The Death of My Friend Bob Webber (1933-2007)

Bob Webber (1933-2007) died Friday at 6:10 PM (Eastern time) in his wife Joanne’s arms, after an 8 month battle with pancreatic cancer. Bob is best known for his numerous books published over the past forty years. He touched on so many subjects it is hard to know where to begin to enumerate his contributions as a writer. His more … Read More

A Visit to a Small Church in Rural Central Illinois

When most Christians in America think about the church they rarely consider local churches of less than 100 people, especially small churches situated in small towns all across the United States. In fact, in most small towns a local church is quite large if it has more than 40 people on a Sunday. There are so many big churches in … Read More

Some Reflections on the Don Imus Debacle

Now that Don Imus, and his racist comments about "nappy-headed hos," is back page news, if it is still news at all, I am ready to comment on this rather amazing episode in pop-cultural blow back. I have listened to the defenders and the detractors and the right and left go back and forth. Frankly the whole matter probably meant … Read More

My Journey as a Minister of Word & Sacrament

On Tuesday, April 24, I was examined by the Illiana Classis of the Reformed Church in America (RCA) in order to have my ordination, which was originally granted in August of 1970 by the Frist Baptist Church of Lebanon, Tennessee, transfered into the RCA. I was examined in history, sacraments and polity, government and liturgy and theology. This process really … Read More

A Church Rooted in Suffering

Speaking to the Anglican Mission in America’s (AMiA) Northeast Network Mission & Ministry Conference in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, has afforded me a unique opportunity get to know some old friends much better and to make many new friendships as well. Today Mark Rudolph gave a homily before I spoke in the morning conference session. He showed how the AMiA movement … Read More

The Anglican Mission

I am spresently speaking to the Anglican Mission and Ministry Conference, April 25-27, in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, held on the campus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Church planters, pastors, lay leaders and seminarians are spending three days together for fellowship, teaching and corporate prayer. This evening I began a series of three messages on Acts 3:19-21 regarding "times of refreshing sent … Read More

Dissatisfaction and Church Switching

A new study, conducted by Lifeway Research (SBC) looked at how and why people change churches in America. My own informal and anecdotal observations tell me that lots and lots of people are "switching churches" more and more often so this survey deeply interested me. I left the pastorate in 1992 and have been in three churches in fifteen years … Read More

Once Again, Being Born Again Means So Little

It seems that every poll we read these days just reveals even more clearly how totally shallow the spiritual formation of American evangelicalism really is. A new Barna Research Group poll asks for a favorability response for several well-known public figures. On the list are people like George Clooney, Katie Couric, Faith Hill, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Donald Trump, Oprah … Read More

The Long Process of Becoming a Missional Church

Trinity Presbyterian Church (PCA) is located in suburban Dallas. Begun some twenty years ago it is not a large church (about 300 attenders) but it has had an effective ministry in several important areas for two decades. John McCracken, a graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (PA) ’99, is the senior pastor. John is a Texan, who graduated from Baylor University, … Read More

A 24 Addiction?

I reported several weeks ago that friends convinced me that I needed to watch the popular television series 24, starring Keifer Sutherland as agent Jack Bauer. I think they figured I was much too serious for my own good and that this venture would add a little pop-cultural advancement to my life. Well, it worked. I am not addicted, or … Read More