This week, on his Storyline blog, Donald Miller announced that he doesn't attend church these days. Almost immediately, folks began to respond, citing the many Biblical, cultural, and historical reasons why Miller's post is problematic. Miller responded to these today, but his response doesn't add much to the conversation; he simply doubles down. I don't want to pile on to these criticisms, but instead wanted to come alongside them with a couple of additional observations.Read More
Phil Robertson's comments have distracted us all from Christmas, New Years, and the impending NFL Playoffs, all of which I see as a travesty. It's an interesting and multi-layered intersection of faith, culture, gotcha journalism, and the Deep South.
In the interest of moving on to other things, I thought I'd offer three (hopefully) short observations.Read More
Catching Fire, the second film in The Hunger Games trilogy, has set theater records, and like its predecessor, it's an impressive, gritty film. Suzanne Collins wrote a gripping series of young-adult novels, and the film adaptations have been well cast and well directed, especially the choice of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, the film's star and protagonist. Lawrence manages to easily embody both Katniss's tenacity and also her youthful ignorance at the high-stakes politics of her situation.Read More
Mike Cosper responds to the NCFIC panel video, which condemned Christian Hip Hop. Cosper argues that the panelists misunderstand creation, culture, and redemption.Read More
There’s a joke that inevitably follows my introduction to new people, especially pastors in large churches. “Herding cats,” they say. I laugh. It’s kind of true. I’m a pastor of worship and arts, which means I work with the church’s musicians to prepare for worship each week, and with visual artists in a variety of aspects of church life.Read More
Last week, a few days apart from one another, I came across two poems. The first, by former poet laureate Billy Collins, hints at many of the themes in the second, a much-shared video of Lily Myers reciting "Shrinking Women" at a poetry slam.
Myers' poem paints a picture of masculine dominance - how the men in her family are fearless about their presence, their desires, and their size, while the women are constantly shrinking back, both physically and socially.
Collins notes a woman cowering in the presence of an angry man, and wonders if this isn't why Amazon-like women who are discovered on foreign planets in sci-fi films are always so strong, so hostile, and so well-armored.Read More
In January, Crossway Books published Faithmapping: A Gospel Atlas for Your Spiritual Journey. In it, Daniel Montgomery and I unpack a vision for how the Whole Gospel creates a Whole Church on mission for the Whole World.
Lately, I’ve been reflecting more on our vision for the Whole Gospel – which, many will recognize – is a variation on the tri-perspectival view of the gospel articulated by John Frame and Tim Keller. (Indeed, in the introduction toFaithmapping, we make mention of the fact that we see ourselves as “Keller for Dummies.”) The Gospel can be seen in three aspects: The gospel of the Kingdom, the gospel of the Cross, and the gospel of grace. These three ideas are used interchangeably in the New Testament, each concept deepens and enriches the others.Read More
For several years, we’ve observed this day here at Sojourn, and it’s been one of the more meaningful worship services that I attend each year. We huddle in the dark pre-dawn, reading from the scriptures, singing laments, confessing our sins, and confronting death. We mark our foreheads with ashes, reminding one another, “From dust you were made, to dust you shall return.” It’s not a sacrament. It’s not any kind of magical hocus-pocus. It’s simply a regular, tactile, and solemn way to remember the looming reality of death as we prepare for the celebration of resurrection at Easter.Read More