Ortberg’s Menlo Park Presbyterian Exits PCUSA

Sarah Pulliam Bailey Members of one of the largest congregations in the Presbyterian Church (USA) have voted to leave the denomination, despite facing an $8.89 million cost for leaving. Menlo Park Presbyterian is based in the San Francisco Bay area and led by well-known author and pastor John Ortberg. It is the ninth-largest PCUSA church, [Read More...]

The Other Side of the Donald Miller Post: Church PTSD

This post is by a friend, and it gets to the heart of the problem many today have with the church; she calls it church PTSD.  There’s been a lot said recently in the blogosphere about church attendance.  I’ve scoured the various articles looking for a hint of a chance that someone understands my situation.  [Read More...]

The Irrecoverable 50s

What were the 1950s like? Maybe we should rework that question to What was the future’s hope as expressed in the 50s? George Marsden: The 50s were in continuity with the American Enlightenment in the hope or belief that “a coalition of cultural leaders, including some religious leaders, despite their differences, could somehow guide the [Read More...]

20th Century, Who Won? Liberals or Fundamentalists

Early in the 20th Century the famed liberal pastor-author, Harry Emerson Fosdick, preached a controversial sermon entitled “Shall the Fundamentalists Win?” He preached in a day when newspapers covered famous pastors’ sermons. This is discussed in Christopher Evans, Liberalism without Illusions (Baylor, 2013). The question is a worthy one to return to early in the 21st [Read More...]

Are Liberals “Elites”?

One way of telling the story of American Protestant liberalism to fashion liberals as elites and out of touch with the ordinary person in the pew. I grew up on that story, I have read that story countless times, the news media repeats that story ad nauseam … so there must be some truth to [Read More...]

Liberals Arising

Evangelicals have written the story of liberalism and that story, reluctantly but seemingly irresistibly, has been absorbed by liberals themselves. That story is that liberals have surrendered key theological beliefs and their churches are in rapid descent and the former led to the latter. Oddly, though liberalism has been for more than a century been [Read More...]

It is a Conundrum Pt. 2 (RJS)

On Tuesday I put up a post It is a Conundrum Pt. 1 that gave my answer to the question “How can you be a Christian?” in part through a survey of “love” passages in the New Testament. The directive to love one another is pervasive throughout the New Testament. My answer to the question [Read More...]

It is a Conundrum Pt. 1 (RJS)

I’ve mentioned in a number of posts over the 18 months or so that I’ve begun a habit of simply listening to Scripture regularly – usually on my commute – in large chunks straight through. Despite having been raised in the church, for the most part in local churches that read Scripture publicly and emphasized [Read More...]


From the GAFCON conference in Nairobi: Link to GAFCON itself. After celebrating the East African Revival on the opening evening of the conference, those attending GAFCON2013 on Tuesday morning were presented with challenges facing the church around the world. The day began with a Eucharist in Nairobi Cathedral where there was standing room only. Afterwards [Read More...]

Ed Stetzer on the “Nones”

From Ed Stetzer’s blog: Around 75 percent of Americans call themselves Christians—they “self identify” as Christians, regardless of how others might define them. I find it helpful to separate those who profess Christianity into three categories: cultural, congregational and convictional. Now, these are NOT exact numbers, but broad categories. The numbers are different from region to [Read More...]