December 12, 2019

“Nothing can make us more blind to the Holy Spirit than the ordinary”

Each week during the winter months and until Easter, I preach to a little country congregation. The congregation is over 180 years old, the building 150. Like many small, rural churches, our pews are populated by members in the second half of life. We have a few children, fewer teens, a couple of college students […]

Another Look: Outsider Lessons

Another Look: Outsider Lessons Back in 2014 I wrote a Wilderness Update post called, “Square Peg Syndrome,” which resonated with many people. I wrote this as a follow-up to that piece. I’ve updated it for today. Benjamin Corey, at his blog, Formerly Fundie, wrote a similar article called, “A Few Things I’ve Learned as a Christian […]

Rachel, we — the uncool — will miss you

Note from CM: It has been hard for me in the past couple of weeks to summon up the emotional energy to pay tribute to several folks who have died recently. Jean Vanier is one thing — I only know him through his books, and it feels more like I’m honoring a hero than a […]

Escaping the Wilderness: Part III – A square peg in a round hole

Suddenly alone, in an old familiar place. As I look around, all I see are the new faces. Scared of reaching out Filled with fear and doubt I was never good at making friends Sometimes it’s like trying to mend The edges of a frayed piece of cloth I don’t think that I fit in. […]

Escaping the Wilderness: Part Two – Looking back

I am about to exit what we call the Post-Evangelical Wilderness. I think. Over the next few Fridays I will be recounting parts of my journey both from the distant past, as well as from the recent past. I will also be discussing where I am heading and why. As a way of further introduction […]

Jonathan Aigner — Farewell, Willow Creek: Where the “Regular” Churches Can Go From Here

Farewell, Willow Creek: Where the “Regular” Churches Can Go From Here by Jonathan Aigner It looks like the beginning of the end at Willow Creek. They aren’t saying that, but I feel like that’s what’s happening. If so, good riddance. And you can take the megachurch movement you spawned with you. I’m sorry if I […]

Monday with Michael Spencer: Some thoughts about the institution

If you look at the church throughout time, cultures and history, I believe you will conclude there are three aspects to the church. (Consider this semi-original with me.) The church is a movement started by Jesus; a culture crossing, church planting movement that proclaims the Gospel in the power of the Spirit. This movement takes […]

Brueggemann: On taking a route other than our zeal or certitude

Note from CM: Friends, I thought this a good follow-up to yesterday’s discussion about my “both/and” perspective on things. • • • Not many of us need advice about what to do with our life. Not many of us want such advice either. We may not agree on what to do, but most of us […]

Hauerwas on Individualism

Here’s an intriguing passage from an article I’ve posted on the bulletin board about theologian Stanley Hauerwas. “No task is more important than for the Church to take the Bible out of the hands of individual Christians in North America.” Perhaps the only surer way to enrage an American Christian than threatening to take the […]

Freedom from the family for the family

There’s a nice article at Christianity Today challenging the prevalent, ongoing “focus on the family” mentality of the American church. In it, Rebecca McLaughlin gives five reasons “Why I Don’t Sit with My Husband at Church” on Sunday mornings. There’s one big reason: McLaughlin believes that congregations must be more open to showing hospitality to […]