The Problem of God – The Solution of Christ

I watched a movie recently entitled "God on Trial", which recounts a trial held in an Auschwitz bunkhouse by Jews who have accused God of breaking His covenant with His people.  The dialogue, questions, and accusations, are not for the faint of faith, for they bring questions about God's character to the surface.  God sanctions, and even commands genocides, inflicts plagues, makes David's son die for David's sin, and calls for children who disobey their parents to be executed.  We read these … [Read more...]

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 … [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 … [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, … [Read more...]

Seeing and hearing God – joyfully – beyond church walls

One of the best parts of the Christmas story is when we encounter those two old folks named Simeon and Anna waiting, waiting, longing, looking for Jesus.  They're the one's who see him for who he is when Mary and Joseph bring him in for dedication, while the religious elite miss him entirely.  I've preached on this text more than once, always trying to make the point that we need to read our Bibles with a view towards looking for Christ and respond to his wooing call, pointing out that people … [Read more...]

Seeing and Hearing God – Joyfully – Beyond Church Walls

One of the best parts of the Christmas story is when we encounter those two old folks named Simeon and Anna waiting, waiting, longing, looking for Jesus.  They're the one's who see him for who he is when Mary and Joseph bring him in for dedication, while the religious elite miss him entirely.  I've preached on this text more than once, always trying to make the point that we need to read our Bibles with a view towards looking for Christ and respond to his wooing call, pointing out that people … [Read more...]

Disengage from the culture and don’t change the world – change yourself

Casey Anthony.  Who is she?  Why is her case important?  Or, is her case important, or before that Anthony Weiner's case, or before that some other politician or movie star, or both - why is anyone at all paying attention to this string of social pablam?  And we Christians have our own diversions:  "Good bye-Rob Bell"?  "Eugene Peterson is the devil because he wrote the Message".  Are these conversations  more important than our national fiscal crisis, or the torture of citizens in Syria … [Read more...]