The Platform of Christian Hope

The two political conventions are behind us. Americans and the world have heard what hope Republicans and Democrats offer for the future of our nation. And they offered about the same thing. Jobs. Economic prosperity for all, but especially the middle class. And of course a restoration, resuscitation, rediscovery, or just re-tread of a laundry [Read More...]

Jesus the CEO?

In my last blog I suggested that the classical understanding of Christ as prophet, priest, and ruler might guide our reflections on new ways of understanding pastoral ministry in a post-Christian/pre-Christian society. The “facilitation” model I was taught in the 1970′s simply doesn’t work any more. There is an alternative. By the early 1980′s I [Read More...]

What is a Pastor to Be?

When I was in seminary between 1977 and 1982 the model of pastoral ministry could be summed up in one word: facilitator. Through Rogerian counseling we facilitated people who were capable of discovering their problems and the solutions. Facilitating endless council and committee meetings allowed us to allow lay people to lead the congregation in [Read More...]

The Pastor is Out (of it)

So lets review the recent news. A man with neo-Nazi sympathies goes to a Sikh Gurdwara and kills six people. He may have thought they were Muslims, or he may not have cared. Hatred is a blunt instrument. Recent reports shows 88 attacks on US mosques since 2010, with burnings and vandalism increasing across the [Read More...]

Who Owns Your Worship?

Somewhere in Dallas. A conference room. A worship committee. Hot words about “competition” between traditional and contemporary worship. Worried members, vested interests, no resolution. The worship wars go on. But I wonder if we realize that in the end both sides may have lost. For most of Christian history worship involved the systematic movement of [Read More...]

Romney on Culture?

Mitt Romney recently found out a few things about culture and Middle East diplomacy, but both he and the press missed his biggest learning opportunity. Romney attributed Israel’s economic success to culture, and suggested that the same factor, culture, explained the Palestinian’s lack of economic success. At least some Palestinians said his remarks were racist, [Read More...]

The Great Fear Conflation

The headlines last week said that 30% of Republicans believe that Obama is a Muslim. An actual increase since 2008. And this has been followed by various surveys (always publicized by self-proclaimed liberals) that conservatives are simply less intellectual, less smart, than liberals. I doubt it. Read down in an article on the recent PEW [Read More...]

Farewell to Jerusalem

Israel for 10 days. Reflections: Its early morning in the hotel, the last morning of this trip. We have seen angry hope, sad hope, resigned hope, cynical hope, confused hope, naïve hope, and possibly even hopeless hope. And we’ve see the parallel forms of hopelessness. In Tel Aviv we met, as I have met before, [Read More...]

Just Who are You?

Jerusalem, my home for about 10 days, can look like some kind of costume drama, especially down in the old city. Muslim women in headscarves, or for that matter more conservative Jewish women in headscarves, are just a part. Military uniforms of various sorts are present – albeit discreetly for the most part. And various [Read More...]

Filling the Gaps in God – A Shared Language of Religious Difference

In my last blog I suggested that God doesn’t fill the gaps in human knowledge. To the contrary, we humans are the gaps in God, the places where God is alienated from God’s own full love and participation in creation. The gaps are created by human conflict and a failure to work together for the [Read More...]


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