October 21, 2017

Archives for April 2016

IM Book Review: The Sin of Certainty

When you grow up believing that your religious worldview contains the key to absolute truth and provides an answer to every question, you never really get over the disappointment of learning that it doesn’t. It’s a lonely, frightening journey and most of us are limping along as best we can. • Rachel Held Evans Sooner […]

Civil Religion Series: The Fundamentalists, Then and Now

I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ. • Mike Huckabee, 1998 • • • Civil Religion, part five The Fundamentalists, Then and Now Presidential election years in the U.S. provide American Christians an opportunity to reflect upon our faith and how it applies to our lives as citizens and to […]

Mondays with Michael Spencer: April 18, 2016

Note from CM: For the next several weeks, we will hear some of what Michael Spencer had to say on the subject of eschatology — the last things. We begin with a post from a series in 2008 called, “Too Much Heaven?” • • • I grew up and was formed in a version of […]

Sundays in Easter with Henri Nouwen: April 17, 2016

Sundays in Easter with Henri Nouwen On the Eucharistic Life On the remaining Sundays in Eastertide, we will provide some brief readings from Henri Nouwen on the eucharistic life. Our main source will be Nouwen’s book, With Burning Hearts: A Meditation on the Eucharistic Life. In the book’s introduction, Henri Nouwen tells why he wrote […]

Saturday Ramblings: April 16, 2016

Happy Saturday! This week some friends of ours are at the Grand Canyon, enjoying the magnificent views. When I was kid back in the day our family made the prototypical vacation trip west to visit relatives in Arizona and I’ll never forget how impressed I was with the western landscapes. So here’s an old ad encouraging […]

Pastoral Care Week: It’s not just about the pastor

At their courageous best, clergy lead where people aren’t asking to go, because that’s how the range of issues that concern them expands, and how a holy community gets formed. – G. Jeffrey MacDonald • • • Over the years I have been critical of pastors, probably because I have been one and still am […]

Pastoral Care Week: A Funeral Rant

I have been officiating funeral services since I was 22 years old, a young know-nothing pastor in the hills of Vermont. My first funeral was for an infant who died of SIDS. That service was held on the coldest, rainiest and iciest day I can remember. Outside. At the cemetery. It was pure misery and […]

Pastoral Care Week: Walking the Neighborhood

When Eugene Peterson was in seminary in New York City, Dr. George A. Buttrick was pastor of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, overseeing a large urban congregation. He was renowned for his preaching, and held his position in the church from 1927-1955. He then went on to Harvard and other universities and seminaries as a […]

Pastoral Care Week: Carl

His name was Carl. An old New Englander, he was strong and mostly silent. He was always pleasant to me, a young minister who had come to the mountains to take the pulpit in my first church. As with many of the men who lived in those hills, it was his wife who was actively […]

Pastoral Care Week: Curing Souls or Running Churches?

Pastoral Care Week Renewing Our Calling to the Cure of Souls This week I will be re-posting some of the material from the past six years that I’ve written on pastoral/chaplain ministry. I have been looking through it lately and reworking some of it for other purposes, and I thought it might be a good time […]