Miroslav Volf Challenges an Important Part of the Pragmatic Missional Church Narrative

One of the abiding assertions I hear among Missional Church theologians and practitioners is the idea that the American church is somehow following in the footsteps of the European Church. European Christianity has ebbed and the stats on European church involvement are ugly. The logic is that the North American church will not be far [Read More…]

When someone tells me that they are “Not religious, but very spiritual,” I want to punch them in the face. Hard…

That is the best first line of a book I’ve heard in years – especially a book on religion or theology: “When someone tells me that they are ‘Not religious, but very spiritual,’ I want to punch them in the face… hard.” It’s the opening line from the new book, Dispirited: How Contemporary Spirituality Makes Us [Read More…]

Are there Absolute, Universal, Ethical Principles?: why Bonhoeffer is still working me over

I’m working my way through Bethge’s book on Bonhoeffer. I came to a lecture Bonhoeffer gave while he spent a year (between his Phd & post-doctoral work – c.1928), as an assistant to the pastor of a German Lutheran church in Barcelona. It was a lax congregation of Germans working abroad. Bonhoeffer was attempting to [Read More…]

Are We Headed to the Era of the New Robber Barons?

Today is the recall election for Scott Walker in Wisconsin, and the money is flowing in for the already bloated campaign expenditures. When it is all said and done estimates are that 70-80 million dollars will have been spent on the election – much of it coming from out of state. CNN is reporting that [Read More…]

Monday Morning Confessional

I confess that I have needed to power wash and stain my deck for at least 2 years now. It’s such a daunting task, so I keep putting it off. I confess that I am more likely to procrastinate in the area of household repairs than anything else I’m responsible for. I confess that I [Read More…]

Snake Handling Pastor Dies Following Disputed Verses that Shouldn’t Even Be in the Bible at All

The Washington Post has been running some articles by Lauren Pond, a photojournalist working on a project documenting Pentecostal snake handling practices. She became friends with the pastor Randy “Mack” Wolford who died after being bitten by a rattlesnake during a worship service. The snake-handling Christians believe they are commanded to handle snakes and drink [Read More…]

Pushing All Our Buttons: The Social Impact of the Remote Control

I read a fascinating article by William Grimes in The New York Times this morning about the social impact of the remote control – whose creator, Eugene J. Polley, died May 20 at the age of 96. Saul Bellow once denounced the remote control saying that it “makes mental mincemeat of us.” Ellen Goodman said [Read More…]

4 Media Myths About Men: pushing back against the stereotypes

The portrayal of the modern man in media culture continues to baffle me. Most men I know are nothing like what you see on television. Don’t get me wrong, I can laugh at the stereotypes without taking them too seriously. But, watching yet another show portray men as stupid, selfish, lazy, and horny is starting [Read More…]

Why We Need Religion: Hauerwas on why dissing religion is a mistake

Lately it’s become popular to slam “religion” and say follow Jesus instead. I see it everywhere. Jefferson Bethke’s video “Why I hate religion but love Jesus,” caught that wave, went viral, and in so doing helped to spread what I think is an impossible view of what it means to be a Christian. I get [Read More…]

Monday Morning Confessional

I confess that my kids are out of town w/Grandma and Grandpa for a few days. I confess that I rarely worry about the safety of my children, except when they are in someone else’s care. I confess that used to struggle to understand how people could be consumed with worry or fear… and then [Read More…]