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...]

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...]

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...]

Divine Mandate, Dialogue Disaster?

How do we enter into respectful dialogue with another religious viewpoint when that religious viewpoint won’t let us speak for ourselves? When it insists that it comprehensively understands our reality without reference to us? What do I mean? Let’s start with something interesting: “After the banned ‘Holy Islamic Sex’ (Seks Suci Islam) guide’s sizzling debut, [Read More...]

The Sub-Dom Complex in Religion

The logic of hegemony arises in part from the claim that a particular culture, worldview, and language have the privilege of being chosen by God to express God’s truth to humanity. In Malaysia two pieces of news. First came the circulation of a forged letter saying that if an opposition party won the next election [Read More...]

Lost in Translation?

Sunday morning. Christians gather for worship: meaningful fragments of hymns are offered, praise choruses are repeated to create a mood, Jesus songs inculcate pious devotion and warm affection,thematic preaching that tells people what they want to know, and prayers beseech God for help. The house is packed. Is the gospel in all its power finally [Read More...]

Translation, not just Interpretation

The crisis of the mainline Christian denominations has come about in large part because they hang on to a model of engagement with contemporary people that is no longer adequate. Pastors and church leaders who were taught to interpret the gospel so that it is relevant to the contemporary situation are finding this isn’t adequate [Read More...]

The Secular Attack on Religion

This past week two citizens of the UK took their claims to the European Court of Human Rights after losing their appeals in Britain. What? Perhaps Muslims facing discrimination? Sikhs or Hindus suffering racist epithets? No. Christians. One a counselor whose employer dismissed him for questioning whether he could council gay couples, the other a [Read More...]

Evangelism fails without Dialogue

American Christians wonder, indeed should wonder, why Christianity is in decline in our nation. Why are people leaving the church? Why are so few people coming to Christ? Why are non-Christian religions growing? I want to suggest that is because we Christians have failed to meet the essential pre-condition for preaching a credible gospel. We [Read More...]


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