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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

What Kind of Citizen? What Kind of State?

Running through a days worth of international news on Tuesday I found a number that help us see just how diverse and complex concepts of citizenship, religion, and state have become worldwide. In Nepal efforts to write a constitution have broken down completely. At issue? Is the state divided into geographical divisions, each of which [Read More...]

Immoral Moralism

A few years ago, when there was a hot debate among Methodists about having SMU host the Bush Library, I was the target of a singular public accusation. Because I did not oppose the library my name was added to an email blast of those who were “torturers.” The logic was simple, indeed simplistic. If [Read More...]

Islam in Egypt and Freedom of Conscience

Today’s New York Times (April 29, 2012) reports that Egypt’s most conservative Islamic groups have announced their support for the most liberal candidate in the upcoming presidential election: an ex-Muslim Brotherhood leader; Mr. Aboul Fotouh. He is known for saying that the Quranic injunction that there should be no compulsion in religion means that governments [Read More...]

The Arab Spring and the Islamists

To maintain its popular support the MB needs a constitution that will give it a practical mandate to govern a modern state. [Read more...]

One God, Many Paths?

And pluralist claims are simply another form of religious imperialism, colonizing the beliefs and practices of others into a religious description of reality they may not know or accept. [Read more...]