The Parable of Bette Midler (by Jason Micheli)

The Parable of Bette Midler and the SI Swimsuit EditionI didn’t always know Him. Thought I did.And before that, for a long time, I didn’t know him at all.God, that is.I mean, I wasn’t always a disciple, a ‘servant of the Lord.’I didn’t even attend a regular worship service- ever- until about the same time I was attending Driver’s Ed. My excitement for the latter was in inverse proportion to the former.I didn’t make God the Master of my life until around the same time I was tea … [Read More...]

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is…

Almighty and everlasting God,Whose will it is to restore all things in your well¯beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords:Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth,divided and enslaved by sin,may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule;Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.Amen. … [Read More...]

Luggage in the Sanctuary

Michelle Van Loon, and follow the link to read the rest:Are you aware of the luggage others are carrying? If you attended a church service this weekend, you may have been sitting in a roomful of suitcases. There’s no way to tell what percentage of people in a given congregation are schlepping baggage from a previous negative church experience, but I suspect the numbers would startle even veteran church leaders. Bad baggage is often eagerly recycled by leaders. This may serve the needs of … [Read More...]

Weekly Meanderings, 22 November 2014

Welcome from San Diego -- Kris and I are at our annual attendance at the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and enjoying a brief respite from the cold weather in Chicagoland. (By the way, I checked the Dashboard and this is the 473d Weekly Meanderings... wow, that's almost 9 full years of our … [Read More...]

Singleness and Suffering

Michael Gehrling's honest reflections on singleness:I’ve learned a lot about singleness. I’ve even come to appreciate it, and can agree with the Apostle Paul that singleness is a gift as valuable as marriage. I can see that the gift of singleness is more than having extra time to devote to "mi … [Read More...]

Magical Realism in Ministry

By John Frye:Self-Talk and StorytellingPastors, let’s discipline our inner conversations. In Psalm 42, the song-writer talks to himself, to his soul. “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God…” What we have here is an example of self talk. I googled ‘s … [Read More...]

The Biggest Mistake in Kingdom Talk

The most common mistake I hear when people are talking about kingdom is comparison talk. It goes like this or this or this or this:"So you think kingdom and church are the same (but not identical), then you need to come to my church because that will show you the difference." "Kingdom is the … [Read More...]

The Exchange Dance of Catholics and Protestants in Latin America

Adam Taylor reports about the Pew study of Catholic decrease and Protestant increase in Latin America. This chart tells it all: … [Read More...]

5 Questions … and Some Answers (RJS)

I picked up an interesting and somewhat unusual new book recently, Science and Religion: 5 Questions. The editor, Gregg D. Caruso, posed five questions on science and religion to thirty three different authors and scholars covering a broad range of viewpoints. Respondents include Daniel C. Dennett, … [Read More...]

Ordinary (Christian) is OK

From the days of Plutarch all the way to our modern world we tell stories about people who have the most extraordinary accomplishments. And once anyone's story is told they move from wherever they were on the scale of accomplishments to the upper echelon. We don't talk about the fella's book that … [Read More...]

The Winners Are…

Here are the winners to the Baylor University Press giveaway of Richard Hays, Reading Backwards:Over 700 entries!Baylor will be contacting each person.We randomly generated 5 winners from the giveaway this morning, and they are:Ryan Kelley  Sara Evans Brett Sanner Matt M … [Read More...]

Good Jobs, Bad Jobs

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Wild Horses (by Jonathan Storment)

You don’t go to jail to teach inmates about God, you go there to learn.I don’t say this patronizingly, secretly wanting to give a virtual wink and let you know that I don’t really mean it.  I was involved in the Fort Worth jail ministry for several years, and I sincerely believe I learned more ab … [Read More...]

Kingdom: A Proposal

My proposal for understanding kingdom is that we need to let the Bible's use of the term "kingdom" shape our kingdom theology. Why? Because our kingdom theology will shape kingdom mission, and what spiritual practices/disciplines we develop will follow from mission and kingdom but also reshape … [Read More...]

Two Political Models — George Lakoff

Zoe Williams, on George Lakoff's theories, theories that tell us that the one who tells the best story wins: Lakoff's work on the conceptual systems around morals and politics (and how they show up in language) has yielded two-dozen metaphors for morality, most of them universal across cultures. Of … [Read More...]

Jesus Creed Interview with Brad Strait

The Cost of Loving God and Loving Others (The Jesus Creed)A Discussion with Scot McKnight     Below is an online interview/dialogue on spiritual growth I have been having with Dr. Scot McKnight, a New Testament Professor at Northern Seminary ( and the author of Chr … [Read More...]

Love the Lord Your God (RJS)

The way we read and tell the story of the Old Testament plays a large role in the view that many people have of Christianity. To many outside the church the story can be framed as ancient myth, the story of an autocratic tribal god, a founding myth for ethnic identity. Within the church other … [Read More...]