Rats! Maybe I’m Not So Funny After All

According the a recent story in the New York Times, I may not be as funny as I think I am. No, no, the Times didn’t run a story on my personal comedy. That would be a very short and a very boring article. I am speaking here as a member of my gender, as [Read More…]

A Time for Thanksgiving: Why Start Now?

Part 1 of series: Thanksgiving: Not Just a Day, But a Season A Time for Thanksgiving: Why Start Now? Today, I’m interrupting my blog series, What is a Church?, in order to spend the next few days focusing on Thanksgiving. That’s right, Thanksgiving. Yes, I know that the official American holiday falls on the fourth [Read More…]

The Biblical Imperative We Love to Ignore: Inspiration from the High Calling

The Biblical Imperative We Love to Ignore Psalm 96:1-13 Sing a new song to the LORD! Let the whole earth sing to the LORD! Psalm 96:1 Psalm 96 begins with a simple imperative: “Sing a new song to the LORD!” If you look up all of the Hebrew words that underlie this command, you find [Read More…]

Don’t Miss “The Way”

Last night I saw The Way. This movie, starring Martin Sheen, is one of the most beautiful and moving films I have seen in a long time. I highly recommend it. If you can catch it in a theater, so much the better because of it’s visual beauty. In The Way, Martin Sheen plays an [Read More…]

When Is Inequality Okay? When Is It Not Okay?

One of my favorite writers, David Brooks, seeks to answer these questions in his fascinating and cage-rattling op-ed in the New York Times. Brooks begins “The Inequality Map” with a tongue-in-cheek situation: Foreign tourists are coming up to me on the streets and asking, “David, you have so many different kinds of inequality in your [Read More…]

A Church as a Body, Part 2

Part 14 of series: What is a Church? A Church as a Body, Part 2 In my last post I began to explain why the Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth, and why he used the image of the human body to help them understand who they were as God’s people together. The [Read More…]

A Church as a Body, Part 1

Recap: In this series, What is a Church?, I’m trying to discover what the Bible says about the local church. What is, or better yet, what should this odd collection of people we call a church be like? What is the nature of a Christian community, according to Scripture? So far I’ve examined in detail [Read More…]

Church Beyond the Local Gathering

Part 12 of series: What is a Church? Church Beyond the Local Gathering Before I finish my discussion of the meaning of the word ekklesia – usually translated as “church” – in the New Testament, I need to say something about the use of ekklesia in Paul’s letters to the Colossians and the Ephesians. Curiously, [Read More…]

You Don’t See These Everyday in Your Police Blotter!

For fun, yes, fun, I sometime read the police blotter in my local newspaper, the Boerne Star. Here are some items from the most recent edition (Nov 4). Boerne Police Department October 30, 1:59 a.m. – An officer found nothing suspicious where a woman reported hearing someone walking about outside, followed by a thud, but [Read More…]

The Church as an Alternative Community, Part 2

Part 11 of series: What is a Church? The Church as an Alternative Community, Part 2 In yesterday’s post, I explained how the early Christian use of the work ekklesia for their gathering suggested that the church was an alternative, even a subversive community. By subversive, I do not mean that Christians were plotting to [Read More…]

Why Is Work Important?

The High Calling features a 60-second video on the question: Why is work important? Check out this short clip on the transformative power of work. Do you think Doug Barr is right? Is this why work matters? [Read more…]

What is a Church? A Church as an Alternative Community, Part 1

Part 10 of series: What is a Church? The Church as an Alternative Community, Part 1 Let me begin with a brief review. In my last few posts in this series I’ve been exploring the meaning of the Greek word ekklesia, which is ordinarily translated as “church.” This translation, however, is not necessarily the best [Read More…]

How Can I Be Joyful When God Disciplines Me? Inspiration from The High Calling

How Can I Be Joyful When God Disciplines Me? Psalm 94:1-23 Joyful are those you discipline, LORD, those you teach with your instructions. Psalm 94:12 When I hear the word “discipline,” a part of me winces. I don’t have a problem with the sound of the word, but rather its connotation. “Discipline” reminds me of [Read More…]

Nine Stereotypes for Pastors – My Latest Addition to The Pastors Workshop

My latest contribution to The Pastors Workshop is up. In this column, I consider different stereotypes for pastors. What I’m wondering about is this: What roles and positions in our cultural setting might be projected onto pastors? If people learn that you’re a clergyperson, what assumptions might they have about you and your ministry? What [Read More…]

I Am Such a Trend-Setter!! :) LOL OMG

A couple of months ago, a business associate of mine ended a text message to me with a funny emoticon (AKA smiley). As it turns out, he had intended to send it to his daughter, but sent it to me accidentally. Well, that inspired me, so, with considerable help from Google, I discovered how to [Read More…]

What is a Church? Biblical Basics for Christian Community

For the last three weeks, I’ve been working away at a series I’ve called What is a Church? Biblical Basis for Christian Community. So far, I’ve focused on questions like: Where do people get their ideas of church? When is a church not a church? As you know, in most blogs, if you want to [Read More…]


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