United 93

I saw United 93 this afternoon. The film is beautifully scripted, faithful to the facts that we know, and believable with regard to the facts that we must assume to know. It is, simply put, a deeply moving film. It should receive many critical awards if unbiased people give the movie the recognition it deserves. One gets a feeling, in … Read More

A Seminary with Missional Vision

One of the joys of service that I personally share, as a minister-at-large, is serving on the boards of a few mission organizations and one seminary. One such school is Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, Pennsylvania. In my opinion Biblical has become the leading missional seminary within evangelical Protestantism. It has a clearly defined vision of what it means to … Read More

A Spoof That is Stranger Than Fiction

Sometimes an Internet spoof gets so close to the truth that it is hard for serious people like me to know the difference. Such was the case with my April 27 blog on “Home Churching.” Several wrote to let me know that I had clearly fallen for a satirical spoof that appeared originally in The Onion. http://www.theonion.com/content/node/40517 This blog offers … Read More

A Strange New Trend in Ecclesiology

A new trend has emerged in America in the religious education of children. It is called the “home churching movement.” "Home-churching," has been defined as an individual, family-based worship service. It is steadily gaining in popularity, as more parents seek an alternative to what they consider the overly humanist content of organized worship. What inspired this revolution in ecclesiology? The … Read More

A Catholic-Protestant Wedding?

During my formative childhood years, as a conservative Protestant evangelical, I was taught that a Catholic-Protestant marriage was actually an “interfaith” wedding and thus it should never happen. I was taught that both sides would compromise their faith in such an arrangement and the results would almost never be good. On our side, we simply did not see Catholics as … Read More

An Important Reformed Distinctive

Reformed Christianity, in its richest and fullest expression, strongly emphasizes the biblical covenants. Surely this is one of the great distinctives of the tradition. This emphasis has sometimes been taken to conclusions that do not sound much like biblical teaching. They sound to me, to be honest, more like systematic theological categories created in the heat and smoke of polarizing … Read More

Listening to Jesus in the Gospels

Did Jesus walk on a hard-to-see patch of ice, in the Sea of Galilee, instead of on the water, as the biblical text reports? This new suggestion that he walked on ice, from Doron Nof, a professor of oceanography at Florida State University, must be the ten thousandth such idea put forward since the Enlightenment. Nof says, “I am not … Read More

Seminary President Urges Renewal

Seminary presidents are generally wonderful Christian leaders. They are usually ministers, with a great deal of local church experience, who believe in the mission of their school and genuinely desire to equip good people to better serve the church. The problem comes when the president seeks to change a school that is in the grip of institutional paralysis, firmly set … Read More

Marriage, Parenting and the Words We Use

Everyone who is not comatose knows a huge debate is unfolding in this country about the legal basis, and definition, of marriage. Is marriage between one man and one woman, or simply a relationship between two consenting adults (e.g., same-sex marriage), or perhaps more than two adults (polygamy is making a legal comeback, no joke)? The Washington State Supreme Court, … Read More

Ideas and Conservativism

Richard Weaver, a prominent American social and political philosopher, noted several decades ago that “ideas have consequences” (Ideas Have Consequences, University of Chicago, 1984). A socialist by training Weaver eventually concluded that socialists were really “dry, insistent people of shallow objectives.” He opposed what he saw as the bankruptcy of the mass mind, ancient Gnosticism, and socialism. In the end … Read More