On the Importance of Disappointing Your Congregation: Now up at HuffPo

  A version of the recent post “On the Importance of Disappointing Your Congregation” is now up at The Huffington Post. I have been grateful as I watch the numbers grow on the original post here at Paperback Theology. I think the appetite for the ideas presented in this article should be seen as a willingness on the part [Read More…]

Ten Great Quotes About Doubt & the Christian Experience

I’ve been thinking about doubt a lot lately, and its central importance in the act of faith. Over the years I’ve come to believe that if you don’t, at one time or another, doubt nearly every aspect of the Christian faith, then you are simply not taking it seriously. Here are a few of my [Read More…]

Sabermetrics and John the Baptist: A Sermon for Advent

In 1971 a Lawrence man named Bill James was the last person from the state of Kansas to be sent to fight in Vietnam. He spent 2 years overseas then came back to Lawrence to finish college at KU. By 1975 he had degrees in English, Economics, Education, but his passion was baseball, & he [Read More…]

Sneak Peek at the Missional Leadership & Discipleship Course Next Semester at NTS

The mission of God is unmanageable. This is where the conversation about missional leadership begins. When it comes to the kingdom of God, we cannot control outcomes with even the most ingenious models, techniques, and strategies. God is going to do what God is going to do with the church, and God can never be controlled or [Read More…]

Advent: The Great Decrescendo (Advent 1B – Isaiah 64:1-9)

This was the message on the first Sunday of Advent, 2014 for Redemption Church. If you are a pastor feel free to copy & steal (w/attribution please!). You can listen to the message here.     Advent 1B – Isaiah 64:1-9 / Waiting “O, that you would tear open the heavens and come down.” Today [Read More…]

The SHIFT from Illusion to Prayer

When my boys were little guys we would go out to eat every Friday evening. It was kind of our family tradition (still is)… eat a meal together, & try to connect at end of a long week. When they were young & squirmy my job was to find ways to keep them sitting down [Read More…]

Eugene Peterson on What It Means to be a Pastor

I’ve spent a significant portion of the past year working on a manuscript for Zondervan called Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture. It’s in editing right now and is supposed to come out in 2014. I’m so hopeful that this book can make a difference for pastors of small churches all over the [Read More…]

Eugene Peterson’s “Unbusy” Pastor – Evangelicalism Needs More of These

I’ve been reading Eugene Peterson’s The Contemplative Pastor again. I’m not sure how many times I’ve read this book. Sometimes I think I should always be reading it for at least a few minutes a day. Today I was struck by this line: “I am busy because I am vain. I want to appear important. [Read More…]

Amazing Quotes & Thoughts From Eugene Peterson’s Memoir

“The life of faith cannot be lived in general or by abstractions. All the great realities that we can’t touch or see take form on ground that we can touch and see.” (p.12) The spirituality I was handed through evangelicalism was profoundly dismissive of “this world” stuff in favor of “spiritual things.” As many have [Read More…]

What’s Your Story? My Top 5 Favorite Memoirs & Why do We Love Memoirs So Much?

A memoir is almost always an easy read. I’m typically engrossed from the first word. Here’s my top 5 list. What are your top 5? Cash by Johnny Cash Night by Elie Weisel Hannah’s Child by Stanley Hauerwas Telling Secrets by Frederick Buechner Confessions by St. Augustine Honorable mention would be Travelling Mercies by Anne [Read More…]


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