Embracing New Perspectives

My wife and I have been homeowners as long as we have been a couple with a small gap between the sale of one home and purchase of another years ago.  Normal for us has been owning one home, except for temporarily owning two while in the process of relocating.  When the housing bubble burst and our primary residence was so far underwater we could no longer see the surface, we chose to buy then to buy again in hopes that when the market started to rise again we could sell all three properties for Read More …

Back to Our Jesus-Roots

John Dominic Crossan is among those who have shaped and continue to shape my understanding of who Jesus was and why that matters for me as one who seeks to earnestly follow the Way of Jesus.  His two most recent books have each made my top books of the year in the year they were published: The Power of Parable: How Fiction by Jesus Became Fiction About Jesus (2012 Top Books List) and The Greatest Prayer Ever: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord’s Prayer (2010 Top Books List).  I Read More …

A Unique Valentine’s Weekend

Back in the summer of 2012, I invited Diana Butler Bass to spend some time at Naples United Church of Christ in February 2014.  After eighteen months of planning by a great team, we are now ready for an unforgettable Valentine's Day and weekend. In the News Yesterday, the Collier Citizen ran an article by Mollie Page.  Page interviewed Butler Bass about our event.  Page writes: She’s a voice for theological sanity in an uncertain world. Religious historian Diana Butler Bass is coming to Read More …

Radical Hospitality Isn’t Enough

Scott Benhase, Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia, recently wrote that radical hospitality alone is no longer adequate.  In his understanding, the theology most commonly undergirding radical hospitality is such that it supposes something of a "law of attraction" wherein "if we’re just open and welcoming enough people will naturally be attracted to us and want to come and join our churches."  In reality, the number of people who are attracted continues to dwindle thereby rendering it Read More …

Thinking Theologically – Social Media

It is important that Christian leaders understand and engage in social media.  This activity must include both learning about new social media tools and theological reflection.  Since finding the balance between these two is difficult, many have given inadequate attention to the theological component. Verity A. Jones,  project director of the New Media Project and a Research Fellow at Union Theological Seminary, recently wrote an article that should be required reading for every pastor and Read More …

Reorganizing Denominations

In the "Under Discussion" column in the June edition of Christianity Today, six evangelical leaders responded to the question "Should denominations be organized geographically?"  Their responses follow: Yes: Carl Trueman and Greg Peters Between Yes and No: Bob Thompson and R. Albert Mohler Jr. No: Will Willimon and Paul Detterman (p.12). So What? I often write about the future of denominations on this blog.  The only thing about which I am certain is that the future will look Read More …

Review of Gathering Those Driven Away

Meet the Author Wendy Farley is professor in the Department of Religion at Emory University with "teaching and research interests (that) include women theologians, religious dialogue, classical texts, contemporary ethical issues, and contemplative practices." She is the author of four books including Gathering Those Driven Away: A Theology of Incarnation (2011) and The Wounding and Healing of Desire: Weaving Heaven and Earth (2005). Book Basics Gathering Those Driven Away is a Read More …

Review of Cathedral of the World

Meet the Author Forrest Church (1948-2009) wrote or edited more than two dozen books and served for three decades as the minister of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City, which grew to be among the largest congregations affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association.  Church received the FDR Four Freedoms Award from the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Foundation (2008) and the Art Buchwald Spirit Award from the National Hospice Foundation (2009).  His mantra for living Read More …

Review of The Triumph of Christianity

Meet the Author Since 2004, Rodney Stark has been a University Professor in Social Sciences and the Co-Director of the Institute of Studies of Religion at Baylor University.  Stark is an American sociologist of religion who previously taught for over thirty years at the University of Washington.  He has published 30 books and more than 140 scholarly articles, mostly on religion.  One of his recent books, What Americans Really Believe (2008), has been reviewed on this blog (click here to read Read More …

A Survey About my Theological Studies

Yesterday I received an e-mail request to complete an Alumni Survey.  The survey, sent by the university from which I received my doctoral degree, is a standard instrument provided by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).  The survey included a significant number of questions related to the usefulness of coursework for my current position and my overall experience.   Since I now work full-time in higher education, I found many of the questions intriguing, especially those about theology Read More …