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Weekly Meanderings, 1 November 2014

Fantastic piece by Mark Taylor:Fast-forward 100 years. During the latter half of the 20th century, information, communications, and networking technologies expanded rapidly, and transmission speed increased exponentially. But more than data and information were moving faster. Moore’s Law, according to which the speed of computer chips doubles every two years, now seems to apply to life itself. Plugged in 24/7/365, we are constantly struggling to keep up but are always falling further behind. … [Read More...]

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Saving My Dog, for All Saints’ Eve (by John Frye)

Saving My Dog, by John FryeLet’s have a little fun on All Saints’ Eve. The other day I was reading the grand vision of the renovated cosmos (cf. Revelation 21-22) to Mia, my Shi Tzu Maltese. Mia listened intently and with some amount of awe at the spectacular reunion of heaven and earth. Eventually, I got to verse 15 of Revelation 22, “Outside are the dogs…”  Mia’s head popped up and she exhaled a sharp puppy whine. Her eyes went big and forlorn. I was cut to the heart and troubled by the dee … [Read More...]

Are Singles in the Church Family?

From Claire Bonner, in Mutuality (Autumn, 2014): 15-17. Mutuality is a publication of the Christians for Biblical Equality. Follow @CBEInt and and I became curious about how single adults were being cared for in the [complementarian] church and began studying the issue. My assumptions were immediately challenged. Because most people in my generation at church are married, I had thought single adults were a minority. I was surprised to l … [Read More...]

Churchless and Secular (RJS)

My world ... and welcome to it. (HT James Thurber) I'm not churchless or secular, but by far the majority of my friends, peers, and coworkers are. Although my university community is not yet the norm for the country as a whole, it may reflect a growing trend. Churchless is an increasing phenomenon … [Read More...]

The Ultimate Modern Theologian?

According to Roger Olson, in his The Journey of Modern Theology, the "ultimate modern theologian" is Rudolf Bultmann. His words: "No one embraced modern naturalism and rationalism more fully, except that he cordoned off Christian faith from rationalism. Everything in the physical world and in … [Read More...]

His Greatest Imprints (by Jonathan Storment)

Time for our readers to offer a big congrats to Jonathan and Leslie for the arrival of their 4th child!If you aren’t from Churches of Christ, then you probably haven’t heard of the Siburt family, but inside the tribe I belong to, they are like the Graham family of our movement.  Specifically Char … [Read More...]

What Does Kingdom Mean?

The burden of my new book, Kingdom Conspiracy, is answering this question: What does “kingdom” mean?I want to begin this session by tapping on a few doors to see who opens the door and asking them what kingdom means. This gives us a sampling of kingdom usage in the church today. It is in no parti … [Read More...]

A Spirit-Filled Church: What is it like?

Roger Olson:First, how do I recognize a Spirit-filled and Spirit-led church? I would not consider any church Spirit-filled or Spirit-led that is not evangelical in the broad sense of that word. It must embrace, live from, worship within, and promote the gospel of Jesus Christ. To put it another … [Read More...]

It Isn’t Love – But it Should Be (RJS)

What is the first word that comes to mind when I say Christian? This question, and the answers given by non-Christians shape the second chapter of Philip Yancey's new book Vanishing Grace. Yancey is convinced that all people long for meaning, a sense of purpose, that our life actually matters. We … [Read More...]

When Worship becomes Formative

There is a lot of chatter today about the formative dimension of church worship. One can be forgiven for thinking that if we would just get our worship right we'd all be formed into model Christians. My observation is that if gathered worship is formative then the best liturgies should produce the … [Read More...]

The Way of Wesley

From George Sumner:Here is a thesis: that the dynamic “x-factor,” the key to the upsurge of Anglican mission in the modern era, and its common feature still today, may be found in the lineage of Wesleyanism. Wesley’s ministry had a shape that has been repeated and reappropriated over and over aga … [Read More...]

Tim Keller’s Rules for Prayer

Most of the great theologians of the church have addressed the topic of prayer, and it is one of the highlights of Tim Keller's book on prayer (Prayer) to sketch what Augustine, Luther and Calvin said about prayer -- each expressing a pastoral theology of prayer in a letter to someone. Luther, for … [Read More...]

What Happens to Church Ministry When…?

What happens to church ministry when we turn from the "phraseological" to the "real"? The terms need fleshing out. The phraseological is theology as words, ministry as didactic and indoctrinating, the congregation/members/Christians as empty minds in need mostly of filling or the congregation in … [Read More...]

The Shroud of Turin

Charles Freeman (click to read the whole article): No one has found any significant evidence of the Shroud’s existence before 1355, when it appeared in a chapel at Lirey, in the diocese of Troyes, supposedly advertised there as the burial shroud of Christ. Such sudden appearances of cults were c … [Read More...]

If You Can’t Say it about Jesus, Don’t Say it about God (Jason Micheli)

If You Can’t Say It About Jesus, Don’t Say It About God - Phillipians 2.1-11By Jason Micheli, pastor at Aldersgate UMC in Alexandria VA. This is classic Jason. Classic.     It might surprise some of you to hear that, as gentle and considerate as I appear to be, I have a tendency to be contra … [Read More...]

A Special Sunday Around Here

Today is a special day for our home, a day we can call Jesus Creed Sunday. The lectionary's Gospel today is from Matthew 22:When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. "Teacher, which … [Read More...]

Increase in us

Almighty and everlasting God:Increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity.And, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command.Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.Amen.BCP … [Read More...]