Jesus Is Dying to be Inclusive – So Why Aren’t We?

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It's Good Friday, and lots of Christians are reflecting on the single most defining truth in our faith-story.That Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures.Yes, there's more to the story than just that. But if you were going to pin down one sentence, one phrase, that encapsulates who we are both in our own perception and the perceptions of those outside the church, it would likely be, Jesus died for our sins. Yes, Jesus lived (to inaugurate the kingdom). Yes, Jesus rose (to … [Read more...]

The New Parish Drops Today – Get 40% OFF Today Only!

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My friend Tim Soerens has written an important book called The New Parish, with Paul Sparks and Dwight Friesen. It drops today!And you can download Chapter 1 for free right here! AND if you download the chapter, there's a coupon at the bottom for 40% off your purchase of the book, good today only!Here's an 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 … [Read more...]

How to Be Evangelical After World Vision: The Code

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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 H … [Read more...]

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

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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 p … [Read more...]

How to Be Evangelical After World Vision: The Principle

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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

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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...]

Demonstrating the State of Evangelicalism Today

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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

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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...]

God Hates Double Standards: Fred Phelps and the Evangelicals

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Fred Phelps is dead.And while the Westboro cult itself is refusing to mourn ("We don't worship the dead"), some counter-protesters at yesterday's Lorde concert in Kansas City graciously expressed counterintuitive condolences for the hate-group's loss.When Phelps's death was announced a few days ago, it didn't take long for evangelical condemnations to hit my feeds, some of them fierce, some of them kinder and more forgiving. Some Christians were quick to consign Phelps himself to the … [Read more...]

Riffing & Reviewing: Girl at the End of the World

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Christians get agitated when you use the word "cult." I found this out recently when I suggested that megachurches can produce a cultish environment, especially if they have a revered celebrity personality for a leader (hence, "cult of personality"). High-control, high-demand, high-secrecy patterns can emerge, leading to all manner of hurt and abuse. Of course, this does not only (or stereotypically) occur within megachurches, but the very suggestion of such produced strong pushback in the co … [Read more...]


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