Christian discipleship

Reality Check

The tragic results of this spirit (looking for quick and easy shortcuts in our faith) are all about us: shallow lives, hollow religious philosophies, the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings, the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities, quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods, the mistaking of dynamic […]

A Heart As Big As God’s

An adequate life, like Spinoza’s definition of an adequate idea, might be described as a life which has grasped intuitively the whole nature of things, and has seen and felt and refocused itself to this whole.  An inadequate life is one that lacks this adjustment to the whole nature of […]

Christianaughty

“Naughty” is a great word.  Today it often means risqué, improper, bad or inappropriate, but in its origin it was an all-purpose word that could mean bad, evil, worthless, of no value, unhealthy, unpleasant, disagreeable, adversarial, contrary, difficult, improper, or hypocritical.  At its heart and essence was the sense of […]

In the Land of Beginning Again

In the 1946 film, The Bell’s of St. Mary’s, Bing Crosby sings Grant Clarke & George W. Meyer’s, In the Land of Beginning Again.  This sappy, wistful, wonderful song fits the film beautifully, wishing for the chance to start fresh, to let go of past regrets, and to move forward […]

Paradoxology

Is our faith a blessing or a burden?  Are the practices of prayer, worship, fasting, giving, serving and studying gifts or obligations?  The way a person answers these questions is very telling as to the role and value of faith in her or his life.  It is continuously fascinating to […]

Belief Is Choice

I surf a lot of sites and listen in on a lot of discussion threads about what people choose and choose not to believe.  What is interesting is that both sides deny they are making a choice about what to believe.  Dogmatism swings both ways, and many loud voices on […]

Goats of Christmas Yet To Come

Every once in a while, I blog about something I consider a “no-brainer,” something so obvious (at least to me…) that I cannot fathom anyone disagreeing.  But I am always wrong — there’s no such thing as a sure thing.  Case in point: caring for the poor.  The idea that […]

With Fulfillment

Kudos to Circuit Rider for the Nov./Dec./Jan. issue focusing on ministry with the poor.  So many other voices share my conviction that ministry “with” is our future, rather than ministry “to” or “for” the poor (so I must be right).  Of the Four Areas of Focus of The United Methodist […]

Ecumental Disorders

Some of the most fulfilling ministry I’ve been a part of in my thirty+ years has been either ecumenical or inter-faith.  Beginning in my own “dark ages” as program director for the religious council at Ball State University, those projects and missional programs drawing from a broad diversity of faith […]

Catalytic Conversion

I met a man years ago who possessed the true spiritual gift of evangelism.  He shared faith in such an authentic and unguarded way that even atheists listened to him with respect.  More than any words he said, any actions he took, he simply exuded an assurance and a non-anxious […]