Critical Thinking

To Read Or Not To Read…

I am a reader, and proud of it.  I rarely spend less than 3 hours each day reading, and I mean books, not just emails, articles, blogs, letters, ads, magazines, Post-It® Notes, etc.  On days off, I read more like 6-7 hours.  I am an eclectic reader.  There are few […]

Debatable Disagreement

I regularly encounter people who believe that disagreements in the church are evidence that we should split the denomination, that somehow we are defined by our differences rather than a common faith, a shared baptism, a risen Savior, and a God bigger than our pettiness.  Probing deeper reveals that the […]

Cross Talk

Two recent conversations (frustrating each in their own way) set me to thinking about the current landscape of Biblical and theological dialogue, debate, argument, and discussion (choose what works best for you).  In my opinion, we are spread across a spectrum of four main perspectives: At the left side of […]

Observe, Listen & Reflect

In my experience, United Methodists tend to be problem solvers in search of the quick fix.  All too often, we wait until a challenge reaches crisis proportions, then we seek a simple, easy solution.  Frustration sets in and we begin looking around to see if someone else can solve our […]

Too Busy to Learn

Yesterday, I had the great honor to launch a new learning academy in our annual conference — something we have been talking about for a long time, but for a variety of reasons couldn’t get launched earlier.  We are attempting a conference-wide, ongoing Leadership Learning Academy for clergy and laity […]

Fickle Fairyland Faith

I won’t share the convoluted audit trail that leads to this post, but a series of unrelated incidents all point me back to this particular story.  When I was in Nashville, I related to a young, well-meaning Christian who went from ultra-committed and ultra-pious to uber-atheist in the blink of […]

Anti-Afflatus

What do 21st century United Methodists actually believe about the Holy Spirit?  Are we in danger of lumping the trans-rational in with the irrational and dismissing anything and everything supernatural with a primitive and premodern understanding of the world?  Secular critics like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher […]

Narrative Transformation

In recent comments, an interesting thread appears: how do we in the church have open-ended conversation about the deepest and most challenging aspects of our life together?  Too often, we have no vision for what a new or different conversation might look/sound like.  When we think about changing our thinking, […]

The Hegemony of How

Responses to Polymorphous Pedagogic Perversity provide a fascinating illustration of the difficulties we face employing adaptive leadership process.  Adaptive leadership, by definition, recognizes that our penchant for problem-solving pushes us to seek answers before we truly understand the complexity of the challenge before us.  In other words, when faced with […]

Childish Church

This is a rant, so take it with a grain of whatever.  I met with a young pastor and asked him how his ministry was going.  He replied, “We have eight new members and our attendance is up from 35 to over 50 a week.”  I said, “That’s not what […]

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