A word of encouragement for Christians on the margins

I meet a lot of disenchanted Christians and former Christians who think they’re alone in their desire for expressions of Christianity that are more engaged with nature, more empowering of women, and more encouraging of creative expression. And it is true that many Christians give such concerns lip service at best; some being outright hostileContinue reading “A word of encouragement for Christians on the margins”

Gathering the AA Way

Christianity Today has published a fantastic article on AA and transformative small groups. There is so much thought provoking content here. Here are just a few quotes I am taking away from it. “AA has what the contemporary church, or at least a large portion of the contemporary evangelical church, seems to lack: a clearContinue reading “Gathering the AA Way”

Culture gaps and God’s call for the church

If you’re church is WASPish even though you live in a multicultural area then you have a culture gap. It’s as simple as that. You may not feel it personally but clearly others do. Don’t assume it’s just non-whites feeling that gap either. Whites more cosmopolitan than you are probably feeling it too. They’re justContinue reading “Culture gaps and God’s call for the church”

Political divisions within the church

I have been giving a lot of consideration lately to the political divisions within the church and it has got me wondering if the Christological heresies of the past haven’t disappeared so much as taken on new guises. Conservatives show some distinct Docetic and Apollinarian tendencies at times. They can be much stronger on theContinue reading “Political divisions within the church”

Why did Paul say women should be silent in gatherings?

1 Corinthians 14 is often used as a prooftext against women in Christian leadership, but consider this: Paul does not accuse the women of TEACHING PRESUMPTIVELY, rather, he accuses the women of ENQUIRING DISRUPTIVELY. His desire seems to be for speakers to be able to speak without unnecessary interruption. This is the same concern heContinue reading “Why did Paul say women should be silent in gatherings?”

How missional can a church be?

My experience is that it’s unrealistic to expect everyone in a church to be equally missional, just the same as it’s unrealistic to expect everyone in a church to be equally pastoral. What then should the focus of a local church be? Should it be sending or inviting? I think churches are called to doContinue reading “How missional can a church be?”

Missionary societies and the west

I have been revisiting Ralph Winter’s old but influential article on “The Two Structures of God’s Redemptive Mission”. In it he observes how, down through the ages, there have often been two distinct structures operative within the Christian movement. An observation that has missional implications. The first structure is what we typically call a church.Continue reading “Missionary societies and the west”

There is no culturally neutral way of being contemporary

The problem with seeking to be culturally relevant, as a church, is that culture isn’t as homogenous as it used to be and there is no culturally neutral way of being contemporary. What can be culturally relevant for one person can be culturally irrelevant for another person, and that’s a fact whether we like it orContinue reading “There is no culturally neutral way of being contemporary”