Unintended Consequences Of The Jesus Movement: The Christmas Edition


There is probably some significance that the last animated Christmas TV special for popular audiences to mention the (to borrow a phrase) reason for the season premiered in 1965. You know the one to which I'm referring:America was a-changing, only in 1965, most Americans didn't know it yet. The Christian-y sensibilities that once informed the way all Americans related to both culture and one another, were veneer, not solid wood. The second half of the 1960's would begin to peel away that … [Read more...]

The Blessing Of Missing Christmas

When I was a kid, I knew Christmas as the otherDecember celebration. I spent most of my secular Jewish childhood in a heavily Jewish Chicago suburb. Of course, there were still the Christmas commercials, Christmas specials, and Christmas songs at school, but our family celebrated Hanukkah. Our eight-night “Jewish Christmas” had its own miraculousbackstory. My Gentile classmates had only one day of presents to anticipate during December. I felt pretty lucky to have eight nights of gifts (even if, … [Read more...]

At The Intersection Of Time & Eternity: Chanukah

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Chanukah (or is it Hanukkah, Hannukah, Chanuka, Chanukkah, Hanuka, Channukah, or maybe Chanukka? Click here to get the story behind all those spellings!) begins this year at sundown on Sunday, December 6th. It is not the Jewish Christmas. However, it is important to remember that the events surrounding Jesus' birth couldn't have happened had the events commemorated by Chanukah occurred a century and a half before Joseph and Mary made the trek from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The Jewish festal cycle a … [Read more...]

Review: Strange Fire, Holy Fire

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I wish I could give a copy of Michael J. Klassen's Strange Fire, Holy Fire: Exploring the Highs and Lows of Your Charismatic Experience (Bethany House Publishers, 2009) to every person I've ever met in the various Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Third Wave/Vineyard congregations of which we've been a part. Whether they're still a part of one of these congregations, have jumped to a different stream within the Church, or have chosen to hang out the "Done" sign on any formal church involvement, … [Read more...]

Giving Thanks From The Valley Of The Shadow


If you have suffered a loss or have a fractured family, holidays like Thanksgiving can be more endurance test than blessing. Memories of happier times in the past and the nagging sense that most everyone you know and all those people you don't know but with whom you're connected on social media are experiencing #blissed #blessed #family #togetherness on the holiday. A few years ago in this piece for the Christianity Today Her.meneutics blog, I talked about the effect social media was having on t … [Read more...]

Unintended Consequences Of The Jesus Movement’s Music: A Word From Dr. Chuck Fromm

Love Song was one of the early Maranatha! Music bands. Here they are in 2010. (Thank you, Wikipedia.)

I was grateful for the lively exchange that took place last week around a new series I launched on this blog called "The Jesus Movement's Unintended Consequences". (Click here to read the first two posts in the series.) We're four decades out from that time of change and renewal in the church. Time passed allows us a bit of perspective, and I'm looking forward to continuing the conversation in the weeks to come.Before I move on to another topic in the series, I want to share part of an email … [Read more...]

At The Intersection Of Time & Eternity: Advent

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The Jewish feast cycle and the Christian calendar each offer holidays that are meant to serve as an on-ramp into the intersection of time and eternity. These days of yes point us beyond our own everyday agendas and connect us with our place in a bigger, more beautiful story. If you attend a non-denominational congregation, your church may focus primarily on Christmas and Easter along with non-holiday holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Church Picnic Day. If you attend a liturgical cong … [Read more...]