The Election and the Pentecostal/Charismatics

According to a 2011 Pew Forum survey, there are twice as many Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians in the world as there are Evangelicals. An earlier Barna survey notes that in the U.S., as many as a quarter of U.S. Christians identify as Pentecostal or Charismatic.There is a wide range of practice among these brothers and sister. Some attend Assemblies of God congregations or unaffiliated independent Charismatic churches; others belong to Evangelical, mainline Protestant or Catholic … [Read more...]

You’re just in time…

From my most recent newsletter: I watched this week's election returns with one eye on the TV, the other on my Twitter feed. By 1:30 a.m., I was seeing both screens via double vision. My brain had eclipsed its saturation point.Across the political spectrum, every commentator had one sentiment in common: "This is unprecedented! History is being written tonight."No matter how we voted, I sense most of us agree we have opened the page to a disorienting – unprecedented! – new chapter in our … [Read more...]

Follow The Leader

I am of Paul. I am of Apollos. I am of John Piper or Jim Wallis or Jen Hatmaker or Nancy Leigh DeMoss.It was a first century problem, and it is a twenty-first century problem. It is perhaps most pronounced in the Protestant world. Our very spiritual DNA contains a desire to divide. As we lack a single hierarchical authority structure on which we can all agree, we are tempted to form our own tribes.Today, our Bible teachers and Christian communicators are brands™, driven as much by p … [Read more...]

All The Saints

What's a nice Jewish grandmother like me doing writing about All Saints Day?Obviously, this day isn't in my own background, nor is it a day I covered in my book. Ever since I read Jon Sweeney's excellent The Lure of Saints: A Protestant Experience of Catholic Tradition ten years ago, I've had an appreciation for the power of their testimonies in my own life and the awareness that the great cloud of witnesses cheering the Bride onward is made up of people like these; named and nameless, they … [Read more...]

Why Does Your Church Worship As It Does?

Much has been made of the longing among some believing Millennials for structure, reverence, and beauty in worship. Fewer smoke machines, more incense. I’ve certainly evidence of this desire among this demographic. But I see it among many in my own Boomer demographic, too, in a different form. Those who grew up in Lutheran, Methodist, Catholic, Episcopal, or Orthodox churches and made their way through a born-again experience into the Evangelical world (which is predominated by low church w … [Read more...]

Hitting the Evangelical Wall

There are a lot of different camps clustered under this big tent known as Evangelical Christianity. The idea of Evangelicalism as a single tent is more a theoretical idea than a practical one, as I suspect there never was a place and time in which we great-great-great grandchildren of the Protestant Reformation in which we were ever truly united. At this point in our history, if there ever was a tent, it has stretch to the point it no longer serves as much of a shelter those of us who still bear … [Read more...]

(To Try) + (To Eat): Sukkot

The Jewish feasts. The Christian calendar. Which one should form our worship?The answer isn't so simple. As I noted in Moments & Days: How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith, it behooves us all to learn a little something about each calendar – and then begin allow the rhythm of one to shape our discipleship journey, one day at a time.I'm offering in this space one small, do-able step here in this space you, your family, small group, or church can use to move their learning from t … [Read more...]