Robust Christianity in a Post-Christendom World

One of the great challenges facing this generation of Christians is the successful navigation to a more robust Christianity, finally set free from the domesticating influence of Christendom. Under the sway of “cultural Christianity” difficult theological questions rarely arise, and catechesis declines because people, broadly speaking, see themselves as being “good Christian folk.”  To be [...]

The Black Man in Our Sacred Dreams

It has become almost a stock image, especially in missionary circles:  During a fitful night trying to sleep, an African man has a dream of a white man coming to him telling him that a message of salvation or healing is on the way.  The missionary then arrives, the gospel is preached, people gladly receive [...]

Re-Imagining the Gospel

Many of us will remember the 1993 Re-Imagining conference held in Minneapolis which drew so much national attention.  The central purpose of the conference, as I recall, was to help the wider church more fully support the role of women in leadership in the church.  This was, and continues to be, an important conversation in [...]

General Conference and the Future of the United Methodist Church

In a matter of days delegates from all over the USA and the world will be arriving for the General Conference of the United Methodist Church. This gathering, occurring only once every four years, is intended to be a time of “holy conferencing” where the church focuses on theological, organizational, procedural and strategic matters so that [...]

Jesus Christ is Risen! An Examination of Creeds and Confessions

As we celebrate Easter we are all reminded afresh about what lies at the heart of Christian faith; namely, that Jesus Christ bodily rose from the dead, triumphing over evil, sin and death.  St. Paul declares that if Jesus Christ is not risen we are still in our sins and our preaching is useless (I [...]

Aslan is on the Move

There is a well-known line in the Chronicles of Narnia where Aslan responds to Lucy after she gets into a “what if” mood.  I’m sure we can all relate.   “What if this had happened, or that had not happened, how would the situation be changed.”   Aslan wisely responds by saying, “Aslan does not tell what [...]

March Madness

This is the month when NCAA basketball tends to push other things to the margins. If you are a basketball fan, it doesn’t get any better than this. When the Cinderellas of the basketball universe knock off the top seeds, it is the annual cultural sign of hope. Norfolk State defeated mighty Missouri. Then, within [...]

I Love the Church! – Lessons From the Whole Church

I love the church, I truly do.  I am convinced that the church is at the center of God’s cosmic plan.  Precisely because I love the church so much, I often blog about the church and point out areas where I think deeper reflection could make the church stronger and more reflective of God’s plan. [...]

A Proposal to Unplug Worship

When we think about the legacy of the 16th century Reformation our minds quickly go to such sublime themes as justification by faith and the priesthood of all believers.  However, if you actually lived in the 16th century, the biggest “felt” impact of the Reformation was in the area of worship.  Prior to the Reformation, [...]

The Faith of Jeremy Lin

The rise of Jeremy Lin in the NBA universe has been nothing short of meteoric.  One week he is sitting on the sofa watching the Knicks on TV. The next he’s occupying the last seat on the bench watching from the courtside in a Knicks uniform. Then, he’s given an opportunity to play and over [...]