The New Parish Drops Today – Get Chapter One Free!

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 11.34.22 PM

My friend Tim Soerens has written an important book called The New Parish, with Paul Sparks and Dwight Friesen. It drops today! Get it here (seriously, do it). I'll be reviewing the book in a couple weeks, but if you're not convinced yet, you can download Chapter 1 for free! And check out this excerpt: THE HIDDEN MOVEMENT: THE RETURN TO RELATIONALITY AND PLACE Popular imagination holds that North American churches are dwindling away, frozen in irrelevance and dying from divisiveness. … [Read more...]

How to Be Evangelical After World Vision: The Code

aktuell_quellcode

As Trevin Wax at The Gospel Coalition and the excommunication-by-farewell trend have made clear, evangelical has become code for a couple Utterly Important Things: Hell: i.e., totally for it. Homosexuality: i.e., obsessively against it. Sure, there are some underlying principles there like Penal Substitutionary Atonement Is The Gospel Or Else (which supports Hell) and the Bible Read Superficially Without Factoring In Historical Context Is Inerrant Or Else (which wars against … [Read more...]

How to Be Evangelical After World Vision: I Mean, Why?

935445922541_oB0z9GO3_l

In my first post on how to be evangelical after World Vision, I admittedly assumed something.  Namely, that anyone would actually want to be evangelical after World Vision. I mean, why? Why would we even want to carry on this label, if the loudest voices driving the popular perception of "evangelical" are the conservative gatekeepers who have fully farewelled the centrist/nuanced, progressive, and emergence voices? Why not just adopt the more generalized "progressive Christian" or … [Read more...]

How to Be Evangelical After World Vision: The Principle

map.1

When several friends had a conference call with World Vision CEO Richard Stearns and found out that 10,000 child sponsorships had been dropped in the course of one week, I wept.  I know there are all kinds of counter-arguments out there to the effect that the kids will be fine because money is pooled into one budget and besides there are a million other faith-based NGO's that do the same thing and it's all just a bunch of progressive political outrage, ad infinitum, etcetera. And I'm quite … [Read more...]

Lines Drawn: Those Who Oppose Gay Lifestyle/Marriage Are the Only Evangelicals

sand-01

Today, Trevin Wax of The Gospel Coalition (re-)entered the fray with his breakdown of the current "evangelical" conversation around gay Christians and gay marriage, concluding that only one segment is actually evangelical: All sides of the debate recognize that the definition of evangelical is at stake, which is why some are now publicly casting off the term altogether. The World Vision decision was a tremor that warns us of a coming earthquake in which churches and leaders historically … [Read more...]

Ed Cyzewski: Can We Cancel the Rapture Already?

left-behind-cageclip

I know that Nicholas Cage is “starring” in a summer blockbuster that relies on an inevitable and immanent rapture to scare viewers into theaters, but I’m afraid this little end times ruse needs to stop. It’s time to cancel the rapture. Really. We’ve milked this biblically suspect, historically bankrupt, literary abomination of a doctrine long enough. Did we really need a remake of the first Left Behind movie in the first place? Did we even need the first Left Behind movie after … [Read more...]

Demonstrating the State of Evangelicalism Today

20_Page_1

Today, Thom Rainer posted a list of the "twenty most influential evangelicals in America." In light of the recent World Vision controversy, I think this list demonstrates precisely what is wrong with evangelicalism in America, at least as it is perceived and defined by most people - both insiders and outsiders. Namely, it is limited to those who are publicly conservative in their politics, against legal gay marriage (and hiring married gay people to do charity work, apparently), and limited in … [Read more...]

World Vision and the Damage Done

World-Vision

What a whirlwind. First, World Vision announced a policy change that would allow married gay Christians to work for the organization, igniting the vast indignation of the conservative evangelical establishment. Then, just yesterday, less than 48 hours later, World Vision reversed their decision, issuing an apology (mainly to their conservative constituency). Several reports cite a nearly instantaneous loss of 2,000 child sponsorships when World Vision made the initial policy decision. … [Read more...]

The REAL Threat to Unity

pharisees

As the conversation around World Vision's decision to hire married gay folks has unfolded (or perhaps, unraveled), it didn't take long for certain voices to issue warnings about division and disunity in the church. Sometimes those warnings are justified and helpful, coming from the position of desiring all sides to be fully heard before any judgments are rendered, and to seek to stay together even amidst disagreement. And sometimes they come from a particular side, and, particularly, the … [Read more...]

Farewell, Gospel Coalition

thegospelcoalition

When World Vision announced yesterday that it would expand its hiring standards to include married gay people, it didn't take long for bloggers at The Gospel Coalition to respond. Predictably, they, along with other prominent conservative evangelical leaders, were quick to draw the line in the sand and keep the gate secure. And, to say, "Farewell": Russell Moore's piece laid down the ultimate evangelical gauntlet: At stake is the gospel of Jesus Christ. If sexual activity outside … [Read more...]