Well, iMonks, it has been a very interesting week, has it not? We have a new leader of the church. We also have a new pope. Confused? So were those who selected the Final Four bracket. You ought to see the winner they came up with. And tomorrow—well, tomorrow is a day we all celebrate by turning Kermit the Frog. It’s not easy being green. Shall we ramble?
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church on the fifth ballot this week. He then took the name of Francis, the first of 266 such popes, to take that name. One of the first things the new pope did was to pay his hotel bill. This would not surprise those in the slums of Argentina where Bergoglio often visited, even washing the feet of drug addicts. It seems this pope plans to break many traditions. He has many interesting views on many things. I think I’m really going to enjoy getting to know Pope Francis.
Before the conclave, Cardinal Timothy Dolan wrote to his flock, expressing his hope for a quick vote as he was running short of, well, you can find out yourself.
But is Cardinal Bergoglio truly the new head of the Catholic Church? Not according to the results of the Final Four. In a rout, the winner of the Sweet Sistine tournament was Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Nigeria. So, do we have a new schism?
But neither of these men are the leaders of the church, at least not the evangelical church. The new leader of the evangelical church, according to CNN, is …
The man many consider the Baptist Pope has nothing much good to say about Pope Francis, the papacy, or the Catholic Church as a whole. In our next piece of news, we have just received word that the sun is hot.
Oh my. Evangelicalism may be at its end. Rob Bell is about to release another book. We know how his last book almost destroyed Christianity as we know it by suggesting God just might love us. Jonathan Merritt sits down with Bell to discuss how we talk about God and why that matters.
Andy Stanley met with pastors at some pastors conference in Atlanta. He encouraged them to make their church services “appealing and engaging” in order to keep the customers, er, congregations coming back. Ok, this doesn’t surprise me. Disappoints me, yes. But it doesn’t surprise me. Yet here is the line that really makes me question whether he knows the same God I do: “God is a God of systems and predictability and order, and God honors planning,” he said. Really?
Well, ministry these days is very difficult. It even comes with its own new vocabulary. Do you know of any they left out?
Birthday candles were blown out this last week by Bobby Fischer; Charles Gibson; Robin Trower; Barbie; James Earl Ray; Chuck Norris; Jim Valvano; the Ford Mustang; Edie Brickell; Rupert Murdoch; Wally Schirra; Billie “Buckwheat” Thomas; Bill Payne; Walter Annenberg; Adam Clayton; Howard Scott; Ry Cooder; and Mike Love.
Bill Payne founded Little Feat with Lowell George in 1969. George has passed away, but the band lives on. And on. And on. Often called the “hardest working rock and roll band,” if you are not familiar with Little Feat, you should be. Enjoy.