(above: demolition of a large Catholic church in Montreal) Over the last two weeks I have witnessed some powerful perspectives in the church… in Montreal… in our modern times. I’ve sat in on meetings with the Anglican Diocese of Montreal, Visited a Catholic community meeting in the basement of building they had to sell, Participated […]Read More The Church and flourishing among the perishing
It is an image etched into my mind. The preacher finishes preaching. He calls the song leaders to the front of the church and we all stand up. He invites… he beckons with his hands… and ultimately he pleads us to come. Where? To slip out of our seat and down to an altar in […]Read More Two Altars
There is a deep powerful idea at work in the church today. It responds to the question: Why did Jesus die and how does it relate to us? The answer might surprise you. This idea is called Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theory. In short, it says that Jesus died on the cross as a punishment (penal) […]Read More Did Jesus die because God was mad?
I’ve been sabotaged. As I near the end of my 30s, I’m realizing that my tactics for saying “no” are less and less effective. First, my four sons are growing older and my boundaries and authority are wearing thin. And, I want them to develop a healthy sense of autonomy too. But now others are […]Read More Could you say “no” less, and say “yes” more?
From a sermon given February 2015 at St. Peter’s Anglican Church Readings Gen 9:8–17 (Covenant with Noah); Ps 25:1–9 (In you, Lord my God, I put my trust); 1 Peter 3:18–22 (Christ brings us to God); Mk 4:35-41 (Jesus calms the storm) Introduction Dick Keyes, in his book Seeing Through Cynicism, illustrates cynicism by way […]Read More Bending Cynicism into Hope
Do you love yourself… for the sake of others? Do you love yourself… for the sake of God? Around 900 years ago, a French abbot asked exactly that. And, it still makes sense today. Bernard was twenty-two when he walked into the monastery of Cîteaux in Dijon, France. Three years later, he would help establish […]Read More Go on and love yourself for God’s sake!
Last week many Christians were offended when the president, at the National Prayer Breakfast, compared Muslim violence to historic Christian violence, namely the Crusades, the Inquisition, and Jim Crow laws. Many pointed out the connection (or disconnection) between core Christian commitments and actions, ergo violence done in the name of Christianity can hardly be considered […]Read More The Speck in the President’s Eye
Last week I participated in the 2015 Midwinter ministers’ conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church. During the day, I took part in a Covenant History course, required for my ordination in the Covenant. This week I had to write a reflection paper on my class experience, so I thought I would share it on my […]Read More The Evangelical Covenant Church: What They Get Right and Why
I will never forget that cold winter Saturday in 2006. I got up early to attend a quarterly district meeting of Free Will Baptists in Northeastern Ohio. I wasn’t expecting much. Conference meetings were generally poorly attended and unexciting. Even more, a late night storm had left a thick blanket of snow on the roadways. […]Read More Hunger for God and Mission
I recently wrote, “Seven Things Christians Can Do in 2015… Besides Go to Church,” because many people go to church but are not practicing basic disciplines outside of church. Check it out. However, there are also those who self-identify as Christian, but do not go to church. If you are a stay-at-home Christian, here are […]Read More 4 things stay-at-home Christians missed in 2014…