July 22, 2018

Monday with Michael Spencer: Some thoughts about the institution

If you look at the church throughout time, cultures and history, I believe you will conclude there are three aspects to the church. (Consider this semi-original with me.) The church is a movement started by Jesus; a culture crossing, church planting movement that proclaims the Gospel in the power of the Spirit. This movement takes […]

Brueggemann: On taking a route other than our zeal or certitude

Note from CM: Friends, I thought this a good follow-up to yesterday’s discussion about my “both/and” perspective on things. • • • Not many of us need advice about what to do with our life. Not many of us want such advice either. We may not agree on what to do, but most of us […]

Hauerwas on Individualism

Here’s an intriguing passage from an article I’ve posted on the bulletin board about theologian Stanley Hauerwas. “No task is more important than for the Church to take the Bible out of the hands of individual Christians in North America.” Perhaps the only surer way to enrage an American Christian than threatening to take the […]

Freedom from the family for the family

There’s a nice article at Christianity Today challenging the prevalent, ongoing “focus on the family” mentality of the American church. In it, Rebecca McLaughlin gives five reasons “Why I Don’t Sit with My Husband at Church” on Sunday mornings. There’s one big reason: McLaughlin believes that congregations must be more open to showing hospitality to […]

J. Michael Jones: A Tumultuous Relationship with the Bride

A Tumultuous Relationship with the Bride By J. Michael Jones An Inherent Church I was born into a family that attended a Southern Baptist church, deep within the hollows of Appalachia.  While I’m sure there are a broad spectrum of Baptist church experiences, mine must have been on the shady end, or at least one […]

Gray Church: Another Ecclesiastical Dream

Note from CM: I was going to write a post today expressing another dream I have for the church: that in our youth-focused American culture our churches might find ways to help people in the second-half of life understand what spiritual formation and a Jesus-shaped life mean for them. I think the traditional churches do […]

What If? – A Few Dreams for Today’s Church

What if? What if churches and Christian organizations had a vision to be “countercultural” in truly meaningful ways? What if we woke up and realized that all our talk about “changing the culture” is empty because we are just as culture-bound as anyone? What if we realized that ideas don’t matter as much as we […]

Fridays with Michael Spencer: September 30, 2016

Note from CM: Michael’s most well known articles were called “The Coming Evangelical Collapse.” I thought it would be good to re-post a few excerpts from these three pieces in light of the other discussions we’ve had this week. • • • Party Almost Over The party is almost over for evangelicals; a party that’s […]

No Good News Here

Let me begin today by saying that, though I have some familiarity with the workings of my particular denomination, I am certainly no expert when it comes to the mainline Protestant church in the U.S. I grew up in the United Methodist tradition and have been a member of an ELCA Lutheran church for many […]

Exodus from U.S. Religion

On Saturday we referenced a recent study released by PRRI (Public Religion Research Institute), called “Exodus: Why Americans are Leaving Religion—and Why They’re Unlikely to Come Back.” The study looked at a clear trend that must surely get our attention if we are concerned with the state of the church in the U.S. Let’s talk about it […]