Core Values

Conditional Christianity

There is no greater power on earth than the love of God, evidenced in the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Of course, this gift is only given to Christians. I heard a United Methodist pastor preach this recently, and I called him a few days later to ask if […]

Holy Warps

Okay, I understand disagreements over theology.  I understand disagreements over fundamental beliefs — between different religions.  I think most of the divisions and debates are pointless, but I understand them.  What I don’t understand is the virulent and vehement disagreement over discipleship and church membership.  What are our defining features? […]

We Are The Church… Together?

Yesterday, I posted a piece on the nature and purpose of the church, thinking it to be a fairly safe (but important) topic.  I received this email today, and share it (eliminating names and any reference to the specific congregation, and framing it as dialog — with the author’s permission). […]

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

Church.  What a concept!  There are two simple questions I believe every congregation should take some time to seriously consider: 1) what is “church,” and, 2) what is church “for”?  We assume we know what church is, but much of what we think and believe is nothing more than validation […]

Faith, Money & Spirituality

Western philosophy tends toward dualism: good and evil, light and darkness, inside and outside. This way of thinking permeates all aspects of our lives. We draw lines of distinction that help us organize our lives. We put things in categories that help us make sense of the world. Often, this […]

Brace for Impact

Why are we here?  I don’t have one answer that applies equally to all congregations, but I believe this question is THE question every congregation should discuss and wrestle with.  Why do we exist?  What difference are we making — in the lives of our members and friends, in our […]

Moxie

Moxie — 1. vigor; verve; pep, 2. courage and aggressiveness, 3. skill; know-how.  Moxie is an American slang word, coined from a depression-era soda pop (that tastes a little like carbonated shoe-polish…).  It came to be a term of admiration — someone with Moxie was brash, bold, eccentric, impressive and […]

The Conflict Conflict

My thesis: the greatest danger to today’s Christian church in the United States doesn’t come from outside.  It isn’t atheists.  It isn’t gays or lesbians.  It isn’t the liberal media.  It isn’t terrorists of other faiths.  No, the greatest threat to our church today is us — the silly little […]

The Passing of Power

George Steinbrenner died at 80.  This news brought to mind a flurry of memories and images.  When I was younger, I absolutely LOVED baseball.  I followed the Big Red Machine in the 1970s and memorized volumes of stats and stories.  There was something pure and fun and inspiring and simply […]

The Enemy Within

On a not-too-infrequent basis, Christian commentators will rant and rail against secular and non-Christian forces conspiring to destroy our faith.  Any given day, the Muslims or the scientists or the atheists or the Jews or the secular humanists or the liberals or the homosexuals or Planned Parenthood or the… you […]