An Update on My 2017 Religious Resolutions

In November of 2016, I established 5 religious goals for the 2017 church year (Advent 2016 until the arrival of Advent 2017).  Four months later I shared my progress.  With Advent now just 14 weeks away, I offer a final check-in. Original Goals During this church year I resolve to Join (and be actively involved in) a local community of faith Labor to make real on earth God’s realm of justice and peace Write about matters of faith that matter (primarily here on this Read More …

Churches Should Stop Saying ______

A few days ago a colleague shared an article with me titled "Ten Things Churches Should Stop Saying." Written by Paul Miller - Support Minister for Waterloo Presbytery of the United Church of Canada - the piece lists 10 problematic statements that are frequently used in church life followed by a positive response to each. Overcoming this often pervasive form of negativity is key to building a healthy congregational culture.  Toward that end, I share two items from Miller's list before Read More …

The Hardest Part of Being a Christian

Being a student is often a way of life. At times, it can be hard work.  Some courses are especially challenging. A few days ago I asked my Facebook friends to share the most challenging and/or difficult course they had ever taken.   In less than 24 hours, 60 people had named a course.  The most popular challenging courses were those in science, mathematics, and languages. Science - 12 responses (top course: chemistry) Mathematics - 18 responses (top course: statistics) Languages - 11 Read More …

Be Who You Are

Who are you? Sibling Parent Spouse Neighbor Friend How do you introduce yourself to others when you have only a brief time to do so? Do you begin with one or more of the above or jump right to sharing your name and your primary professional role? Human Being Today, many people spend so much of their time working in a role that they forget they are separate from that role and also more than that role.  Christian filmmaker Phil Cooke recently warned his readers not to find Read More …

My Milestone Birthday Experience

Age is just a number Another year old, another year wiser You don't look your age Celebrating a Milestone Birthday The three expressions above were all shared with me earlier this month on the occasion of me letting the world know I was celebrating a milestone birthday.  Upon hearing the final remark I wondered if the person imagined I looked much older or much younger than my age (if she was even aware of the age I had achieved). According to popular wisdom I have not yet reached Read More …

Less & Less of the Old Testament?

Earlier this month Yonat Shimron's Religion News Service article "Is the Old Testament Dying?" captured my attention. Put differently: Is the First Testament losing importance for those who follow the Way of Jesus? Do Christians have far greater biblical literacy in the Christian Scriptures than in the Hebrew Scriptures? Less & Less? Shimron's article answers the initial and repackaged questions affirmatively based on a new book by Brent Strawn titled The Old Testament Is Read More …

Water is Life

I grew up taking water for granted.  Wherever my little feet took me, water flowed freely whenever I turned on a faucet. It was always there when I was thirsty.   It was a given for bathing and toileting.  It filled pools and lakes and oceans providing endless options for summer fun. Water was everywhere. Water was always there. Water is More and Less Of course, water was, is and always will be far more and far less than my childhood memories. It is more as it signals the arrival Read More …

Americans Like but Don’t Read the Bible

Last week LifeWay Research released the results of their latest poll of Americans' thoughts about and readership of the Bible.  It turns out that overall Americans continue to hold this sacred text in high regard even as readership rates and biblical literacy decline. Previous research by the American Bible Society found that at least one Bible is present in 87% of American homes.  Also, more than 75% of American homes have an Internet connection they could use to access the Bible online. Read More …

Being American, Being Christian?

  Does Believing in God Make You a Better American? This question is the title of a recent article by Kelsey Dallas that addresses how many Americans feel about what the role of Christianity should be in shaping the American experience. While most readers can and will quickly answer the question, it is important to also be aware of how other Americans have answered it in recent years. 4 out of 10 think a culture grounded in Christianity is an extremely or very important piece Read More …