People Say the Darndest Things

Part 2. People say the darndest things — sometimes to preachers. This continues a blog series on some of those things that have been said to me over the years. Here’s one: “I can be good without God.” On the surface, that sounds perfectly reasonable. There are plenty of atheists out there...

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People Say the Darndest Things

Part 1. People say the darndest things — sometimes to preachers. This begins a blog series on some of those things that have been said to me over the years. Here’s one: “I tried prayer, but it didn’t work.” Sitting squarely in the middle of this declaration is the belief that prayer is something purely utilitarian....

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National Week of Repentance Has Begun

The National Week of Repentance, launched by Pastor Michael Anthony, has begun. The movement’s website states that its purpose is to start “a revolution of humility and courage…the “only things that will overcome the arrogance and fear that have become so pervasive in our society.” The closing days of the National Week...

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Bad Theology

On the heels of Hurricane Harvey, Irma is chugging through the Caribbean, taking aim at Puerto Rico and perhaps hitting Florida this weekend. In the wake of this record-breaking hurricane, there will be 185 mph winds, catastrophic flooding – and bad theology. We heard it after Harvey. Huffpost contributor Christian...

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Dunkirk and the Power of Story

I recently caught Dunkirk, the Christopher Nolan movie that tells the story of the daring rescue of Allied soldiers in the early days of World War II. When Nazi Germany invaded France in May 1940, they began to push English, Belgian and French forces to the sea. The British Expeditionary Force made the decision...

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Recognizing the Idols in Your Life

Have you ever made love to the earth? Ecosexuals have. Founded by art professor and former prostitute Elizabeth Stephens and performance artist Annie Sprinkle, ecosexuality (also called sexecology) views the earth as a mate. The movement’s manifesto endorses  talking erotically to plants, admiring the planet’s curves and getting “pleasured by waterfalls.” Ecosexuals have hiked naked, kissed...

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Monopoly of Hope

It’s been a tough week. Three young men whom I knew — in their 20s and 30s — tragically died, all within days of each another. One took his life; another overdosed; the last passed away in his sleep. On Sunday morning, I showed up at the church where the first two men were active...

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Does the Mainline Church Have only 22 Easters to Go?

The mainline Protestant church doesn’t have much longer. At least, that’s the speculation of an April 28 article written by Ed Stetzer, who holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair at Wheaton College near Chicago. Stetzer cited a 2016 study from the General Social Survey, which has been tracking people who identify as Protestants with their church...

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In This Case, Pointing is not Rude

A young Indian man studying law in South Africa decided to attend church. Raised a Hindu, he became fascinated by the teachings of Christ and wanted to know more. One Sunday morning, as he climbed the steps of a local church, an usher rudely stopped him. “Where do you think you’re...

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