January 17, 2021

Help Me With My Cornerstone Seminars

cornerstoneil.gifI’m going to be leading an unknown number of seminars at the Cornerstone Festival in July of ’08. It’s a great honor for me, and I hope to meet many of my readers there.

Here’s last years seminar lineup. I would like to ask my readers to help me develop some possible seminar titles and content. Based on my writing and podcasts, what topics, subjects and material do you believe would make the best and most interesting seminars?

I’d like to hear your title suggestions, too. I am going to try and develop 4 and let the Cornerstone guys pick from there. A good title can get a lot of people in the door, so this can really help me out. When I get rich, I’ll buy you lunch. At White Castle.

Thanks in advance for your help.


  1. “Epistles and Threads: pastoral letters and congregational response”

  2. Paul Findlay says

    One of the ways I came across your site & writings was through your criticisms of various things (I also stuck around for the 95% that isn’t). I remember the essay on the critic and the role of a critic and also comments you have made against nitpicking (which I feel you have been a victim of amongst worse things). It would be very interesting to me how your thoughts have developed especially in the light of you giving up certain “critical” endeavors like comments on John Piper, and saying nice things about Rick Warren (not that I think these are in anyway contradictions in your character). Judging by people’s reactions over the years maybe a title could go a long these lines: “Criticism: a betrayal of the gospel”

  3. I have never left a comment before. Having been brought up in the Episcopal church and now a member of the ELCA I really appreciate your writings about the blending of liturgical and contemporary worship styles. So perhaps a seminar could be based on the tension between historical liturgical worship and the contemporary styles and how to blend the two.

    ps–I have enjoyed reading your work for a couple of years now and have learned so much. I don’t know how you do all you do!

  4. I agree with Paul. I was drawn to your websites because of what seems to be a clear acknowledgement that no one should be “written off” entirely. I have experienced this lesson over the last year. I wrote off Piper (and others whom I don’t know personally & do know personally) a few years ago for various reasons. Now I’m drawn back to him (and others) & realize he has a lot to offer. I may not agree with him on everything (because I have also discovered a deeper ability to think critically), but the stuff that I do agree with him on is the important stuff, the soul-nourishing stuff. Maybe “Criticism in light of the Gospel.”

  5. I haven’t read your blog to really give you an answer based on a context of a lot of what you have written, but you have mentioned before an item that is dear to my heart and that is ecumenicalism.

    Michael Patton at RTM has written a lot about it and just the current debate about what it means to be a Protestant and how do we approach those of RC and EO faiths. Are they brothers and sisters in Christ? Etc. Also I think it is important to understand why we are still Protestants. For me personally it has to do with authority more than soteriology pure and simple. If you look at the EO and RC schism it was essentially over authority as well.

    Also since the kids you are talking to where raised with blogging I think it would be interesting to get your general prespective on how blogging has changed the Christian faith, the church, and Christianity in America specifically. For me personally, it has allowed me to discourse with people of all kinds of different faiths and different Christian positions and denominations. It has helped me see others perspectives more clearly and helped me review where I stand on certian things. It’s the the cyber nail sharpening nail.

    Finally, you seem to be well read. Since this festival is showing “art” by Christians mostly it would be interesting to talk about “arts” in Christianity with regards to media like blogging, video blogs, youtube, Godtube, and the lost art of classic Christian literature, poems, and hymns that are crowded out by all this other “media.”

    Just some thoughts. And agian I don’t know your blog that well so I could be way off on what is on your heart and your interests. This may be me projecting what I would talk about. lol.


  6. I do some like of the embracing of Orthodox/Catholic things that you do, as a Protestant. Something along those lines would be very interesting.

  7. Living in the Poor House: A Wealth of Thought About “Prosperity’s” Lack

  8. My husband and I go to Cornerstone every year, Michael. We will look forward to seeing you there! And we attend as many seminars as possible.

    I would also like to see more teaching on the subject of corporate worship and liturgy.

    I have a 17 year old daughter who’s drawn to classical music and may even pursue a career in opera. Our churches are creating a severely impoverished monoculture that fails to acknowledge the rich variety of artistic genres and tastes that speak to our hearts.

  9. I have thought about going to C-Stone Festival every year for 10+ years. As a Catholic, given imonk’s penchant for dealing with ecumenical issues, I think that’d be worthy of a seminar

  10. How about something along the lines of how to avoid certain extremes in studying works of many theologians– throwing the ‘baby out with the bath water’ when you disagree or idol worship when you agree with their theologies. I guess the title could be something related to “Thinking critically without becoming judgmental in the world of theology” or “Benefiting from various theological sources without necessarily agreeing with them all or disagreeing with most”.

    This is something you seem quite good at… Learning from Capon, Wright, Piper, etc., and still maintaining your own viewpoint. Most people seem to be “I am of John Piper” and “I am of So and So” [of Paul… of Apollos] in a way that they either agree with *everything* that is said or if they disagree somewhat, they are overly critical of the person in every respect. But you’re good at balance– THAT would be a good line of balanced thinking to convey to an audience.

  11. Aaron Jannnings says

    I’m a relative new-comer to your blogs, but stop by because I always find something to smile and nod in agreement to…as well as something to make me cock my head and say “hadn’t thought of that one…”
    Anyway, I have to join the chorus urging you to give a seminar on the marriage of the more traditional, liturgical and the contemporary, more charismatic elements of worship. I’ve really grasped onto your idea of “post-evangelicalism”…we’ve seen what is and what’s not working in both the mainstream protestant and the non-denom, evangelicals…so maybe we can learn something from those observations.
    Look forward to more…

  12. “Orthodoxy under one head: the Jesus we are all found in.”

  13. i appreciated your February 2007 “Evangelical Anxieties” series on fear.

  14. I’ve never commented before either, but I really appreciate your respect for the liturgy, the creeds, the church year, and many of the other traditions of the faith. I think a lot of young people don’t have a lot of exposure to these things, and don’t understand the richness of the history behind them. I’ve never been to Cornerstone, but looking at the seminars from last year, I think something like: A Great Cloud of Witnesses: A Fresh Look at Church Tradition would be a great topic. Best of luck, and if for some reason I can get to the conference, I would be honored to attend your sessions.


  15. How about “The Five Solas in an Ecumenical Age.”

    or something on the interplay of traditional authorities such as creeds and scriptural authority. Maybe entitled “All Readings are not Created Equal.”

    You have thought a lot and written well about how to disagree effectively in the age of internet communication. How about “Love the Heretic, hate the heresy: Christian watch-blogging like Jesus.”

    Have fun!


  16. Here are a few minor twists on what’s been mentioned already:

    1. Why do we want hell for others after we’re saved.(“Hey,Lord,want us to call fire from heaven the way Elijah did?”)

    2.Are you glad there is a hell? (corollary of above)

    3. Why is it the greater the knowledge and zeal the bigger the jackass in any religion? (reference from your essay “why they hate us”)

    4. How do I weasel out of painfully obvious new testament scriptures?

    5. AND how you can condemn ANYTHING with the correct use and misuse of scripture. (Example: Dog ownership is a sin. When does the bible ever say anything but negativity when it references dogs?)

    Want any more help just let me know! (*chuckle*)

  17. How about “Reinventing Islam: When Christianity Goes Sour”?

    Or just grab a title or two from your Essays page.

Speak Your Mind