Title: Becoming All Things: How Small Changes Lead To Lasting Connections Across Cultures Author: Michelle Reyes1 Publisher: Zondervan Publishing Date: April 27, 2021 Pages: 208 (Hardcover) ASIN: 0310108918 Most folks who have been around an evangelical church for any amount of time have heard a few verses often quoted: Jeremiah 29:11 (“…for I know the plans…”), John 3:16 (“…for …
“Tov” is the Hebrew word for good. In ‘A Church Called Tov: Forming A Goodness Culture That Resists Abuses of Power and Promotes Healing’, authors Scot McKnight and Laura Barringer seek to lay out a vision for goodness culture within church congregations and in church leadership.
“Is Christ divided?” (1 Cor 1:13). Paul’s question is rhetorical, and we’re meant to say, “No, of course not!” But like the fractious Corinthians, we seem to have a pile of evidence to the contrary on our hands.
Sometimes a joke can capture a cultural sentiment as well as any other social commentary, so I’ll begin my review of Robert Talisse’s “Overdoing Democracy” with one that demonstrates his thesis: How do you know if an unmasked adult is vaccinated or not? Just ask who they think won the last presidential election.
That’s where I found it, standing just off the road, on gravel, across from a cemetery, all the ingredients of a dead church once upon a time named Zion Pres. Out here, not all of such ruins are Presbyterian. Many are Lutheran, some on the reservation are Episcopal. They come in all flavors, although size is fairly standard on the edge of the Plains: not big.
While division is not new, this year feels different. Both parties paint pictures of a dystopian future if the “enemy” wins. Historians like Kristen Kobes Du Mez and Jemar Tisby remind us that while the volume has been turned up, the beats are still the same. Othering, fear mongering, and name calling are not new ingredients in a presidential election.
Such responses to a great prophet and to our only Savior can give some perspective to pastors serving in a politically and theologically divisive time. We can feel anxious about how our congregation will receive our messages. We can wonder if they will view us as too political or as not political enough.
Self-giving and self-protective. Adaptable and anti-change. Gracious and grumbling. This is the church in 2020. Perhaps this has always been so.
In examining the stories of such well-known pastors’ wives as Victoria Osteen and Lois Evans, Bowler looks at the ways in which these women were able to build their own empire in the shadow of their husbands’ ministries.
A narcissistic person displays an over-the-top sense of entitlement and arrogance which seeks to manipulate or humiliate anyone who might call his or her actions into question. This person isn’t a world leader or celebrity. This might be the person you call your pastor.
The future in every arena of life is murkier than ever. For the church, though, the coronavirus is providing clarity.
As the demographics of our churches have changed and society has become more and more diverse, interpreting languages for church services has become increasingly common. Churches try to be more welcoming.
Whether it’s because we’re more aware of how often and to what degree people are being violated, or if the sexualized culture has dramatically increased the rate in which people are being abused and hurt—the fact is, it’s hard to trust people like we want to.
At the Christian school where I teach, children learn about and participate in intruder drills at an appropriate level for their age. I have had several conversations with my students about being safe in various situations. It invites children—and adults—to ask, “Are we safe in our homes or at school? What about at church?”
The week of the El Paso shooting, my son asked why the flags were not being flown at the top of the pole. It was a hard parenting moment.
In his book, eminent ethicist and legal historian John Witte Jr. argues that we should walk a different path, pushing for holistic reformation and recovery of a fully-orbed societal promotion of the marital family.
Adam Gustine’s vision of the church—of a people—is hospitable in posture and worship, working towards a shared vision of shalom in their community.
Distrust and/or disuse make 2019 a difficult time for any institution. The church is up against both. As one of the oldest and most entrenched institutions in a world suspicious of its work, it’s important to ask whether we ought to shed some of our institutional identity.
The church’s musical imagination is limited by the vocabulary we use: traditional, contemporary, praise and worship, hymns, old, new.
The statistical decline in the American church is an ever-present anxiety. Each time there is new research published about the church in America it gives us new figures to share ominously from the pulpit while we admonish a hastened and hasty discipleship.
Every so often, a new book comes along that considers how the church must change, or reshape itself, for the current historical moment. So, it should come as no surprise that another book would come at this particular time.
This past year, the #MeToo movement has taught me that I need the type of self-examination that considers my gender. I need to pay attention to the stories of women and to my own story in a particular way. The church should, too.
John MacInnis offers some historical perspective and practical ideas for how the power of music can foster cultural inclusivity in our church communities while keeping all our eyes where they belong—forever on Jesus.
Have you heard about the “salsafication” of American Christianity? That is, while Christianity overall seems to be in a precipitous decline, Latino Protestantism seems to be growing—and even thriving.
When I think about mission in my context in Chicago, I think about the global South. Ideas from a missionary to India give shape to mission in my backyard.