Making Space To Grieve 11/13

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Pope Francis stated we may already be in a "piecemeal World War III" after last Friday's synchronized attacks in Paris. Certainly, ISIS and its spiritual confederates have declared war on all infidels in their sights - their own neighbors, both Muslim and not, as well as the the entire West. One commentator after another has emphasized that there's no foolproof way to prevent these attacks - not when a person is willing to strap on a suicide vest for the Cause.As initial shock and awe over … [Read more...]

The Jesus Movement’s Unintended Consequences: The Rapture

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We’re a generation removed from the Jesus Movement of the late 1960′s and the Rapture still hasn't happened despite astonishing certainty about when we could expect it on the part of some of the most influential voices of the era. Hal Lindsey had the timetable of the Lord's return all figured out in his influential 1970 book, The Late Great Planet Earth and Earnest Angley's 1950 tome, Raptured, was the Left Behind of the day. Angley's book, which a friend and I took to calling "Raptured, raptu … [Read more...]

The Jesus Movement’s Unintended Consequences: Those Campfire Praise Songs

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When a renewal movement hits the church, things are bound to get messy. Some of the mess is the work of the Holy Spirit as he reanimates dry bones. Some of the mess comes when a bunch of broken human beings try to touch, help, hinder, or profit from the beautiful chaos. We're a generation removed from the Jesus Movement of the late 1960's. Poll after poll tells us that Evangelicalism, the primary beneficiary of this Movement, is having an identity crisis. Our children aren't sticking around in … [Read more...]

Review: The Soul Of Shame

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We recognize shame in the form of someone else's finger wagging in our faces, telling us we messed up when we should have done better. Those "You should be ashamed of yourself!" moments are the tip of the iceberg, according to author Curt Thompson. In his book The Soul Of Shame, Thompson explores the internal mechanisms of shame that warp our understanding of ourselves, of the world around us, and of God. When we're able to use words to describe our feelings of shame, we tend to use phrases like … [Read more...]

Regret and Re-Formation

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I've been blogging for almost ten years, and I've shared pieces of my own good, bad (and occasionally excruciating) experiences with the church. I've wrestled with God over these experiences, and continue to journey on with him with a limp. One of the most gratifying things about writing online is I hear from fellow wrestlers. Some continue to gimp with Jesus as I do. Others have chosen to run in the opposite direction. I recently heard from someone who fled the fundamentalism of his childhood. … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Reformation

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Martin Luther had some serious chutzpah.Though his well-documented anti-Semitism sowed some noxious weed-seed in both his theology and throughout the Protestant church culture that emerged from the Reformation, I've always admired the stories of Luther's battles with unhealthy church culture. Luther was a monk, a Catholic church insider. He had every reason to support the status quo of the church at the time, which had grown into a bloated, powerful bureaucracy designed to benefit people in … [Read more...]

I Didn’t Think I Had A Book In Me, But I Did

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Ten years ago, I imagined I had maybe 75% of a book in me. I'd written a few plays, lots of articles, and some curriculum. But a book was an entirely different animal, and I honestly didn't think I was quite ready to tackle 50,000 words on a specific theme at that point in my life.We'd relocated back "home" to the Chicago area in 2004 after nearly a decade living in Wisconsin. I'd taken a part-time job at a seminary bookstore and was using the rest of my work time doing what free-lance … [Read more...]


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