November 20, 2017

Support Scuba Missions!

I’m helping a group of young people from our local Methodist church on a mission trip in Providence, Rhode Island this week. We are working with Providence Rescue Mission through Praying Pelican Missions. We have all we need, but I thought I’d introduce you to a couple that is asking for support for their “mission” […]

Pentecost Sunday with Henri Nouwen: May 15, 2016

Pentecost Sunday with Henri Nouwen On the Eucharistic Life This is Pentecost Sunday, and today we conclude our series of reflections on his book, With Burning Hearts: A Meditation on the Eucharistic Life. • • • That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were […]

What about THIS “cutting edge”?

What are churches in the U.S. doing to advance this “cutting edge” ministry? Census data tells the story. From 2000 to 2010, those people age 45 to 64 (the boomers) increased 31.5%. The next highest increase was those 65+, who increased over the same period by 15.1% (source: US Census at www.census.gov/2010census/) It is projected that […]

They’ll know we are Christians by our language

I passed a church sign the other day. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stop and take a picture of it to show you, but I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since I saw it. The sign said: God makes useful saints Out of useless sinners. Believe me, I understand black/white, […]

Disgust Psychology in the Church

Yesterday, we were talking about Richard Beck’s book, Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality. In the comments I promised I would give some real-life instances of how I’ve seen the “psychology of disgust” play out in Christian communities. Let me reset the theme by quoting something Beck writes early in the book: I was […]

Why “Hate the Sin/Love the Sinner” Doesn’t Work

  Go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” – Matthew 9:13 Mercy and sacrifice reliably come into conflict due to the reciprocal nature of love and disgust, the psychological dynamics governing exclusion and embrace. Consequently, the church cannot sidestep the tensions in Matthew 9 as a mere logical error or false […]

Pope Francis: Living “From the Heart of the Gospel”

I have downloaded and am reading through Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), the Apostolic Exhortation by Pope Francis on the proclamation of the Gospel in today’s world. The document reflects the emphasis in the Church regarding “The New Evangelization.” As the Pope states, Attentive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit who helps […]

David Fitch Recommends Taking “No Position” on LGBTQ Relations

Introduction from CM A couple of pastors I admire in my denomination have impressed me with how they have responded as church leaders in light of the ELCA’s decision regarding homosexuality in 2009. This is going to sound counter-intuitive, but they both basically decided to ignore it. They did not make a big deal about […]

An Invitation from John Armstrong

My friend John Armstrong has a heart that those of us from different traditions in the Church will increasingly come together to serve the world with God’s love and the Good News of the Kingdom. His ministry, ACT 3, exists to equip leaders for unity in Christ’s mission. One of John’s primary activities these days […]

My first thought wouldn’t be, “Let’s have a gathering.”

Francis Chan must be reading a different Bible. The other day I watched a video clip from a message he gave at the 2012 Verve Conference in which he asserted that genuine Christian fellowship is missional fellowship. I think Francis Chan is partly right there, but the way he said it was striking and revelatory […]