In the Deep End With Grief: Thoughts On Pastoral Care to Those Hurting Most [C. Wess Daniels]

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I find it hard to carry the weight of my own pain, let alone the weight of another. I have found that the grief we carry is sometimes so heavy, so disorienting, even - sometimes - so embarrassing (how could I let this happen me?) that it is hard to share that weight or let it out. The weight of grief is compounded by the inability that we all experience of isolation and being unable to see beyond it. Grief is a lot like floating out in the middle of a deep lake, nothing close by to grab onto. … [Read more...]

Beyond Consumption: Participation in the Local Church [Daniel Karistai]

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Before I dive in to the second part of these installments exploring what Participation can and maybe should look like I want to give an important caveat to everything I write below - especially in light of all this tragedy that has come out of Sovereign Grace Ministries and the JPUSA:  You are made in the image of God and that means you are entitled to be treated with the upmost respect and dignity that Christ extended to the "least of these".  If we take Christ's words seriously in the Great Com … [Read more...]

Neo-Calvinist, Neo-Reformed, or…Neo-Fundamentalist?

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Labels are inevitable. We need need to understand and identify things. But labeling is difficult. Sometimes we assign a label and unintentionally or unnecessarily implicate individuals or groups who don't really fit our intended description.Such is the case with the conservative/evangelical Calvinistic-Baptist and Presbyterian resurgence that is busy championing the twin causes of the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation and damnation, and fixed complementarian gender roles in the church … [Read more...]

Awakening Mosaics [Tara Lamont Eastman]

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There was a time that picking green beans in my grandparent’s garden and sitting on the front porch snapping off the stems was a spiritual practice for me. There was a sense of community with my Grandparents as they would tell stories, sing songs (often church hymns) and teach me practical life skills like preparing, cooking and eating bacon dressed green beans. Then flash forward thirty-some years and my own mind reels at the transformation of culture and community with the impact of t … [Read more...]

Numbers Don’t Lie: Finding Adolescent Self-Worth in Spite of Social Media Pt. 2 [Mandy Meisenheimer]

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When I was student teaching during my senior year of college, a student entered my classroom during 8th period wearing a t-shirt that said, “The Head Foundation: Give freely, and give often.” I immediately began writing up a disciplinary referral. He was unfazed. In fact, he started to giggle.“You are the first teacher to notice my shirt,” he said.This student was having a great t-shirt day, and my referral was just icing on the cake.When I was in high school, we used clothing as our … [Read more...]

[VIDEO] The (Terribly Overwrought) Left Behind Move Trailer is Out!

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The trailer for the upcoming Left Behind movie is out. And boy, is it ever earnest and fake-intense and terribly overwrought and just aching for blockbuster status. But alas, it will not achieve any such status because it is a "Christian" movie pushing an absurd cultural theology with absurd looking characters and absurd sounding dialogue. But hey, all for the glory, right?!Enjoy: … [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...]

#FFFF: Hannah Ettinger

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This week's #FFFF isn't a submission - it's an excerpt from a recent post written by Hannah over at Hemant Mehta's blog about the New Calvinist movement and the SGM scandal. It's so informative, even prophetic - so I had to make it the Free Form Follow Friday this week. FOLLOW HANNAH! Here's the excerpt: The fallout from this has been fascinating, but it’s all evangelical inside baseball and pretty confusing if you’re not familiar with that world. As someone who spent ten years in SGM and left s … [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...]

Breaking Wesleyanabaptist: A Story of (Resistible) Grace

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This post was first published at A Deeper Story.The senior pastor pulled me aside and, in his infamous dramatic baritone, directed me on how to lead the small group.“I need you to emphasize reprobation,” he said. “I believe it’s essential to understanding the gospel. And these people are way too soft when it comes to the absolute sovereignty of God. I’m a supralapsarian, you know.”The rigid small group structure of this Reformed Baptist church was such that each group had one leader a … [Read more...]


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