Taylor-Made: A Secular Age

I will move this to “best books” in a week or two, but for now, I want to add Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age to my list of books I believe every pastor should read.  This book came out in 2007 and I am embarrassed to say that it took […]

The Threat of Love

Unconditional love.  It sounds holy, right and just.  It is a concept embraced throughout the millennia, but with conditions.  The struggle seems to come when the concept is applied to those with whom we differ, those we judge as unworthy, those we look down upon, and those we have decided […]

Pastiche Spirituality

I know I’ve told this story before, but it fits so well with a couple of issues I am dealing with that I share it here again. In my travels, one morning I stopped for breakfast and sat in a booth near two women.  When the waitress came to take […]

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 […]

Who Are We Again?

At a recent event, I made the statement that today’s United Methodist Church exists because our predecessor denominations held three critically important functions in common: missional service, evangelism and social justice.  In other words, we hold core values of caring for others, inviting all people into a life-changing, life-fulfilling relationship […]

Sometimes a Grape is Just a Grape

From the Gospel According to Bob 12:21-34 “Then, they went aside to a quiet place, and in the shade of a sycamore tree they rested.  Jesus spied a wall covered in vines, heavily weighted down by wild grapes.  Taking one, he placed it in his mouth, and an ecstasy came […]

I Love a Mystery

Though I am not overly superstitious, I DO try to pay attention to unusual coincidences.  Over the last three days, I have been led, in one way or another, to look up four passages of scripture:  Ephesians 6:18-20, I Corinthians 4:1-2, Ephesians 1:7-10, and 1 Timothy 3:16.  Each of these […]


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