The Challenges of Wealth and the Call of Christ

David Brooks recent NY Times article entitled "The Great Divorce" speaks of what is becoming on of the largest issues of our day, not just because it's an election year, but because it's a real issue.  Brooks reveals the dramatic shifts in American culture between 1963 and the present, noting that, while there's always been a gap between wealth and poverty, in previous eras that gap wasn't accompanied by a behavior gap.  Brooks writes, "income gaps did not lead to big behavior gaps. Roughly 98 p … [Read more...]

When you don’t like your job

It's common theme these days, a point of conversation among people in every age group, from 'just out of college' to those near retirement.  "I hate my job", or "I can't wait to do something different", or "I'm counting the days..."  It's a subject worthy of book, because the reality is that there's a time to stay, and a time to leave, and that the real challenge is knowing what time it is.  Leave prematurely, and you'll fan the flames of discontent that should instead be quenched, creating a ra … [Read more...]

Young Young Adult Exodus from the Faith – and what to do about it (II)

Last week I posted some thoughts about a recent survey by George Barna, which offers insight into the reasons people between 18 and 30 are leaving the faith.  I addressed the first three reasons in that post, which could be summarized as: 1) churches are overprotective  2) the experience of God and spirituality offered in churches seems shallow and 3) churches come across as antagonistic towards science.This post looks at the final three complaints, along with some closing thoughts at the e … [Read more...]

Six Reasons Youth Leave the Faith: …and what to do about it (I)

The Barna group has recently released a book entitled, "You Lost Me", and this article offers a succinct summary of six main reasons that young people are leaving the church.  I'm grateful that church I lead in Seattle is generally swimming upstream against this trend.  We've grown from around 300 people to 2500 over the past 15 years and most of our growth has come as people between 18-30 have found our church, some of them returning to church life after a 'vacation', either from the faith or f … [Read more...]

Co-illumination: Preaching from the text of life

This Sunday, I'll be starting a new series at our church entitled, "Every Square Inch:  Blessing the World through Culture Reading and Vocation".  In this series I'll be preaching from the book of life, a book that's declaring eternal truth, every day, all around us.  In spite of this constant revelation, the reality is that our hearts and minds are so fragmented that we usually don't hear what God is saying to us through culture.  We're grown up believing that God's truth is found in the Bible, … [Read more...]

Hope for the New Year: Let’s get beyond “NO”

If history tells us one thing, it's that humans are good at saying NO to systems that don't work.  If our species were a single body, we'd have an excellent immune system.  When oppressive regimes arise, it's only a matter of time until they collapse.  The weight of their own corruption weakens them until an uprising from the masses leads to regime change.  The toppling of empires is nearly always welcomed with fanfare.  We like burning flags, and effigies, and toppling statues.  There's usually … [Read more...]