Experiential Intimacy

Phyllis Tickle's latest book, “The Age of the Spirit: How the Ghost of an Ancient Controversy is Shaping the Church,” is near the top of my stack of books I hope to read soon.  In a recent interview about this book with Jonathan Merritt, Tickle shared that the trend is toward a "greater experiential intimacy" with the Holy Spirit.  Tickle says: Additionally, we’re seeing a need to experience the Spirit everyday and a belief in the accessibility of the Spirit. Most Christians 100 years ago would Read More …

Review of What We Talk About When We Talk About God

Meet the Author Rob Bell is the Founding Pastor and Pastor Emeritus of Mars Hill Bible Church (est. 1999), a congregation that grew to over 10,000 under his leadership.  While attracting a young audience to the church, his message reached a far wider audience through a series of two dozen thought provoking brief (10-14 minutes per DVD) NOOMA videos (2002-2009).  Bell's previous books include The New York Times bestseller Love Wins, along with Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Read More …

Future Church – More About Deeds

Church v.2020 - Ten Changes: #1  More About Deeds – Less About Creeds When compared with the American church of 2012, the future church (v.2020) will be more about deeds and less about creeds. "Religious" experiences will be valued over "religious" information, especially among younger generations and those of all ages who self-identify as postmodern. Orthopraxy (correct actions) will precede (more about beginning by belonging rather than believing was explored in the #5 change for the Read More …

Review of Existential Reasons for Belief in God

Meet the Author Clifford Williams is professor of philosophy at Trinity International University's Trinity College and serves as chair of the philosophy department.  His areas of expertise within the field of philosophy include free will and determinism, religious dividedness, philosophy of time, and philosophy of love and friendship.  Williams' recent books include Existential Reasons for Belief in God: A Defense of Desires & Emotions for Faith (2011), The Divided Soul: A Kierkegaardian 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 …

Review of Missional: Joining God in the Neighborhood

Alan J. Roxburgh.  Missional: Joining God in the Neighborhood.  Baker Books, 2011. ISBN: 780801072314. Meet the Author Alan J. Roxburgh is the President of the Missional Network (formerly Roxburgh Missional Network), which is "committed to resourcing missional leaders with the best training, consulting and hands-on resources for innovating missional life in local congregations and communities of faith."  Previously he served in pastoral ministry for over twenty-five years.  Roxburgh is a Read More …

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 …

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 …

The Church of 2010

The Barna Group just released a list of six megathemes that characterize the American church in 2010.  The list was created by "analyzing insights drawn from more than 5,000 non-proprietary interviews conducted over the past 11 months." The Christian Church is becoming less theologically literate. Christians are becoming more ingrown and less outreach-oriented. Growing numbers of people are less interested in spiritual principles and more desirous of learning pragmatic solutions for Read More …

Review of Saving Jesus from the Church

Robin R. Meyers.  Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus.  HarperOne: 2009.  ISBN: 9780061568213. Meet the Author Since 1985, Robin R. Meyers has served as the Senior Minister of the 750 member Mayflower Congregational Church in Oklahoma City, which has been recognized as the fastest growing  United Church of Christ congregation in the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference.  In addition, he serves as a tenured professor of rhetoric in the Department of Read More …