A Truly Wonderful Novel

The modern novel, Peace Like a River, written by Minnesotan Leif Enger is one of the finest first works of fiction I have read in years. Indeed, it is a superb book, first or otherwise, period! It is the story of a real family tragedy, told within the context of a true (Christian) love story. It is most definitely not … Read More

My Present Reading

I read widely, as you might guess. I always have and suppose I always will. I am presently reading Douglas John Hall’s theological autobiography, Bound and Free, an engaging and moving memoir by a prominent theologian of our time. In the evening, and for sheer fun, I am reading and enjoying the baseball biography, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death … Read More

The Issue is Hermeneutics

Christians can and do harm the missional cause of Christ when they misuse the Scriptures. Make no mistake about this fact. One such "Christian", who has worked immeasurable harm to the cause of Christ in America, is the Rev. Fred Phelps, pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. Phelps, and his small flock, have been showing up to … Read More

Celebrating the Holy Season of Easter

This year, my fifty-seventh, marks the first time in my life that I have publicly celebrated all the great days of the church calendar surrounding Easter. These have included Holy (or Maundy) Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday (or the Easter Vigil) and Easter Sunday. Then there were the Sundays of Easter and the special celebration on Thursday of this week … Read More

A Beatiful Day in the Sun at Wrigley Field

My love for baseball borders on passion, as readers already know. I thus enjoyed one of the loveliest days of the year on Friday. My daughter, who got her passion for this rgeat game directly from me, accompanied me for a gorgeous day at the old ball park—Wrigley Field. We had seats twenty rows above the Cubs dugout and soaked … Read More

The Liberal Arts Education of Patrick Henry College

Patrick Henry College, a rural Virginia school of only three hundred students, has been making big news lately. This very conservative Christian school only has sixteen faculty members and five of their professors left this month. Others are thinking about leaving soon. What is the problem? The faculty is having trouble with the president’s understanding of what a liberal arts … Read More

Working and Praying for the Real Peace of Jerusalem

Columnist Robert Novak praises my own Illinois congressman, soon-to-retire Representative Henry Hyde (R), in Wednesday’s edition (May 25) of the Chicago Sun Times. He writes: “Showing the courage that has typified a political career now in its final months, [Hyde] is pleading the case of endangered Palestinian Christians to President Bush.” Hyde’s letter to Bush, in part, says: “I cannot … Read More

A Catholic Protestant Wedding Revisted

On April 25 I wrote a blog about a wedding between two young Christians, one Protestant and one Catholic. This wedding was performed by my good friend Andrew Sandlin, one of the ministers of the Church of the King in Santa Cruz, California. I expect this blog generated three responses. The first one is the response I grew up with … Read More

Signs of Renewal Amidst the Rubble?

It is common to hear references to Protestant mainline churches as those churches which are in a state of confusion, or churches that have become a theological rubble. Many conservatives are quite surprised to learn of the wonderful renewal efforts being faithfully made in these older churches. Like all of these historic Protestant denominations in North America the United Methodist … Read More

A Missional Church with a Bright Future

I am afforded numerous opportunities to see the church in its various expressions across North America. For nearly fifteen years I have traveled across the land speaking in congregations of all sizes and forms. I have preached to mega-churches and new church plants. I have tried to encourage older struggling small churches in decline and newer small churches seeking to … Read More