God Is Out of Control – a Guest Post By Michael Hidalgo


This is an excerpt from Changing Faith: Questions, Doubts and Choices About an Unchanging God, a new book by Michael Hidalgo. We live each day walking on a thin veneer of certainty.Many of us live with a desire to control things because it gives us security and certainty. We want control so badly we even try to control God. It’s almost as if we place boundaries around him, box him in and create a framework for him. We look for him in all the expected places, thinking he will work within the sma … [Read more...]

Seeing Red (Letters): Can a Jesus-Centered Interpretation Be So Easily Dismissed?


Yesterday, a writer I really like wrote a piece at Christianity Today that I really didn't like. The article criticized the "Red Letter Christians" movement by appealing to how one understands narration in other forms of literature. For the uninitiated, Red Letter Christians promote a Jesus-centered interpretation of Scripture; the CT article contended that this interpretation doesn't do justice to God as the author of all Scripture, speaking reliably through his narrators. In other words, you c … [Read more...]

3 Kinds of Evangelicals (Whether They Want That Label or Not)

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Rachel Held Evans's new book Searching For Sunday (see my interview with the author here) has sparked a good deal of speculation over what constitutes an evangelical, and whether or not Rachel is one. Without getting into all the details of this particular situation (because just, no), I'd like to propose 3 kinds of evangelicals that I am observing in the U.S. Christian conversation - whether the folks I'm describing would self-identify with that label or not, and whether the folks I'm desc … [Read more...]

3 Reasons God Did Not Kill Jesus (But Jesus Still Had to Die)


Right after Mel Gibson's blood-drenched The Passion of the Christ hit theaters and toppled the box office, John Piper released a book called The Passion of Jesus Christ that was intended to seize this cultural moment for the sake of the gospel. Churches, like my Reformed Baptist church in Vermont, ordered this inexpensive book by the truckload in the hopes of educating their congregants and evangelizing their communities alike. I took home a few, and gave a way a couple. At the time, I was all i … [Read more...]

On Leaving the Patheos Progressive Christian Channel

Sometimes it's time to go.I have a hard time being decisive in moments of change and often take some time to transition from one season to another. Maybe we all do. But usually, it's an exercise in prolonging the inevitable. The change has already happened - I am just a little slow to acknowledge and accept it fully.But that time has come with my blog here on the Patheos Progressive Christian Channel. Indeed, I recently attempted a rebrand - and I still love the concept and graphics and … [Read more...]

Hard To Kill: More on the Mega-Multisite Church from Ruth Graham

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Ruth Graham is over at Slate today talking about the aftermath of the Mars Hill multisite dissolution - and the continued momentum of both the individual churches and Mark Driscoll's ministry. She's basically saying: multi-site megachurches are hard to kill.In her words:[T]he bottom line is that while the central organization may be dead, many of its fruits—the smaller congregations that once shared the name Mars Hill—have survived. Now, all of those individual churches have been set lo … [Read more...]

Sunday Feeds and Reads: Abusers, Grooming, and Innocence Doctrine

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While the Bill Cosby story continues to make cultural waves, there have been numerous stories over the last year, some of them quite recent, about serious abuse and/or coverup allegations toward leaders or public figures in the church. Some of those allegations have been "proven" through various legal processes; some of them have not. And in the latter case, it's common for people to defend the alleged abuser by referring to the American legal doctrine of "innocent until proven guilty." Which … [Read more...]

1.2 Billion Still in Extreme Poverty: the ONE Campaign Calls for Pledges


Over on my personal blog today, I'm extending the call from the ONE Campaign for a 2015 pledge, especially from faith leaders: Since the Millennium Development Goals were set in the 90’s, the rate of extreme poverty has been reduced by more than half. Now, that work certainly transcends ONE, but consider how ONE has raised the level of consciousness in the developed world to respond to extreme poverty over the last 10 years! Also consider that during that time ONE has led the charge in the fig … [Read more...]

Rebranding the End of the World: Introducing The Apocalypse Review


I'm not sure if you've noticed, but things look a little different around here.This blog used to be called The Nuance (which was the name of my personal blog since I first planted a church in 2008), with a focus on following Jesus beyond the conservative and liberal black and white options. But now it's called, strangely, The Apocalypse Review. And I would totally understand if you are asking yourself, What's up with that?!This summer and fall has brought on a lot of transition for my fa … [Read more...]

Mars Hill Church’s Multi-Site Mission is Dead: 11 New Independent Churches Live On

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The graphic above is a screenshot from the timeline now posted on Mars Hill's post-mortem website. While much ink has been spilled on the demise of the church due to abuses and general unhealth, it's kind of striking to see the multi-site mission that Mark Driscoll manhandled into an impressive video-driven empire now dead, only to have 11 independent churches live on in its wake. And, while I'm sure there are many out there who are skeptical of these new churches and how different they will a … [Read more...]