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...]

Sermon in Honor of MLK: “The Voice of Vocation” – With Audio [Brandon Wrencher]

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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of my greatest influences. Yesterday our nation celebrated him! In sharing my (lightly-edited) sermon from Sunday’s worship service which honored Dr. King, I hope to inspire and challenge us. Most of all, I hope to reclaim King from the ways that he has regularly been sanitized and domesticated in our society since his death. Read, reflect, comment and share! (I posted this originally at The Blackburn House blog.) The Voice of Vocation The title of my me … [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...]

An Amazing Genealogy of Jesus Infographic (and What It Means for XMas)

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Jeffrey Kranz is a writer, designer, and consultant at OverviewBible.com, and he's created a pretty amazing infographic of the genealogy of Jesus, with an emphasis on bringing together the Messiah's human and divine origins. Most of us are aware that the book of Matthew opens with a complicated list of names in Jesus's family tree, and we usually skip over that part to get to the "good" stuff. But there's some good stuff right there!The infographic represents both Matthew and Luke's … [Read more...]

Disarming Scripture: Cold Water to the Face of Our Biblical Rationalizing


The bottom line is that our interpretation of Scripture needs to coincide with actual reality. - Derek Flood I've recently been digging into Derek Flood's new book Disarming Scripture, and it is a desperately needed word in the raging public dialogue around Christianity and violence.Really, it's a splash of cold water to the face of our biblical rationalizing when it comes to violent and disturbing passages.The quote above appears in Chapter 6, and this chapter is perhaps the lynchpin … [Read more...]

The Death of Christian Idealism: a Reflection on Preston Yancey


Preston Yancey is young.Well, relative to me anyway.I'm pretty sure he's ten years my junior which both solidifies the already pretty solid fact that I am cresting the fearsome peak of mid-life (and making damn good time), and confirms my suspicion that "millennials," however one establishes the birthdate range, are truly a generation behind those of us who took a few breaths in the 70's. Which means they are far from peaking: they are a generation on the rise.Preston's first book is … [Read more...]