Review of Open Source Gospel

Landon Whitsitt. Open Source Gospel: Ten Commandments for the Future of the Christian Faith.  E-book, 2010.  Available online at http://landonwhitsitt.com/open-source-gospel/ Meet the Author Landon Whitsitt is an ordained Presbyterian (PCUSA) pastor who serves as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Liberty, Missouri, and as the Vice-Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), which is the second highest elected official in the 2.3 million member denomination. Read More …

Christian Unity: What Are You Willing to Let Go Of?

January 18-25 was  the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  This annual event utilized  resources sponsored jointly by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity of the Roman Catholic Church.  This year's theme was selected by a group of Christian leaders from Jerusalem and is based on Acts 2:42: “One in the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer. ” The Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Read More …

A Prayer for Christian Unity

Modernity provided an ideal framework for denominational growth (we now count denominations by the tens of thousands). I am hopeful that postmodernity will provide an opportunity to move from fragmentation toward unity.  There are encouraging signs all around from the way postmoderns engage one another and experience religion to the reform underway or being discussed by multiple denominations. So What? A Prayer for Christian Unity God of Many Names, may this new era we are naming Read More …

Could the End Be Near for Denominational Universities?

Bobby Ross Jr. wrote an article for the January edition of Christianity Today in which he offers evidence that the era of denominational universities has past or soon will.  He begins with these words: Faith-based universities with historically strong denominational ties - Nazarene, Mennonite, and Southern Baptist schools among them - are enrolling fewer students from within their own ranks. He provides several examples including: A decline from 70 to 53% of students enrolling in the 18 Read More …

Review of One.Life

Scot McKnight.  One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow.  Zondervan, 2010.  ISBN: 9780310277668. Meet the Author Scot McKnight is professor of religious studies at Northpark University.  He is a leading authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus.  McKnight has written over 20 books including The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others (read how this book has influenced me), Fasting (read my review), The Real Mary: Why Evangelicals Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus Read More …

Catholics to Recognize Protestant Baptisms

After working for the last six years on a means to provide mutual recognition of baptism with several Reformed Protestant denominations, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops voted in favor of the measure at their annual Fall General Assembly.  While similar agreements have been reached in other countries, this is the first of its kind in the United States. According to Religion News Service, Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, chairman of the ecumenical and interfaith committee Read More …

Lessons I am Learning

For those in liturgical congregations, this Sunday’s celebration of the reign of Christ will mark the end of the church year.  Next Sunday, November 28, we will begin a new year with the season of Advent.  As we near the end of this year, I have been reflecting on my journey of faith over the past twelve months.  Three experiences have played critical roles in informing and continually reforming my faith: Exploring Experience: After serving five congregations in lay or pastoral Read More …

Review of Unlearning Protestantism

Schlabach, Gerald W.  Unlearning Protestantism: Sustaining Christian Community in an Unstable Age.  Brazos Books, 2010.  ISBN: 9781587431111. Meet the Author Gerald W. Schlabach is an associate professor of theology and director of the Justice and Peace Studies program at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.  He is the founder and currently serves as the executive director of Bridgefolk, which is a movement of Mennonites and Roman Catholics who come together to explore each other's Read More …

My Response to Anne Rice

Anne Rice Quits Christianity As the days pass since Anne Rice wrote of her decision to “quit being a Christian” I have returned to her words on several occasions.  Her words are those of a follower of Christ who cannot fathom why the church she thought she knew and loved has become an institution more focused on being against issues rather than for Christ.  Rice’s pain and frustration have led her to walk away and to distance herself from the body of Christ. Today I quit being a Christian. Read More …