I love the church. It's harder to love specific congregations.
March 18, 2019
One line I read a few weeks ago about congregational life together has stuck with me in a big way. I’ve brought it up, in one way or another, several times already. In a Christian Century article, “More People, Looser Ties” David Eagle drops the sentence, “Think of it this way: a congregation with 100 married couples today has 1,000 fewer hours of potential volunteer labor to tap than it did in 1970.”
April 18, 2016
In a nation where, increasingly, belief in God cannot be assumed, and where Christianity is losing more and more of its sway in public discourse, what does membership in a church offer? Or, to put it another way, how might we say that church matters? I’m curious how faith leaders might answer these questions because I recently ran across a very difficult sort of answer.
March 2, 2016
Since I teach stewardship and a course called Money and Mission of the Church, I often get asked my perspective on Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University program. For the uninitiated, Dave Ramsey is a best selling author, financial guru, and public speaker. His syndicated radio show on financial matters attracts more than 8.5 million listeners each week. Ramsey is also a born-again Christian and markets his curriculum, Financial Peace University, to churches.
November 15, 2015
Within ten minutes on Monday morning, I ran into not one, but two news stories covering the “Christian reaction” to the Supreme Court’s ruling last week affirming the rights of citizens to same-sex marriage. At first I was annoyed by the stories’ characterization of Christianity, but now I’m not so sure.
June 30, 2015
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Decades ago, when a need arose at a church in rural Kansas, the finance chair would ask, "Who'll give 25 dollars?" Today, we have Kickstarter.
May 18, 2015
Ever since I started teaching I’ve always had a skeptical view of the very foundation of most college courses: learning objectives. Until recently, I’d be happy to go off on learning objectives without any very nuanced reason why. Now, finally, I think I’ve found a way to articulate my contradictory point of view.
April 21, 2015
Usually, it’s a man who says it. He wants conversation to go deeper. He’s hoping for more self-disclosure. With the best of intentions, he wants to move past the mundane. He desires this time to be different. So he says, “Go ahead. Share. This is a safe space.” Except, no, it isn’t.
April 12, 2015