Monthly Archives: December 2010


Some of Roger Nicole’s Last Written Words

Alan Johnson, my former professor and good friend, sent me an email a few weeks ago that I want to share with you. This email is related to my post of yesterday regarding the book, How I Changed My Mind About Women in Leadership (October, 2010).

Alan wrote to all twenty-one contributors to this book, minus one, the following note:

roger-nicole-2 An unusual thing happened yesterday. I had informed all of you about Roger Nicole's death [1915-2010] with bittersweet thoughts a few days ago. Roger died on Saturday, December 11, 2010.

Yesterday, I received in the mail a beautifully handwritten letter from Roger that was written to me on November 22 but was sent to our old address (we moved in early September) and for some reason was delayed in reaching me.  I am attaching a typed copy of his letter so that you might know how great a gift your book was to him just before the end of his mortal life. I hope it will be a blessing

By |December 31st, 2010|Categories: Books, Feminism & Women, Personal|

How I Changed My Mind About Women in Leadership

Women Leadership When my former Wheaton College professor, Dr Alan Johnson, asked me to tell my personal story of how my mind was changed about women in leadership I hesitated at first. I did not want to take any emphasis away from missional-ecumenism by turning toward a new “hot button” issue that would give people more reasons to not deal with my big idea about the church and her mission. Contrary to the opinion of some I do not relish new controversies. But I do feel compelled to be honest about how I’ve thought through an issue when the right time comes to tell my story. After some prayer I sensed that this was the right time and context in which to tell this part of my story in 2010.

In late October the new book How I Changed My Mind About Women in Leadership: Compelling Stories from Prominent Evangelicals (Zondervan) was released. Dr. Johnson is the general editor of this lovely book. Dallas Willard writes a

By |December 31st, 2010|Categories: Books, Feminism & Women, Personal|

Can You Say Roll Tide?

If you are an Alabama football fan then you know the universal password is: “Roll Tide.” Or, in the longer form, “Roll Tide, Roll” or in texting simply RTR. I had at least a half dozens friends tell me about this new ESPN commercial this week. Somehow I had missed it but I found it online this weekend. Here it is for your enjoyment, college football fan or not. I guess you have to know the culture to really appreciate the commercial. As fans get ready for the big game in the next few days this is indeed a funny clip.

For some Alabama fans there is even a crimson shirt that says: "Roll Ducks, Roll." You will not get that one unless you understand the nature of THE rivalry between Alabama and Auburn. There are some great games the next ten days or so. Roll Tide!

By |December 30th, 2010|Categories: College Football|

My Plans for Writing in 2011

As I mentioned yesterday a major part of my role with ACT 3 is research and writing. I will spend anywhere from 4-7 hours a day on reading and writing. This includes blogs, the ACT 3 Weekly (which you can get by free subscription at and reviews and articles for other ministries, books and periodicals. But the major effort is always writing and publishing books. Several of the ACT 3 Weekly series in 2010 are being considered for book use in 2011.

031032114X_yourchurch_front The most important book question, for the past year, has been this: “What follows the publication of Your Church Is Too Small?” I would have answered, until recently, that I thought it was a book on how the Trinity impacts missional-ecumenism. This is still a book I hope to write. But recently my sense of God’s direction took a new turn in a direction that I did not see coming at all.

Right now I plan to write a narrative memoir. (This is a popular

By |December 29th, 2010|Categories: ACT 3, Personal|

2011: The Year Ahead for ACT 3

James, most likely the half-brother of Jesus, wrote in the general epistle attributed to him:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money.” Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, commits sin (NRSV, James 4:13-17).

The writer of Proverbs says our minds plan our ways but the Lord directs our steps. So it is whenever we talk about a year ahead. With this firmly planted in my heart I proceed to share something of the vision we have for ACT 3 in 2011. (There is also a special “Year-End Report” available on our web site that I encourage you to read as well:

By |December 28th, 2010|Categories: Personal|

The Year in Review

100_0104 I want to share a few personal things at the end of 2010. Today I want to look back over 2010 and then tomorrow take a glance forward, by faith, toward the year 2011 ahead.

“Human beings are born to trouble just as sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7).  Each year has its troubles and as we age these become more directly related to our decaying bodies. My health, at least in terms of the challenges that threaten one’s life, has been very good. I never take this for granted, especially since I know good health is here today and gone tomorrow. I see it as a stewardship, an investment from God that allows me to serve him with the gifts that I have as long as I have the strength to use them. When the time comes, and it may come at any moment, that I lose this then I will accept that as his purpose. Until then I do what I can to protect my health so

By |December 27th, 2010|Categories: ACT 3, Personal|

Thank You For Forty Years

Forty years ago, on December 26, 1970, I married the person who has singularly done more to “raise me up” than any other individual. My wife/partner/dearest friend Anita brings such abiding joy to my life that I can’t even begin to express my gratitude to her or to adequately praise and honor her before my friends and acquaintances. There is so much that I could tell you about her that I can’t even really begin. She makes people laugh, she makes so many people know that they are loved and she is a great mother and grandmother. She encourages me, often when I am weak and need a good deal of raising up. My life has been far more rich and full because of my dear wife. When I saw this video I thought of her. Enjoy it everyone and think about those who “raise you up” this day as I celebrate my 40th anniversary with my bride today.




By |December 26th, 2010|Categories: Marriage & Family, Personal|

A Merry Digital Christmas

This is pretty clever. I sometimes have to smile at the creativity of people who make You Tube clips like this one. Enjoy and do, everyone who visits this blog now and then, have a Merry Christmas this day.

By |December 25th, 2010|Categories: Christ/Christology, Web/Tech|

Sacred Sexuality and Friendship

Author Dan Brennan believes that friendship love between a man and a woman is poised to become a receptive love that can coexist with marriage and not become a rival to it. I doubt that few conservative pastors or marriage and family writers in America agree with him. His thesis is simple, but clearly provocative: cross-sex friendship love is a journey toward communion with God through life with others. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s classic little book, Life Together, comes to mind here!)

7153_1_ftc_dp Put another way Dan Brennan is saying that men and women, in the new creation, are not limited to stark contrasts between romantic passion in marriage or inappropriate sexual expressions beyond marriage that lead to infidelity. Most conservative Christians that I know really do believe these are the only two real options in cross-gendered relationships. Passion in friendship is for marriage and if pursued anywhere else will lead to sexual unchastity.

I have recently been watching an A & E series titled: “God or the Girl?” This series

By |December 24th, 2010|Categories: Friendship, Marriage & Family, Sexuality|

Aren’t You Playing with Fire?

When Dan Brennan began to explore his view of human sexuality and cross-gender friendships his pastor implored him to be extremely careful. His counsel was simple: “Dan, you’re playing with fire! Men and women are hard-wired for sexual union when they enjoy intimacy with each other” (21). To be honest this is exactly what I would have said before reading Dan’s book carefully. I do believe men and women must be wise, careful and respect the power of sexual attraction in a proper, mature way.

Brennan’s pastor went on to say, “The exceptions are familial intimacy, such as a close bond between mother and son, or brother and sister. Look at Genesis one and two; it’s all there. Dan, look at Scripture. Men and women are designed to experience intimacy and are wired to be one flesh” (21).

If you’ve ever counseled people in marriages where sexual sin has destroyed the bond you know why Dan’s pastor counseled him in the way he did. But is this counsel completely right? Is this the best way to avoid sin and build deep communion with God? Are we not going

By |December 23rd, 2010|Categories: Friendship, Marriage & Family, Sexuality|

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