Evangelism, Mission, and the Unimagined in Christian Discourse I

At a recent conference I heard a group of theologians express surprise, and indeed disdain, that I had been appointed director of a Center for Evangelism and Missional Church Studies. How, they wondered, could such a thing exist in the 21st century? And how could it co-exist with a commitment to inter-religious dialogue? I was [Read More...]

Interfaith Belonging is not Inter-Religious Understanding

The central claims of Interfaith are in conflict with the claims of other religions, as the claims of these religions are in conflict with one another. At a recent meeting to work on programs for an interfaith chapel. It immediately became clear to me that a deep conceptual confusion was likely to thwart the intentions [Read More...]

The Indigenous American Religion

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is the indigenous religion of the United States from its inception, the religion from which all Americans must be converted if they are to become Christians. I heard a radio preacher today – and not a bad one either, preaching on the book “Soul Searching,” which has been buzzed about for nearly [Read More...]

Management Culture and Human Dignity

The culture of modern North America is a management culture. That culture has its roots deep in the enlightenment and the emergence of the human as an autonomous, independent center of power, meaning, and authority. American Christianity, particularly in its United Methodist form, is indigenous to North American society and fully participates fully in this [Read More...]

The Curse of the (Social) Creed

We have turned humanity into an object of Christian faith, and social behaviors into essential Christian practices. A couple of decades ago I sat visiting over lunch with my fellow students at the University of Malaya.  The conversation turned to our professors. A young woman with her hair wrapped tightly beneath her headscarf and wearing [Read More...]

Establishing Religion?

Should private companies be able to establish the religious beliefs of their owners as the norm for their employees? We need an ongoing, public, exploration of our differing religious ethics. We need inter religious dialogue so that we begin to understand what is really at stake when we talk about the establishment of religion, or [Read More...]

Science and Religion – an Interfaith Encounter.

Yesterday I was one of three speakers at a forum on science and religion. Speaking as unelected representative of all Christians I basically made a single point: that the orthodox Christian tradition teaches that God reveals God’s self in two ways: through the created order (natural revelation) and through particular moments in which God speaks [Read More...]

Jesus or JR?

Over the last couple of years I’ve had the opportunity to talk with working scriptwriters and directors about just what makes for a compelling story. Specifically the TV series Dallas, the second generation. To paraphrase one of them “If you want people to enter a world you create week after week you have to create [Read More...]

The Failure of the Christian Narrative?

It is no news that fewer and fewer Americans, especially young Americans, have no religious affiliation. (http://religions.pewforum.org/affiliations) And if Charles Taylor is right (A Secular Age) a much greater number can at least imagine having no religion. This news comes at a time when Christian churches have never been more active in providing personal and [Read More...]

Religious Leadership and the Religions

You aren’t a leader if you can’t lead across cultures in a complex religious environment.  . . . I continue to muse on a read through three years of the HBR. In the last blog I suggested that the classical liberal arts university and its dedication to leadership got distorted by the demands for technical [Read More...]


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