Critical Thinking

Systemic Ambivalence

Systemic — pertaining to or affecting a whole system Ambivalence — holding two competing values in equal regard If the unexamined life is not worth living, then perhaps the unexamined institution is not worth having.  And we try desperately hard not to look too closely at the institution we serve […]

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 […]

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