Scribe or Prophet?

Marilynne Robinson’s gift must be the ability to think about the life of a pastor though she is neither a pastor nor the daughter of a pastor. But somehow she gets to the heart of so much of what pastoring is in her deft conversations between Ames and Boughton, especially in Gilead (p. 142 below [image]). This [Read More...]

Dealing with Church Disillusionments?

Are you perhaps disillusioned with the church? Erin Lane says disillusionment is a gift. Yes, that’s right. It’s a gift. From God. Or at least a gift we are given and are given a challenge to do something with it. Actually, she says disillusionment is the gift of being freed from illusions in her new book, Lessons [Read More...]

It Takes a Church to Educate a Christian

Here is a simple claim I make: everything we learn about the Christian life we learn in our church. That may turn some off, but hear me out: we are not alone in anything we do; we are in a context of others in what we learn; the “context” for Christian living is a church; therefore, [Read More...]

A Tossed Salad (RJS)

When I was growing up we had tossed salad with dinner quite often, especially during the summer. My dad would make the salad, with tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, and such, cut up small and tossed together, well mixed. When we had company he would also make the salad and the mixed up tossed together nature [Read More...]

Church-An Alternative Community (by Ray Miller)

This post comes from one of our DMin students @nseminary, Ray Miller, who blogs here. Ray offers here an alternative way of responding to those who confess their sins. Imagine a 10 second video changing the course of your life.  That’s what has happened to expelled OU student Levi Petit.  He was caught on tape [Read More...]

The Pope and The Woman: The Bad and The Good

From Thomas Reese, who details five problems and five opportunities — go to the link for the full article: The Bad. When it comes to women, Pope Francis has five strikes against him, but he also has some good points. First strike: He is male. Second, he is celibate. Pardon the stereotyping, but the third [Read More...]

Three Terms for “Church” Today

Allow me to use three Greek terms to describe how church is not only understand but practiced today. If you observe the practice you can describe the understanding behind it. Each is an expectation that can be met by participating in that expectation. I offer today some thoughts about three models of church at work [Read More...]

Tim Suttle: Can a Christian Not be a Part of the Church?

This post is by Tim Suttle, author of the excellent new book called Shrink. We are co-posting with one another today, he on my book and I on his book. Can a person be a Christian and not be part of the church? Or, is involvement in the church an essential, even constitutive part of what it means to [Read More...]

Closing a Church (John Frye)

The Closing of a Church, by John Frye Last Sunday the local church where I have served as pastor for nine years closed. Thankfully, it closed well, but not without tears. The church had a faithful, yet roller-coaster history and for reasons too cumbersome and complex for this post, the decision to close was a [Read More...]

Is it Really a Church You’re Leaving (Sean Palmer)

Is It Really A Church You’re Leaving? (by Sean Palmer) Sean Palmer is Lead Minister at The Vine Church in Temple, TX. He is a sought-after speaker and teacher. You can read more from Sean at and follow him at him on Twitter, @seanpalmer. If there’s one thing everyone wants, but few people work [Read More...]