August 20, 2018

Mondays with Michael Spencer: Searching for a Community of Strugglers

Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives. (Paul the Apostle, Letter to the Galatians, 4:19, NLT) This line from Paul has stayed with me for two days. It comes from a section of the […]

Friends Without Benefits

Even “egalitarian” evangelicals can’t seem to shake off their fundamental discomfort with sexuality and how it impacts male/female relationships outside of marriage. In his insightful response to the recent revelations that egalitarian extraordinaire Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church might have behaved inappropriately with female colleagues, flirting and displaying affection with women not his […]

Merton: “Every other man is a piece of myself”

It is therefore of supreme importance that we consent to live not for ourselves but for others. When we do this we will be able first of all to face and accept our own limitations. As long as we secretly adore ourselves, our own deficiencies will remain to torture us with an apparent defilement. But […]

Fr. Stephen Freeman: Saving My Neighbor — Just How Connected Are We?

Saving My Neighbor — Just How Connected Are We? By Father Stephen Freeman If you are in the “helping professions,” confronting problems in people’s lives, it doesn’t take long to realize that no one is purely and simply an individual. The problems we suffer may occasionally appear to be “of our own making,” but that […]

Why the Table should be Front and Center

I have developed a simple position about why I think the Table (or Altar) should be central in the architecture of a Christian church sanctuary. Remember where I come from. In my youth, this was how most of the traditional Methodist congregations I attended arranged their worship spaces. Two pulpits flanked a central table. Then […]

What about Job’s Kids?

I had an interesting picture in my facebook feed the other day.  I don’t usually repost much, but this one really caught my attention as it represented how I was feeling that day. On particularly rough days, when I’m sure that I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting […]

A Conference I Recommend: Slow Church

UPDATE: A great place to start getting to know more about Chris and his church is with his book, The Virtue of Dialogue: Conversation as a Hopeful Practice of Church Communities. It describes how his inner-city congregation made conversation among themselves and with their neighbors a primary practice in the church. It’s available as a […]

Another Look: Some Thoughts on “Community”

This post was first published in August, 2010. Today, I heard an interesting interview on the NPR program, Fresh Air with Todd S. Purdum, national editor of Vanity Fair, who has written a piece in the latest edition called, “Washington: We Have a Problem”. For this article, Purdum spent a day at the White House with the president […]

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 […]

Dealing with the Wayward

Dealing with the Wayward Damaris Zehner Recently on iMonk we discussed how a church responded to a young man who confessed to a sin.  We tossed comments back and forth referring to Matthew 18 and both the Gospel and the letters of John.  Most of us seemed to be in agreement that the church’s handling […]