None and Fine With It (RJS)

With the SBC convention this summer came a series of stories ... Southern Baptists see 9th year of membership decline, or this story Southern Baptist Convention Membership and Attendance on Decline, but Church Planting on Rise with more details. Over the last year membership is down  1.3%, baptisms 3.3%, average weekly attendance 1.7%, Small Group/Bible Study/Sunday School 3.2 %.  The steady drop in both membership and involvement is considered a cause for concern. It is important, however, that … [Read More...]

America the Great!? By Leslie Leyland Fields

By Leslie Leyland FieldsMy husband’s running for state office right now. I’ve kissed babies, shaken hands, handed out fliers, waved in a parade, edited op-eds. This national election cycle has become personal in unexpected ways. When the nation goes to vote on November 8, the fate of our own lives here in Kodiak, Alaska for the next several years will be decided as well.But there the parallels end. My husband is not calling for Alaska to return to some former “greatness.” I don’t reca … [Read More...]

Don’t Know Much about Church History

By Michelle Van LoonI was once told that the study of history doesn’t really make sense until we’re adults. Grown-ups brains have the ability to form connections between events, synthesize information, and assess meaning in a way that younger minds aren’t physically able to do. To be clear, this doesn’t mean that younger students shouldn’t study history. Familiarizing them with names, dates, places and most importantly, stories lays an important foundation they carry into adulthood when they … [Read More...]

At the Heart of NT Wright’s Newest: Sin Re-defined

In N.T. Wright's newest book, The Day the Revolution Began, to be available in about a month and one can find a course being developed about it here, is setting the cross in the Bible's narrative or story line (about which Wright has some refined remarks). But he knows that cross and … [Read More...]

Our People’s Journey

The new African American museum of The Smithsonian appears to be brilliant; can't wait to go through it with Kris. ImageRising from the National Mall, within sight of the Washington Monument, is the majestic, bronzed aluminum-clad Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture, which … [Read More...]

O God…

O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity:Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises,may become partakers of your heavenly treasure;through Jesus Christ our Lord,who lives and reigns with you and the Holy … [Read More...]

Tim Keller’s Newest

By David George Moore. Dave’s videos can be found at and he blogs at, as I wrote in a previous interview with Tim Keller, “He has a healthy aversion to sanctimony and platitudes.  He has a low tolerance for simplistic answers.  Years of pastoral minis … [Read More...]

Weekly Meanderings, 24 September 2016

A wonderful week in Finland -- Helsinki and the most of the time at the new seminary in Tampere -- comes to a close, but with a life of memories. We are praying today for Simo and Helena.Ah Chicago and bike-friendliness:When it come to cycling, the second city is now the first, according … [Read More...]

A Pastor Talks about the Pressures to Plagiarize

By John FryeRecently Scot McKnight had an excellent post about pastors plagiarizing. I read the post and followed the comment thread. Many good (and bad) things were pointed out about pastors preaching sermons of other pastors. Almost all thought it was deceptive to preach another pastor’s a … [Read More...]

Are We Ethically Superior? (RJS)

InterVarsity press recently sent me a copy of a new book A Little Book for New Scientists: Why and How to Study Science by Josh Reeves and Steve Donaldson. The book is designed for Christian college, or possibly high school, students contemplating a career in science. It also contains insights in a … [Read More...]

Republican, Conservative, and Supporting Syrian Refugees

Priscilla Alvarez:Despite the heated opposition of the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, and more than 30 state governors, conservative churches are welcoming Syrian refugees displaced by that country’s civil war. “The plight of refugees is very much in front of our churches right no … [Read More...]

The Twice-as-Good Challenge, by Amy Bost Henegar

This week, we begin a four-week series written by four different women who preach, teach, and minister in traditions where they are among the first to serve their congregations in such capacities. Their experiences will inform the series.Amy Bost Henegar is a Minister for the Manhattan Church of … [Read More...]

Surprised by the Cross: What If?

The narrative or the story into which one places the cross determines both the problem and the result. If the problem is wrath, the solution is pacification. If the problem is enmity, the solution is reconciliation. If the problem is slavery, the solution is liberation. Each of these, at one time or … [Read More...]

That Big Bad Dude Was…

One would think a change in police culture would be more immediate and decisive, but this story proves yet again we need major changes.AP: TULSA, Okla. (AP) — An unarmed black man killed by a white Oklahoma officer who was responding to a stalled vehicle can be seen in police video walking away … [Read More...]

How Do You Date a Hole in the Ground? (RJS)

(Image from Wikipedia: credit) The last two sections of the new book The Grand Canyon, Monument to an Ancient Earth: Can Noah's Flood Explain the Grand Canyon? looked at the layers of rock and sediment in the Grand Canyon area. The questions addressed focused on the age and formation of these … [Read More...]

Christians, Retreat! (Leslie Leyland Fields)

Christians, Retreat!Ahhhh, remember the good old days, when (mostly evangelical) Christians didn’t care much about politics? Remember those heady days of turning off the TV news, of nodding our heads patiently, kindly when our neighbors ranted or raved about their own candidate? Remember the e … [Read More...]

Lunch with Differents

From HuffPo, by Elyse Wanshel: A new app makes finding friends in the school cafeteria a piece of cake.“Sit With Us” helps students who have difficulty finding a place to sit locate a welcoming group in the lunchroom.The app allows students to designate themselves as “ambassadors,” thereby i … [Read More...]