John Piper Excommunitweets Hamburgers (& Other Weird News)

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I was on vacation all last week and tried to stay as unplugged as possible - and this is what I come home to. John Piper excommunitweeting hamburgers. And other weird stuff. Oy vey. From Micah J. Murray: I never planned to write about these sorts of things. But then, I never expected to see a collection of such remarkably bizarre news stories all in one week. (We’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming on Monday. Or Tuesday. Whatever.)This is the stuff of parody accounts and satire … [Read more...]

Rape Culture, Bob Jones University, and the End of Forgiveness

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After spending the first half of my life in the church, I've come to the conclusion that evangelical culture is largely dysfunctional in its understanding of "forgiveness."And nowhere is this more clearly seen than in the recent report by Al Jazeera America on Bob Jones University.BJU is fundamentalist to be sure, but their demonstrated approach to "forgiveness" is very common - perhaps even pervasive - in broader evangelical culture. And when abusive and harmful people are part of the … [Read more...]

Ideology? Pete Rollins, Polarization, & the Denial of a Third Way

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Recently, Carl Lentz, pastor of Hillsong NYC, was interviewed on CNN.In the interview, Carl responded to questions about Hillsong's stance on LGBT issues. And his response was to not give a direct "yes or no" kind of answer (which has been his response in other interviews as well). He did say that "gay men and women" are present and welcome at HNYC. But he wouldn't say what the official stance is on gay marriage - and the interviewer highlighted his refusal.There is a lot of conversation … [Read more...]

Pastor Tullian & The Myth of the “Watching World”

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Whenever there is a church controversy these days, especially if it involves online conflict (and it always does), there will inevitably be a person or persons who pipe up about midway through claiming to be the voice of holy reason. They will say something to the effect of, "Come on guys. We may disagree but we are brothers in Christ [typically no mention of sisters]. Jesus said the world would know us by our love, not by our right theology. All this fighting is hurting the cause! Let's not … [Read more...]

The Mars Hill “Non-Compete Zone” in Seattle

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Here's a graphic showing how large the area is that ex-MHC pastors would be prohibited from ministering in if they signed the non-compete agreement at Mars Hill (upon pain of termination). With all the Mars Hill campuses and ministries, the answer is: LARGE. Like, uproot your whole life large. Like, sell your house and say goodbye to your neighbors large. But hey, that's empire business.HT goes to Stephanie Drury on this one. … [Read more...]

The Non-Compete-Driven Church (i.e., Empire Business)

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For quite a while now, I've been arguing that influential movements within the American church have gone off the healthy, Jesus-centered rails and entered into the realm of empire business.I've explored two main categories for this phenomenon - Celebrity Christianity and Controlling Christianity - along with what I believe to be the solution: a deeply-rooted Creative Christianity (though you'll see more of the "solution" stuff at The Antioch Session). And honestly, the hits just keep on … [Read more...]

Notes on a Hashtag: #IStandWithSGMVictims

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Friday, on the heels of the Nate Morales conviction and the confession to covering up child sexual abuse at Covenant Life Church by former pastor Grant Layman, I started a hashtag on Twitter.I've never started a hashtag with any real intention behind it, and I've generally been wary of "hashtag activism." But this story is so important to me. I have been closely involved in homeschool-movement and neo-Calvinist churches with abusive cultures, and I'm passionate about shining light on that … [Read more...]

Comment Policy

Some folks have asked about a comment policy. Let's keep it simple:1. Don't be a jerk. This ought to be self-explanatory, but there is a point at which conversation, even energetic conversation or expressing strong disagreements, crosses into just plain being a jerk. Don't go there, k? Be respectful, even if you disagree with me or another commenter. And if you are a jerk, you'll get a warning and/or a block.2. Don't have an agenda. Internet comments suffer from a terrible malady of … [Read more...]

The REAL Threat to Unity

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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

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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...]


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