The Super Bowl and Christian Freedom

This is, as millions already know, Super Bowl week. Nothing is hyped all across America quite like the Super Bowl. This game has reached amazing proportions when it comes to the viewing audience and massive commercialization. It is a stunning piece of popular culture and one doesn’t know whether to weep about it or celebrate. Some pietistic folk see this … Read More

Institute for Religion and Democracy

Several months ago I was invited to serve on the board of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD). Frankly, I was stunned by this invitation. I will attend my first meeting in Washington, DC, in a few months. IRD’s purpose statement says that it is: (1) An ecumenical alliance of U. S. Christians, (2) working to reform their churches’ … Read More

True Worship Feeds Both the Mind and the Heart

The famous Anglican archbishop William Temple provided perhaps the best definition of worship that I have ever read: Worship is the quickening of the conscience by the holiness of God, the feeding of the mind by the truth of God, the purging of the imagination by the beauty of God, the opening of the heart to the love of God, … Read More

The Korean Revival and the Ministry of UBF

About eighteen months ago I had a lovely married female graduate student, a mother of two young children, who took several of my classes at Wheaton Graduate School (apologetics and spiritual formation). She had grown up in a tent-making missionary family in the Hyde Park section of Chicago. She learned a missional lifestyle from her father and mother in their … Read More

Alexander Hamilton on Danger and Disgrace

I admit the statement struck me immediately with a sense that I needed to reflect on it further. I thought about it for some time today and then took down my dictionary to think about it more deeply. The words I refer to are those of founding American father Alexander Hamilton, who created our central treasury, and in some ways … Read More

To Surge or Not to Surge: The War in Iraq and Our Future

The general public, if they still care at all, watched President Bush’s State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, January 23. Almost everyone had an opinion, especially about the Iraq portion of the speech. Glenn Beck, the conservative talk show host on CNN, said 85% of the speech was “bull-crap,” the typical political stuff one expects. In some ways … Read More

The Protestant Principle: What "Sola Scriptura" Means and Why It Matters

Protestants confess that Scripture alone has ultimate objective religious authority in the life of the Christian and the church. This does not mean, however, that divine revelation comes only through Scripture, a common mistake made by some evangelicals. Though the Scriptures reveal Christ immediately, or directly, more subjective forms of authority have also had a proper and important place. This … Read More

Solving the Church Government Debate is Not the Issue

On October 3 I wrote a blog titled: “The Church: A Stumbling Block to Real Change.” In that blog I cited a friend who commented on the problem of changing culture while still through working and serving in a local church context. This blog generated a fairly wide response in private at the time. I had a most thoughtful response … Read More

Bear Down Bears

I promise to limit trivial banter about pro football to few entries but the nation now knows what many of us in the Windy City already knew, Chicago does have a very good football team this season. The Bears not only beat the media darling "Katrina sympathy" Saints very handily, but they did it the old fashioned way, with very … Read More

My Friend Joe and Our Mutual Love for Baseball

My friend Joe Ragont, a graphic artist who has done a lot of work for me over the past decade or so, is a huge Cubs fan. It is no secret that I am anything but a Cubs fan. Friendship, however, overrules the angst of baseball rivalry. Joe celebrated his 68th birthday this week and I gave him a baseball … Read More