicalism?”  (See excerpts after the jump, along with my thoughts.)  But I wonder if what people are so impressed with is just a matter of her “style” or if it isn’t even more so a reaction to her Lutheran theology, which comes across as new, mind-blowing, and just what people need to hear. [Read more...]

Should Christianity try to be “cool”?

Brett McCracken, author of Hipster Christianity,  argues that there are intrinsic contradictions inherent in the various attempts to make Christianity “cool.”  See what he says after the jump, whereupon I offer some thoughts on my own on the efforts to adapt Christianity to one culture or another and offer a modest proposal. [Read more...]

1,500 year-old confession of faith

Scholars have discovered a 1,500-year-old papyrus from ancient Egypt that contains a remarkable Christian confession, including an early description of Holy Communion.  Reportedly, the writing was rolled up in an amulet, a Christian version of the amulets-with-protection-spells worn by pagan Egyptians.

The article on the find says that this is an example of Christian “magic,” but the text says nothing about protection or anything spell-like.  The ancient Hebrews of the Bible would also wear little cases that contained Bible verses (Deuteronomy 11:18).  The ignorance of the news story in saying that this is one of the “first” references to the Last Supper–the early Church Fathers, such as Irenaeus who died in 202 A.D., referred to it all the time–casts further doubt on the “magic” claim.  This instead sounds like an example of Christians following a cultural practice while giving it a new meaning.  Anyway, read the text after the jump. [Read more...]


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