Leaving Your Denomination

Recently, the United Methodist Church has been in the media spotlight over the departure of clergy.  Most such publicity has focused on those who have chosen to perform same-sex weddings despite the denominations official position prohibiting such.  While such acts are likely to continue to attract attention and may ultimately help lead to reform, the denomination's position on who clergy may marry is not the only reason clergy are leaving the denomination. Jack Kale, pastor of the Central Read More …

Spong on Seminaries

John Shelby Spong served as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark for 24 years before his retirement in 2001.  In retirement, he has been a prolific writer and speaker.   After teaching a weeklong intensive course at the Pacific School of Theology, he reflected on how that school has changed to more effectively meet the demands of preparing people for ministry in the early twenty-first century.  He is hopeful that this institution's current intentions will serve its students well and may Read More …

Review of A Faith of Our Own

Meet the Author Jonathan Merritt launched his career while still in seminary when he organized a group of leaders concerned with creation care, and founded the Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative.  He earned a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Master of Theology from Emory University. Merritt writes and speaks about a wide range of issues related to faith and culture.  He has published over 300 articles and written two books: Green Like Read More …

Different by Design

Yesterday I realized that I had not upgraded to the newest release of Mozilla Firefox.  On the upgrade page, I found a video that everyone should see (whether or not you ever have used or will use this browser).  It is, without qualification, the best video I have seen in 2012.   So What? Imagine if the idea captured within this video were to be applied to your local congregation.  I transcribed the video, then gave the words a makeover for a new audience.  I relied heavily on Read More …

Is Christianity on a Path Toward Extinction?

John Shelby Spong served as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark for 24 years before his retirement in 2001.  In retirement, he has been a prolific writer and speaker.   He concluded a recent essay outlining his thoughts on the future of Christianity with these words: The problems facing institutional Christianity today in the Western world cannot be addressed by tinkering around the edges of our theological formularies or structures . . . We are not today in a temporary status of watching 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 …

One Big Step for the PCUSA – Many Opinions

After many years of debate and movement toward change, this denomination has now reached the point at which it is certain that effective July 10, 2011, "a person in a same gender relationship can be considered for ordination as deacon, elder, or Minister of the Word and Sacrament."  This news comes after many years of discussion and attempted change. So What? I grew up in a Presbyterian (PCUSA) congregation.  It was at First Presbyterian Church in Arlington, TX that I was confirmed, sensed Read More …