Category Archives: Church Issues
Time to look past past the misleading headlines and dig into the substance of the Evangelicals and Catholics Together statement on marriage.
Is it possible that our worship services have become so much about ourselves that we find it difficult to “get outside” our “petty concerns?”
“Worldly Saints” may seem like an oxymoron, but it’s the perfect title for what God calls Christians to be.
Faithful Christian living involves a paradox: our faith is both world-affirming and world-denying. World-affirming in that we believe the world’s structures are fundamentally good, a part of God’s good creation now longing to be restored. World-denying in that we believe the world’s systems are pervasively evil, firmly opposed to God and His loving rule and awaiting His judgment.
Miss the goodness of the world structurally, and you start to think the physical creation is bad, so God must be going to do away with it all in the end. The Christian mission becomes “getting people to heaven,” since the world is going to the other place. Miss the badness of the world systemically, and you start to think sin is not as serious as we’ve made it out to be, so tinkering around with things in pursuit of improvement is all that is needed. The Christian mission becomes “make the world a better place.”
Careful Christian thinking holds these two truths in paradox, never allowing one truth to drown out the other, never allowing the extreme position of one side to lead us to the other. To miss one side of this paradox or the other is to distort the beauty of Christianity.
Becoming Worldly Saints by Michael Wittmer pushes even deeper, reminding us that world-affirming and world-denying Christianity are two sides of the same coin. We won’t deny what needs denying unless we affirm what needs affirming, and vice versa. After all, we were made for this world. “We are earthlings, …
At the beginning of this decade, I predicted several trends in evangelicalism. How are they playing out right now?
In 1914, some were complaining that Sunday School lessons lacked a “redemptive” focus. Here’s what John Sampey proposed.
Now that I’ve assessed the state of my church and how it got here, how do I move forward with my congregation?
If a pastor walks into a church and seeks to understand “what time it is” organizationally, what kind of diagnosis should he expect?
A whopping 83% of churchgoers say, “Nope. I won’t skip worship to watch football.”
Our moral thinking is much more like a politician searching for votes than a scientist searching for truth.