Evangelicals learn to (heart) New York

Pastors have their own brand of insider humor, just like doctors, lawyers, accountants and other skilled professionals.The same is true for the missionaries, researchers and pastors who plant churches. Thus, Ed Stetzer once heard a veteran missions professor tell the following bittersweet joke at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.It went like this: How do you start a new Southern Baptist church in a big city up north? That's easy. You go into local grocery stores … [Read more...]

2010 was that kind of year in religion

President Barack Obama did something on Sept. 19th that caught many in the national press off guard. He went to church.The First Family walked across Lafayette Square Park to St. John's Episcopal Church, a parish so close to the White House that many call it the "Church of the Presidents." The Obamas set down front and received Holy Communion.Was this really an important news story?Timing was everything. The Obama family had not occupied a public pew -- as opposed to attending services at … [Read more...]

Sept. 11 — Dreams of St. Nicholas

The first thing police found at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was a piece of a wing and landing gear from American Flight 11.Then the World Trade Center's north tower fell on the humble, white-washed walls of the tiny sanctuary across the street. It took time for work crews to find much of anything after that.Eventually they found a paper icon of St. Dionysios of Zakynthos, but never found its frame or silver cover. They found an embroidered velvet cloth, but not the Bible it covered. They … [Read more...]

W Bush, classic Methodist?

CRAWFORD, Texas -- Don Elrod was spending another hard day on another production line when one of his buddies threw up his hands and keeled over, killed by a heart attack.As a farm hand turned teacher turned carpenter turned asphalt expert, Elrod didn't know the proper theological lingo to describe what happened in his own heart that day. But this layman knew that something changed. Before long, he became a Methodist preacher."At some point in life everybody faces a bad situation, some kind of … [Read more...]