3 Myths About Calling: Why RELEVANT’s Take Falls Short


Let me start by confessing a pet peeve: I believe that the combined Jewish and Christian traditions express the most profound wisdom ever contemplated by human beings. This stuff is deep, and you really shouldn’t handle it with marketing in mind. So when someone—usually a pastor-slash-writer-slash-musician with an appealing headshot and a self-composed bio—attempts to [Read More...]

Walter Brueggemann’s Blurb for my book Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture


It was great to finally meet one of my heroes face to face yesterday. Walter Brueggemann’s work has meant a great deal to me over the years. His book The Prophetic Imagination continues to be a source of guidance and inspiration for my life and ministry. When I was working on Shrink, I relied heavily [Read More...]

Walter Brueggemann at Faith & Culture Conference 2015 – Lecture 01 Detailed Notes


The Redemption Church staff & friends are in St. Joseph, MO today, listening to Walter Brueggemann talk about The Prophetic Imagination. Here’s a set of my notes from the first lecture he gave. CONTEXT We live in in the midst/under the rule of Empire Totalism: totally contained socio economic political educational social system outside of [Read More...]

How Do You Fire Thomas Jay Oord?


…by email, apparently. Oord is one of the highest profile, and well respected theologians in the Church of the Nazarene. He’s a brilliant and popular teacher, a prolific writer, and is well respected among his peers–including theologians of all stripes. Oord has also been dedicated to the COTN serving on all kinds of committees and boards, [Read More...]

What Role Does Dread Play in Your Life? – Monday Morning Confessional

caps pic.001

I confess that I went to a gathering of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies last week (CAPS) in Denver. My wife is working toward a master’s in Marriage & Family Therapy. Over the years she’s had to endure many a boring theological lecture with me, so attending this conference was a little payback (although, full confession, [Read More...]

10 Stunning Facts About Davinci’s Last Supper for Maundy Thursday

last sup.002

Every year on Maundy Thursday our church does a short visio divina around Leonardo DaVinci’s famous mural, “The Last Supper.” This practice, and this painting, have both come a rich part of our Holy Week tradition. Here are a few fun facts about Davinci’s famous masterpiece: DaVinci didn’t choose the subject matter. The work was commissioned by [Read More...]

The Kingdom of God is Like… A Little Friday Funny

The kingdom of God is like a hum drum mid-inning break at a Houston Astros game, when a dance contest suddenly breaks out between the mascot and a security guard. Half of the people in the stadium were off at the concession stand or restroom, most in the stadium weren’t even paying attention, but for [Read More...]

Shrink On Sale for $4.99 Now thru April 5th

Shrink kindle ad.001

The most powerful reason the church is in decline in North America is that the church’s way of being in the world does not represent a genuine alternative to mainstream society. The church leadership conversation has been coopted by our culture. When the church becomes an agent of the culture, indistinguishable in most ways from [Read More...]

Why was Brownback Booed at KU v. WSU Game?


It was meant to be a typical celebrity sighting by the CBS crew. During a commercial break in the KU v. WSU game, the camera focused on Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. The shot was displayed on the screens in the arena, and when fans got a glimpse of Sam Brownback, they started booing loudly. Let’s [Read More...]

5 Reasons Your Church Should Be Smaller

5 reasons.001

This was first published at Crosswalk.com, so please stop by and visit the original post. For years it has bothered me that, although the majority of churches in America have fewer than 300 people, most church leadership advice comes from pastors of huge churches. The assumption that bigger is better pervades the church leadership culture. What if [Read More...]