What is Faith?

Each year Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams commissions a book for those in his fellowship, the Anglican Communion, to read during lent.  Ruth Barrows, known as Sister Rachel in her Carmelite Community, was commissioned for the 2012 book. The April 4, 2012 edition of the Christian Century includes an interview of  Barrows by Amy Frykholm. Q: What is faith? What does it mean to have it or to lack it? A: Faith is a profound mystery that we can never adequately explain.  It is an Read More …

High School Ministry – Defining Success

Lutheran (ELCA) pastor Rich Melheim is the founder and chief creative officer of Faith Inkubators, which he describes as "a Christian education systems design think tank and resource provider dedicated to incubating faith every night in every home."  In the February 22, 2012 edition of the Christian Century, he answered several questions regarding faith formation as a family matter, including one about high school youth ministry. Q: How do you define a successful church program for high Read More …

Viewing the Bible as Holy

M. Craig Barnes is the Robert Meneilly Professor of Pastoral Ministry at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and the Pastor of Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, PA.  His "Faith Matters" article in the December 13, 2011 edition of the Christian Century explores how his view of the Bible developed over time.  It includes these words: The more I understand about the Bible's dust-and-grit humanity, the more holy it becomes to me.  Long after I'd left behind my father's theory of the Read More …

The Gospel in 7 Words or Less

The Christian Century recently asked several significant Christians to provide their take on the Gospel in seven words or less.  Martin E. Marty, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the History of Modern Christianity in the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, responded as follows: " God, through Jesus Christ, welcomes you anyhow." So What? If you were given just seven words (or less), how would you answer the question: "What's the gospel?" Read More …

The Biggest Question About Social Media

Steve Thorngate, assistant editor of the Christian Century, recently wrote these words:  The biggest question about social media and the church is not how the church can harness the power of social media for good ends while safeguarding against bad ones (useful as such discussions may be). It's how social media is changing what it means to be church. So What? It is important to understand what it means to be church in America today.  More specifically, church leaders should understand what Read More …

Imagine an Institution

A short illustration, posted on April 20 by Jerry Bowyer on the forbes.com blog, was printed in the May 31, 2011 edition of the Christian Century: Imagine an institution that requires its leaders to attend not only college, but graduate school.  Imagine that the graduate school in question is constitutionally forbidden from receiving any form of government aid, that it typically requires three years of full-time schooling for the diploma, that the nature of the schooling bears almost no Read More …

Learning from Gen Y: Thoughts of a New Reformation

Bradley N. Hill, a minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church, recently wrote an article for the Christian Century suggesting that the way most churches operate (an attractional model) will never effectively engage Generation Y (those he characterizes as being born between 1976 and 2000) for many reasons including: . . . advertisement is just part of the background white noise of our culture. No impersonal website or advertisement, no program or event flyer, poster or radio spot will entice Read More …

No More Interim Pastors?

The Author Anthony Robinson is an ordained United Church of Christ pastor who currently serves as President of Congregational Leadership Northwest.  He travels throughout North America as a speaker, teacher, preacher, consultant and coach serving congregations and their leaders. Robinson has taught at several schools including Toronto School of Theology, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle University, and Vancouver School of Theology.  He is the author of nine books, including Changing the Read More …

Doritos for Eucharist Super Bowl Ad Has Been Sidelined

Doritos and Pepsi MAX received more than 5,600 submissions for this year's edition of their Crash the Super Bowl contest, which started in 2007.  The field has now been narrowed to a group of finalists and interested parties are now invited to vote for their favorite.   Interestingly, one popular option, Feed the Flock, isn't included on the list and has been removed from the contest because it created considerable controversy.  Submitted by Media Wave Productions this ad is described in detail Read More …