Mere Christianity for Today

Or Reflections on the Realities of Big Tent Christianity “As Christians, we are seekers after truth, not merely its custodians.” Michael Bauman1 The Situation “Christianity is in trouble,” everyone seems to be saying, for a variety of reasons. The rise of the “nones.”2 Increased dissatisfaction with institutional religion.3 The forthcoming disintegration of American evangelicalism overContinue reading “Mere Christianity for Today”

Acts of Baptism

This post originally appeared at Conciliar Post. As anyone even somewhat familiar with Christianity knows, various Christian denominations have different, specific approaches to baptism—that all important rite involving water and the Holy Spirit. Depending on its theological commitments, a church may expect the person being baptized to be an adult (or, at least old enoughContinue reading “Acts of Baptism”

O God Our Refuge

Some more prayers for this morning: “O God, who has been the refuge of my fathers through many generations, be my refuge today in every time and circumstance of need. Be my guide through all that is dark and doubtful. Be my guard against all that threatens my spirit’s welfare. Be my strength in timeContinue reading “O God Our Refuge”

Book Review: Irresistible (Stanley)

Once upon a time, there existed a version of Christianity that was irresistible. Over the years, however, errors and accretions have piled up, reducing to a shadow what was once a robust proclamation of the Good News of Jesus. But now, there’s a way that the Church can return to its roots and make theContinue reading “Book Review: Irresistible (Stanley)”

Orthodoxy and Relevance

Christians have long talked about life as a journey, whether as runners or pilgrims or travelers or something else. Journeys tend to involve forks in the road, decisions to make, and obstacles to overcome. Sometimes, the decisions of this journey are between light and darkness, holiness and sin, redemption and backsliding. In these instances, theContinue reading “Orthodoxy and Relevance”

The Worrier’s Prayer

I came across this prayer several weeks back, and while the emphasis is clearly humorous, don’t miss the larger point: how often do we pray in these ways to our Lord? Dear Lord, Help me to relax about insignificant details, beginning tomorrow at 7:41:23 a.m. EST. Help me to consider people’s feelings, even if mostContinue reading “The Worrier’s Prayer”

The Non-Denominational Reformation

Every 500 years or so in the history of the Christian church, a significant restructuring seems to take place. Around the year 500, a church council at Chalcedon published what most of Christendom calls the clearest explanation of orthodox Christology: Christ is one person with two natures. However, large swaths of Christians—the Oriental Orthodox (suchContinue reading “The Non-Denominational Reformation”

Sermon-less Church: A Thought Experiment

“If you took away the sermon from your worship service, what sort of theology could you construct from what remains?” Sometime back, a Facebook friend shared this quote from Pastor Mark Jones and it got me thinking. What would a sermon-less church service look like? What messages and theology would it convey? Would we attend?Continue reading “Sermon-less Church: A Thought Experiment”

The Lord’s Prayer Rewritten

Papa God, Your reign above all of creation, you are beyond our capacity to approach. Let your power and reign come into our world, into our lives; let you plan and desire become our plans and desires; let our world become good, true, and beautiful like your paradise. Bless us beyond our wildest imagination, PapaContinue reading “The Lord’s Prayer Rewritten”

A Proposal: When the Rubber Meets the Road

This post is part of a proposal for approaching theology from the perspective of history. When the Rubber Meets the Road The final step of this process brings the historical insights of what the Shepherd of Hermas indicates about the teaching authority of woman into conversation with contemporary conversations about women in the church. Here,Continue reading “A Proposal: When the Rubber Meets the Road”