The Layperson and ETS

A group of academics gather for a theology conference. Papers and panels have been vetted in advance of the event, and conferees move from session to session listening to presentations. There are books to be purchased, break-out sessions and dinners and meetings to attend. After the conference, the academics head back to their work in universities, colleges, Bible schools, and churches. They carry home with them some food for thought, an armload of new books, and perhaps a few new professional … [Read more...]

Real Faith Loves. Period.

In conjunction with the release of the movie Denial, a movie based on a true story about a journalist who was taken to court for libel by a Holocaust denier, some Patheos bloggers were asked to tackle the following question:Does faith prevent or propagate intolerance, and should someone have the right to deny the veracity and historicity of your faith tradition?Before I came to faith in the resurrected Jesus the Messiah, I denied the veracity and historicity of the Bible. By the time I … [Read more...]

Don’t Know Much About (Church) History

I was once told that the study of history doesn’t really make sense until we’re adults. Grown-ups brains have the ability to form connections between events, synthesize information, and assess meaning in a way that younger minds aren’t physically able to do. To be clear, this doesn’t mean that younger students shouldn’t study history. Familiarizing them with names, dates, places and most importantly, stories lays an important foundation they carry into adulthood when they can begin to make meanin … [Read more...]

A map of my pilgrim’s road trip

I long for clear direction for my journey with God, but more often than not, my pilgrim's road trip resembles the twists, turns, and switchbacks of a labyrinth walk. … [Read more...]

To Try + To Eat: Yom Kippur

Since Moments & Days released three-ish weeks ago, most of the questions I've fielded from Christians have to do with the Jewish calendar portion of the book. (The book also covers the Christian calendar, but this one is more familiar to these readers.) So many people are interested in being more intentional about learning about the Jewish and Christian calendars, but don’t quite know where to start. I’m very happy I can commend a resource that offers a thoughtful historical and devotional ov … [Read more...]

Your Church and Money: How To Talk or Not To Talk

It’s possible over four decades of church attendance that I may have missed the larger messages about the “Why?” in many of the sermons I’ve heard about the way in which believers are to steward their money, time, and spiritual gifts. We who are involved in discipling ministry (which is all of us who follow Jesus) may find it a worthwhile exercise to consider the way in which we talk about stewardship of these resources. As I reflect on what I’ve heard in dozens of churches through the years, I r … [Read more...]

What Calendar Did Jesus Use?

I had to write about the Jewish and Christian calendars. Why? The short answer is that I care deeply about discipleship, and the calendar is one of the original discipleship tools found in the Old Testament.It’s not quite as simple as that short answer, however. It’s been my experience that when Evangelicals speak of spiritual formation, we tend to speak in terms of practicing spiritual disciplines, or acquisition of information about God and the Bible, or we urge ourselves toward action such … [Read more...]