April 18, 2015

Mea Culpa: Andy Stanley’s “Temple” Model

I spoke too soon. Like often happens, I heard something and filtered it through my own learning and experience. Then I responded to what I thought I heard. That is bad listening, something I abhor. Mea culpa. Yesterday, in our open forum, the subject of Andy Stanley’s “temple model” came up. A commenter referenced this article and […]

Adam Palmer: Embracing and Excluding

Our churches have a people problem. I’m as guilty as anyone, I guess. I would consider myself a “progressive” person, fairly open-handed in my theology, craving diversity when I gather with the church on Sunday morning. I want these things, sure. If they were to show up on the doorstep of our church’s gathering place, […]

Richard Beck: The moral implication of interpretive pluralism

Unpublished: Being Biblical Means Being Doctrinally Tolerant Richard Beck • • • Richard Beck gets down to brass tacks in an excerpt from an unpublished article he had written about how doctrinal gate-keeping can be a delusional exercise. The first sentence states an obvious point that is somehow ignored regularly by those who insist most […]

What can you do with a General?

What can you do with a General When he stops being a General? • Irving Berlin The other day, my friend John Armstrong posted the following status on Facebook. This pastor’s story elicited a large number of comments, and rightly so. Though quite different in detail, his experience reminded me of my own journey of […]

iMonk Classic: The Annual Halloween Rant (one of them)

As October 31st looms, it’s time for true confessions. I grew up among Southern Baptist fundamentalist Baptists. The KJV-only, women can’t wear pants, twenty verses of “Just As I Am,” Jerry Falwell, Jack Chick, twice a year revival kind of fundamentalist Baptists. We were serious about things like beer. By sheer quantity of attention in […]

Pull the Plug on This Phrase, Please

Language matters. Let’s start there. Now, let me rant a bit. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not as intimately acquainted with the evangelical subculture as I used to be, so I don’t cringe as much about evangelical cliches these days. But there is a phrase I keep hearing that is driving me […]

When America Believed In the Bible Alone

It was still “the Bible alone,” as proclaimed during the Reformation, that American Protestants trusted. But it was also “the Bible alone” of all historic religious authorities that survived the antitraditional tide and then undergirded the remarkable evangelical expansion of the early nineteenth century . By undercutting trust in other traditional authorities , the power-suspecting […]

Another Look: Ballyard Religion

Note from CM: This was written about a month after Michael Spencer died in 2010. I was coaching my grandson’s T-ball team at the time and remembering Michael’s love for baseball when I wrote it. It touches on a theme that was also a common concern for Michael and me: the dearth of understanding in […]

One Big Problem with Evangelical Worship

On his blog and Facebook timeline last week, Tim Challies posted the following picture and quote. In my opinion, it represents a point of view that is a constant problem for evangelical worshipers. Challies represents the new calvinist tradition, so the quote takes on a distinct cast, but other evangelical groups share a similar perspective, […]

The Church, Youth, and Sex – Did I Report It Wrong?

I am a huge Ed Stetzer fan. I follow a grand total of 14 people on twitter, and he is one of them. Ed, by the way, has 125,000 following him! So who is Ed Stetzer? Here is his bio in Christianity Today: Ed Stetzer is the President of LifeWay Research Division, a prolific author, […]