The political problem: policy trumps people

I posted this picture on my Facebook account recently and oh my!  People do feel strongly about Wall Street, and the Wall Street occupiers, about personal responsibility, government incompetence, and who's to blame for the mess we're in.  My friends fall broadly into two camps:BLAME THE GOVERNMENT. We're in this mess because the banking system is greedy and corrupt, and the government is either: a) spending too much; b) beholden to special interest groups; c) in bed with a global economy t … [Read more...]

Churches are dying because young people are shut out. Let’s fix this.

Churches are strange. If a steel plant closes in a Rust Belt city, you can be sure that there won’t be a new one opening in the same town where the one shut down.  And yet, when it comes that thing called “church,” we’re living in an era when 3,500-4,000 churches are closing their doors in America every year.  At the same time, there are roughly the same number of new churches opening their doors each year.  As a result, we’re in this very strange time when established churches with histories, p … [Read more...]

People are hungry–is the church feeding them?

NOTE:  I'm going to be blogging over at Patheos, at least for a few months.  If you're a Patheos regular, welcome to my blog, I'm a pastor, teacher, author, writing about how Christ changes everything."Today’s generation are demonstrably less content, and consequently less optimistic, than those that went before. They work longer hours, with less security, and less chance of leaving behind the social background into which they were born. They fear crime, social breakdown, overdevelopment, env … [Read more...]

“Individual Morality” = Oxymoronic Half Truth

A recent NY Times editorial exposes the reality that emerging generations have almost no sense of ethic and morality because, as they've been taught by our culture, "morality is a personal, individual matter."  It appears that, aside from the most obvious moral issues, such as the wrongness of rape and murder, 18-23 year olds have no consensus on issues like cheating on a test, driving drunk, or cheating on one's partner.When asked about the rightness or wrongness of situations that, in other … [Read more...]

“Individual Morality” = Oxymoronic half-truth

A recent NY Times editorial exposes the reality that emerging generations have almost no sense of ethic and morality because, as they've been taught by our culture, "morality is a personal, individual matter."  It appears that, aside from the most obvious moral issues, such as the wrongness of rape and murder, 18- to 23-year-olds have no consensus on issues like cheating on a test, driving drunk, or cheating on one's partner.When asked about the rightness or wrongness of situations that, in … [Read more...]

Fall line – why the hard path is actually life-giving

That's not me

Enter through the narrow gate...for the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.  - Matthew 7:13-14"The steep way down is easier - but only if you're committed."  - Ski advice given by someone better than me.One of the mysteries in Jesus' teaching is the seeming contradiction between his command that we need to seek the narrow road, which is hard and requires discipline, and His other teaching that His "yoke is easy" and his "burden is light."  On … [Read more...]

Pentecost…empowered for what?

This is the weekend of Pentecost in the church calendar year, which means it's the weekend we celebrate the church's receptivity of the Holy Spirit.  Just a few short weeks ago, the entire journalistic world was cooing over the May 21 predictions of the world's end, a subject to which Jesus spoke just before his physical departure so many years ago.  He made three things clear on that day:1. Nobody would be able to predict the date of Christ's establishment of the fulness of His kingdom.2. J … [Read more...]

Skinny Church – the wrong fast for a hungry world

If nutrition is a hobby of yours, then you know that something as simple and straightforward as eating food has dozens of conflicting schools of thought. Macrobiotic people swear by rice and seaweed. Paleolithic people think rice, and most agriculture for that matter, is from the devil himself. Vegetarians think meat eaters are cruelly killing animals, and, by eating meat, their own bodies. Vegetarian Myth (a favorite book of mine) takes pretty much the opposite approach. Back in the day, low f … [Read more...]


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