Don’t Miss “The Way”

Martin Sheen in 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?

David Brooks, advisor to foreign tourists

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

The ruins of ancient Corinth. Photo from

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!

An Iraqi dinar from 1991

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

The logo of the Presbyterian Church (USA)

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

Westport Community Church, Swanzey, New Hampshire

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

TV evangelist Benny Hinn preaching in San Antonio. Image from WikiCommons.

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...]

God, No! Thoughts About Magic and Christianity

Benozzo Gozzoli, "The Fall of Simon Magus," 1461-1462

A recent article in Religion News Service got me thinking about magic and Christianity. “Magicians say their craft makes them see faith as just hocus-pocus” begins by noting the recently published book by famed magician, Penn Jillette. In God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales, Jillette uses his platform [Read More...]

A Presbyterian Church Makes the New York Times and There’s No Scandal!

From the Resurrection Presbyterian Church website.

I was surprised and pleased to see that a Presbyterian Church made it into the New York Times today. No, there is no scandal. Nothing about declining membership or divisive church politics. None of that. The headline I read in the morning was “Millenials in Church – Up Close.” The online edition is called “A [Read More...]

What Makes a Great Place to Work?

Microsoft ranks #1 on the list of great places to work.

A recent article in USA Today asks and then answers the question: What makes a place to work a great place to work? The answer to this question comes from aptly named institute, The Great Place to Work Institute.This institute has identified three crucial factors that make a workplace great: Firms that rank high on [Read More...]