About Richard Dahlstrom

As Pastor of Bethany Community Church in Seattle, Richard teaches with vision of "making the invisible God visible" by calling people to acts of service and blessing. It's working, as a wilderness ministry, homeless shelter, and community meals that serve those living on the margins are all pieces of Bethany's life. "We're being the presence of Christ" he says, "and inviting everyone to join the adventure." Many have, making Bethany one of the fastest growing churches in America in 2009 according to Outreach Magazine.

Rearranging the Chairs and other wastes of time: A response to Rachel Held Evans

Rachel Held Evans has written a thought provoking piece about why Millenials are leaving the church.  She writes about how frustrating it is for her to give talks on this subject.  She "points to research that shows young evangelicals often feel they have to choose between their intellectual integrity and their faith, between science and Christianity, between compassion and holiness" and then she "talks about how the evangelical obsession with sex can make Christian living seem like little more t … [Read more...]

Lex Rex vs. Rex Lex: Trayvon Martin and the Idol of “Justice”

(Note to Theologians... you need to disassociate my definitions of rex lex and lex rex from Samuel Rutherford's work, because my premise of King is Law is based on the notion that there's only one King whose law we must work towards and uphold, that of King Jesus)"Lex Rex" simply means "Law is King".  If you believe that the law of the land, instituted and enforced by fallen people, is the end of the story, then the weight of evidence would declare  justice was served in the Trayvon Martin c … [Read more...]

If Trees Could Speak… learning Faithfulness from the Redwoods

A parable...sort of.After unpacking our things I'm eager to show my wife and oldest daughter the sacred ground that is my grandma's house at Mt. Hermon.  It's a very short walk down to Park Way, and hers is the first house we see.  I stand in the dusty gravel parking space and inhale.  The convergence of space, warmth of California redwood sap in the air, and flowers in the garden along the path to the door.  It's all still there, the same.I show my family, explain to them how this place … [Read more...]

Radical Liberty…

I just returned from England, where I enjoyed a time of holiday, teaching, and fellowship with friends from around the world.  India, Malaysia, Canada, England, Romania, Albania, Sweden, Germany, Austria - leaders from the various Torchbearer Bible Schools gather every four years for fellowship, worship, planning.If government regulations are a form of impingement on freedom, I was reminded this week that America, in this regard, is arguably the freest place on the planet.  Regulations about … [Read more...]

I’m unfriending someone you know too well… and you should too

You know her because she shows up in your life precisely when you can't handle her presence.  You're tired, vulnerable, have experienced some sort of failure or frustration and there she is; at the door, wanting to come in.  She's friendly enough, for certain, and usually flattering too.  "Poor you" she says, as she then begins her pontifications about how you deserve better, how unjustly you're treated, how unappreciated you are.  Your heart stirs in response."Yes" you think to yourself "I d … [Read more...]

Just getting on with it…

This week I'm in the stunningly green English countryside with friends from around the globe who gather every four years general conference of Torchbearers.  It's difficult to accurately portray the power of what happens when 200 leaders from 27 Bible centers around the world gather in one room to pray, worship, study the scriptures together, and do business as they seek, each on their own unique setting, to make God's good reign visible through the power of the resurrected Jesus.Every day … [Read more...]

Taking Light Seriously… Living Light Loudly

We took an evening church history tour in Edinburgh Scotland this week.  It reminded me of the deplorable reputation the church has earned by its wars, lust for power, territorialism, and torture.  You don’t need to know all the details of the history to understand why one friend said, “All the ‘isms’ of our world have, on the whole, done more harm than good - and that’s why I’m not interested in Christianity”  Indeed, one can see a proportional relationship between the rise of Christianity's pow … [Read more...]

Finish Well – 3 Faith Habits for the long haul

Over the next few weeks, I'll be walking in the places where the influence of departed saints remains strong.  Capernwray Hall was founded by Major Ian Thomas, who died a few years ago in his nineties.  With a vision of creating a space where young people could gather and learn about the sufficiency and power of Christ for daily living, he purchased a castle at auction.  The result has been an entire global movement of people committed to sharing the simple and profound truth that Christ is en … [Read more...]