I have this theory…and if I ever do that Doctor of Ministry in Congregational Development (after my PhD in New Testament and penning the great American novel…) my dissertation will be on my theory. Here it is: The collapse of the mainline denominations began in the middle of the last century when clerics became “professional managers” and churches started being run as businesses. I could say a lot about how churches absolutely positively shouldn’t be […]
I forget when it was that I first stumbled on Rachel Held Evan’s blog. But, I do remember when I was hooked on it. During those strange days in May when every one was joking about it being the end of the world she wrote an amazing commentary on Harold Camping and his misguided predictions. It was just head and shoulders above anything else I had read previously on the issue—and it not only shifted […]
This is part 2 of 3… More and more I’m a believer that when we talk about salvation and damnation, heaven and hell – what we’re actually talking about, right there under the surface, is the character of God. What we believe happens to the souls of humanity after death says a lot about what kind of God we believe in. And, when we’re talking about hell and damnation, it’s maybe a little easier to […]
There’s a lot of conversation lately about heaven, hell, salvation, and damnation. As I’ve said before, I think that’s a very good thing. The church ‘at large’ is in the midst of an age-old conversation over how God saves, who God saves, and therefore the very character of God. That’s not to say that the conversation is always going well. The “Rob Bell” Facebook fan page has degenerated–going from bad to worse. Mark Driscoll, during […]
A few weeks ago I picked up Psalms for Young Children by Marie-Helene Delval at one of my favorite bookstores, St. Bede’s Books in Baltimore, Maryland. I like books that I can read with my children that they really want to hear and read for themselves, and which also helps them in their young relationship with God. This book fills the bill, and then some. The pictures are striking, and Delval’s interpretation of this selection […]
This is Part 1 of 3… A good story is one that 1) conveys something important and 2) which is captivating due to tension, drama, comedy—or all three. A great story is one where you find all of those things, AND you also find yourself in the story. Rachel Held Evans first book (there’s apparently another on the way) Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the […]
This was one of those books that I really wanted to love. As soon as I heard of it, I fell in love with the concept. The Way of Jesus IS weird. It isn’t “normal.” And, the modern church and modern Christians have jumped through a lot of hoops over the last few decades to normalize the Gospel. And Groeschel is absolutely correct: it isn’t working. All we’re left with is a watered down Jesus […]
First off, let me just say how thrilled I am that the church as a whole, and individual Christians of several stripes, are having the discussion of Matters Eternal. Whatever one may think of Love Wins or Wittmer's response Christ Alone, I think the fact that people who occupy both pulpits and pews are now talking passionately about salvation, and not just bedrooms, bodes well for the Faith.
Martin Bashir would be better off sticking to Michael Jackson and leaving theology to the theologians.