One Hit From Home: My Bit Role in a Film

I mentioned to a few of you late last year that two good friends asked me to play the role of a minister in a movie they were making. Most of you know how much I love movies and film-making. I have led seminars and discussion with Christians in the industry and now get to have a small role in … Read More

Illustrations of Missional-Ecumenism at Work

When I wrote Your Church Is Too Small I wanted to make sure the reader got some sense of what missional-ecumenism actually looks like in practice. While this vision is fresh it is not new. Churches, ministerial association, missions and leaders of all types have come together to experience and practice this vision of the church in mission. I devote … Read More

Little Town of Bethlehem

Opinions range from one extreme to the other on how to find “peace in the Middle East.” Many Christians actually think peace is impossible since the great prophetic clock is ticking down day-by-day to the return of Christ. Others, especially among some liberal critics, think the single solution is for Israel to stop its unjust practices and cease to be … Read More

A Common Mistake Made in the Pursuit of Holiness

Popular Catholic author Fr. Joseph F. Girzone, in his first non-fiction book Never Alone (1994,) wrote: The mistake many people make when they start trying to be holy is they multiply religious practices and burden themselves with a host of activities, attending endless religious services, thinking that the more good things they do, the more spiritual they will become. Spirituality … Read More

The Iron Bowl

Only big-time college football fans understand rivalry games. People in Ohio and Michigan, at least a lot of them, understand Ohio State vs. Michigan in their annual battle. Texas and Texas A & M fans understand the same. So do those who went to West Point and Annapolis when Army plays Navy. But no game has more emotion, more lasting … Read More


Today millions of Americans celebrate what we call Thanksgiving Day. My friend Steve Brown wrote in his recent Key Life publication that he’s a little bothered by devoting one day to this or that. “It’s as if the point is: You are a dolt and can’t pull this off all the time, but try hard for just one day.” He … Read More

The Sermon on the Mount: Indicative or Imperative?

One of those oft discussed books which has enough weight about it to remain important twenty years after publication is Resident Aliens, by Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon. Even if you have read it I encourage you to read it again. It is that kind of book. I do not share the neo-Anabaptist vision of the authors yet a great … Read More

A Visit to Grand Rapids: Acton on Tap & Calvin Seminary

I will be in West Michigan November 29-December 1. I will  speak at several different venues as well as meet with the staff of several organizations. There are two public events. The first, and most accessible to most of our friends, will be Acton on Tap. This meeting takes place Wednesday evening, December 1. There is information available at Acton … Read More

How Are Unity and Mission Related?

In my book, Your Church Is Too Small, I make a link between unity and mission based upon John 13:34-35; 17:20-23 and 20:21. It is clear that the unity Jesus prayed for in John 17 was intended to lead the world to understand that the Father had sent the Son (17:21). My discovery of this principle was rather simple but … Read More

The Passing of the Peace

When I began to understand ancient liturgical practice some years ago one of the more beautiful discoveries was “The Passing of the Peace.” I had never heard the term until I was introduced to the practice in a liturgical context. Like everything else I encounter in the practice of worship I wanted to know what this term really meant and … Read More