Review of Just Hospitality

Russell, Letty M.  Just Hospitality: God's Welcome in a World of Difference.  Westminster John Knox Press, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-66423315-0. (Note: Clarkson, J. Shannon and Ott, Kate M. are editors.) Meet the Author and Editors Letty Russell was an ordained Presbyterian (PCUSA) pastor, one of the world's foremost feminist theologians and a longtime member of the Yale Divinity School faculty.  She was among the first women ordained by the then United Presbyterian Church and was committed to Read More …

Review of GloboChrist

Raschke, Carl.  GloboChrist: The Great Commission Takes a Postmodern Turn.  Baker Academic, 2008.  ISBN: 9780801032615. Meet the Author Carl Raschke is professor and chair of the department of religious studies at the University of Denver and an adjunct faculty member at Mars Hill Graduate School.  He is an expert on postmodernism and Christianity,  the author of over twenty books, and a regular contributor to Church and Pomo and Rhizone .  Learn more about him by visiting his faculty Read More …

Review of Christianity and the Postmodern Turn

Penner, Myron B., ed.  Christianity and the Postmodern Turn.  Brazos Press, 2005.  ISBN: 1-58743-108-4. Meet the Editor and Chapter Authors Myron Penner, editor, is a professor of philosophy and theology at Prairie College and Graduate School. R. Douglas Geivett is a professor of philosophy at Biola University. R. Scott Smith is an associate professor of ethics at Biola University. Kevin J. Vanhoozer is a research professor of systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity Read More …

A Survey of Christian Teens

Rick Lawrence's Scratching Where Kids Itch ( Group, September-October 2009) reveals the results of Group's annual survey of Christian teenagers.  26,000 students participated in the survey as a part of their Group Workcamps mission experience.   This article reveals the first half of the data.  The second half will be published in the November-December issue.  Among the findings: Sometimes I really wish I had another adult in my life, besides my parents, who could help me grow in my Read More …

The Future Church – Less Formal

Looking into the Future: The Top 10 Changes for the American Church 9.    Less Formal Formal Informal Dress up in Sunday best to attend Come as you are (wear what you normally do) Formal titles used when known, especially for clergy and church leaders (i.e. The Rev. Dr.) Names not titles are normative Extensive worship guides/bulletins Limited or no print materials used in worship Positional leadership Functional leadership Join the club Participate in Read More …

Review of Bright-Sided

Release Date: October 2009. Ehrenreich, Barbara.  Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America. Metropolitan Books, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-8050-8749-4. Meet the Author Barbara Ehrenreich earned a Ph.D. in cell biology then decided to pursue a career of activism and writing.  She has written articles for many respected publications including Time,  New York Times, Mother Jones, The Atlantic Monthly.  Additionally, she has written 17 books including Read More …

Go Swimming (and Get Wet in the Process)

Tom Bandy, a church development guru and ecumenical pastor tells a story that is relevant to all believers: The retreat was being held in a lodge beside a lake. During the break, we all gathered on the beach to watch the kids play. One child was dressed in swimsuit, bathing hat, plastic flotation "duck", and snorkel. She kept running down to the edge of the water, dipping her feet into the lake, yelping, and running back to her towel. All the observers laughed heartily. Later during dinner at Read More …

The Future Church – Less Real Estate

Looking into the Future: The Top 10 Changes for the American Church 10.    Less Real Estate Over the past fifty years, churches have sought to acquire more land and build more buildings as a growth strategy.  For the average church, excepting office space and school space, most of the square feet within their campuses are used only a few hours a week.  The cost to maintain these large campuses is significant.  Any honest consideration of human resource (custodial and administrative), Read More …

Review of Deliberate Simplicity

Browning, Dave.  Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less.  Zondervan, 2009.  ISBN: 978-0-310-28567-0. Meet the Author Dave Browning is a visionary minimalist and the founder of Christ the King Community Church, International (CTK).  CTK is a non-denominational, multi-location church that has been noted as one of the "fastest growing" and "most innovative" churches in America.  Deliberate Simplicity is his first book.  To learn more, read his blog or visit his Read More …

Review of Rediscovering New Testament Prayer

Koenig, John.  Rediscovering New Testament Prayer: Boldness and Blessing in the Name of Jesus.  Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1992. Meet the Author Koenig began in ministry in the Lutheran (LCA/ELCA) church as a  pastor for twenty years before becoming an Episcopal priest in 1993.  Since 1978, he has been on faculty at General Seminary, where he is currently Professor of New Testament.   He has written six books all in the broad area of biblical theology and practice.  They include: New Read More …