What Kind Of Evangelical Am I?


(This post is part of the Patheos "Why I Am Still An Evangelical" conversation.)My four decades in the Evangelical world has been a pilgrim's road trip. I came to faith in 1974 in the waning days of the Jesus Movement, and have since swum laps in a variety of different streams within Evangelicalism: fundamentalist, second- and third-wave Charismatic, conservative and progressive non-denominational congregations, house churches, Messianic Jewish congregations*, and local churches with a … [Read more...]

Bread, Circuses, and Skits


When it comes to event planning, I am a person who loves a themed event. Think a pirate party for a five year-old boy, complete with pirate-themed games, a cake that looks like a ship, and eye patches for all the mateys.My love of themed-events played well when I was planning and producing church services. If you gave me a sermon series topic, I'd look for songs, videos, readings and other service elements that supported the theme. Since the sermon is the main course in most Evangelical … [Read more...]

A Positive Women’s Ministry Story

Some of the women of Digging Deeper.

An update from the Women's Ministry front:I've been at pastel tables featuring tea cups and doilies, making small talk with church ladies. I've gone to women's "retreats" that were nothing more than glorified teachfests with a side of craft projects, teary testimonies and awkward ice-breaker activities. I've been a part of women's Bible study groups that have been a reader response echo chamber: "What do you think this verse says?"/"I don't know. What do you think it says?"/"The notes in my … [Read more...]

Bring It To Light


My husband and I left the US for Israel on May 21. In the span of the 10 days we've been here, I've been following a string of excruciating stories from the Evangelical world that have included the exposure of incest/abuse/coverup happening within America's favorite Bill Gothard poster family, the Duggars; the tale of legalistic spiritual abuse of a woman who divorced her pedophile husband by the leadership of Village Church, pastored by Acts 29 head Matt Chandler (who did offer an apology this w … [Read more...]

Blessed Are The Angsters


Ed Stetzer wrote a helpful post called "Missional Angst and Western Church Norms" about the shift in the church away from consumer-driven models of ministry. He noted that some are being called out of existing churches to live their faith in more organic ways (the Radicals), others are choosing to stay put and tweak from within the organization (the Conservatives), and a third group are the Critics.He describes the latter group this way: "...church consultants, authors, professors, etc.—can be pr … [Read more...]

Selling Vacuums, Giving Away Parting Gifts, and Pantomiming The Gospel


A book by a Catholic priest who journeyed to Tanzania to bring the gospel to the Masai gave me a new way to think about evangelism that goes beyond the models I've seen in action. These models have borne a passing resemblance to either 1950's door-to-door vacuum cleaner sales, game shows featuring lovely parting gifts, or encoded Christian mime performances.Father Vincent J. Donavan journeyed to Tanzania to during the 1960's and 1970's bring the gospel to the Masai people. Encamped in the … [Read more...]

Christian Seders?

seder table

Should Christians participate in church-run Seders?After all, this command to retell and relive via ritual meal celebrating God's deliverance of his people from slavery in Egypt was given to the Jewish people (click here, here, and here). Yet it has become popular in both liturgical and low-church circles to incorporate a Christian version of the Seder meal into Holy Week observance. Many other congregations will invite ministries involved in doing Jewish outreach to come and do a "seder … [Read more...]