Most people who serve as church leaders realize what an important time it is in our religious landscape. Because of demographic, generational, technological and economic shifts, we realize that many churches are coming to the end of their seasons. In this important moment, we will need leaders who can experiment, create, test and plant.
A few years ago I lost a friend to cancer, barely 12 months after the diagnosis. During her final months she wrapped up business at her job and then went about saying goodbye to those people closest to her. She planned "final" experiences with friends and family—including a magnificent, all-expenses paid vacation with a few closest friends— and prepared herself spiritually by seeking out the rites and rituals of the church that would prepare her to finish her earthly life: renewal of baptism, Holy Communion, anointing.
No, history does not repeat itself. Yes, history is a human construct. Now, if you will all just work with me, take a gander at this longish quotation from the Introduction to The Meaning of Prayer (1916) by Harry Emerson Fosdick (pictured here...note the killer vestments). The Introduction was written by John R.
I've so far declined to comment on Wheaton College's decision to join the election-year culture war skirmish du jour by suing the feds for stomping all over its religious freedom requiring insurers to cover basic women's health needs while allowing faith-based employers to themselves stay out of it. I was sad but not surprised to learn of this move. Wheaton takes it as not only one legitimate view but an article of evangelical conviction that the morning after pill is unacceptable? Sure, okay. I disagree with my alma mater, but it's hardly the first time.
There are a handful of topics and themes that I can fairly reliably count on to cause questions or concerns in the life of the church. Near the top of the list would be questions about the Bible. What about all of the problem texts of violence and misogyny? What about the history of canonization—which books got in, which were left out, and why?
For about three and a half years, from 11th grade until the summer after my freshman year in college, I was convinced that I was going to be an engineer. My mother worked for a civil engineering firm at the time, and so I knew what it took to be successful. I enjoyed high school physics. I was pretty good at math.