pastors, burnout, failure, and shame (interview with J. R. Briggs)

Today’s post is an interview with J. R. Briggs, author of Fail: Finding Hope and Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure (see also here). Briggs serves as Cultutral Cultivator for The Renew Community, a network of Jesus communities made up of skeptics & dreamers scattered throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania. He also authored When God Says Jump: Biblical [Read More...]

most pastors are failures–and it’s OK to talk about it

My friend and Lansdale neighbor J. R. Briggs has just published his latest book Fail: Finding Hope and Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure. Failure is common among pastors, and it’s one of those things that’s hard to talk about, and hence gets buried as a shameful secret. J. R. is taking the bull [Read More...]

“Cosmos” and Christianity (or any religion, for that matter)

Like many of you, I watched the entire FOX series Cosmos for the last several weeks and which concluded this past Sunday. More than once I found myself in stunned awe of the incomprehensibly huge and old universe we live in, and how much science has been able to learn about it. I felt the [Read More...]

“there is no such thing as fundamentalist art”–(or, fighting the creative battle within)

I’m now reading for the second time in 4 months an amazing book by Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. Pressfield is probably best known for being the author of  The Legend of Bagger Vance. I’m reading the book–again–because I am having trouble breaking through [Read More...]

my next writing project and an interview with the author

While my upcoming book is in the last stages of prepublication mayhem, I have begun working on my next book with HarperOne. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with myself to discuss that project. Pete: Pete, thanks for taking time off from yourself to sit down with yourself and talk about your upcoming book. Pete: [Read More...]

Tullian Tchividjian, The Gospel Coalition, and a (rather obvious) theology problem

Over the last few days, a public airing of differences is taking place between members of The Gospel Coalition (TGC). (The two key posts seem to be here and here, for those interested.) Apparently, one of the bloggers at TGC, Tullian Tchividjian (pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church), has had a season of disagreement with those who run the organization, [Read More...]

people are such absolute jerks (and so can you)

Today’s post is an interview with Dr. Chuck DeGroat about his latest book Toughest People to Love: How to Understand, Lead, and Love the Difficult People in Your Life (Including Yourself). Chuck, who has blogged here before (here and here), is the author of Leaving Egypt: Finding God in the Wilderness Places, and co-founder and senior fellow at the Newbigin House of [Read More...]

a quick announcement about me, and I hope you don’t mind if I **SIT DOWN** first

Dear People, As many of you know, I’ve been at teaching Biblical Studies at Eastern University since January of 2012, and it’s been both a privilege and a ton of fun. I wanted to share some news with you. A few weeks ago Eastern University awarded me an academic chair. I am officially the Abram [Read More...]

at the end of the day, when the dust settles, is the Creator of the universe actually really male?

no. [Short post, I know. Not sure what else to say after reading this, but three quick thoughts that if I have to explain it wouldn't help: (1) Understand metaphorical language; (2) Understand antiquity; (3) Use your imagination.] [Read more...]

I’ll see your “clarified” statement of faith and raise you a lawsuit—more good times at Bryan College

A few days ago The Herald News (serving Dayton, Tenn., and Rhea County communities since 1898) reported the next, and I suppose inevitable, development in the Bryan-College-brazenly-moves-the-statement-of-faith-goal-posts-as-a-way-of-weeding-out-dangerous-faculty-who-don’t-think-the-Bible-is-a-science-book saga. Two faculty members–professor of natural science Stephen Barnett and professor of education and chair of the education department Steven DeGeorge–are suing their employer (see the full story [Read More...]

evangelicalism: the best version of Christianity (or not)

In recent months, in various venues, I have seen the following claim made or implied, in one form or another: evangelicalism is the best iteration of Christianity because it is most faithful to the Bible and most in line with the history of the church. Several observations: All Christian traditions say that. To gain credibility [Read More...]

buy The Evolution of Adam *dirt* cheap (get it?)

From today through May 15,  The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins will be available for $2.99 (ebook–Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD). At that price, you can’t afford not to buy it. I mean, where else are you going to find such a handy catalogue of  information to help [Read More...]