Hopes and fears from Collegeville

A post from the Collegeville Institute, Summer Writing Program: Theology in the Real World with Kathleen Norris “What are our hopes and fears for the week?” Kathleen asks us Sunday night as the shadows fall and the mosquitoes fly. “Write them down. We’ll share them in the morning.” Fears? Fear are easy. Anxiety is one […]

5 Reasons to Stop Calling Things ‘God’s Plan’

Topping the list of the most annoying and least helpful excuses ever is the phrase, “It was God’s plan.” George Zimmerman, a Florida neighborhood watch member charged with the murder of Trayvon Martin, used it this week in an interview with Sean Hannity. Here’s five reasons to stop throwing around the phrase, “It was God’s plan.”

Douthat & Bass: Asking the Wrong Question?

Arguing over why denominations are in decline is plenty fine for Sunday morning breakfast reading, but what most of us care about — especially, what young adults not connected to the church care about — is how they can see Jesus’ in the life and work of a faith community.

Review: Keeping the Faith in Seminary, Ellie Roscher ed.

I know of plenty books that tell you how to get into medical school, how to study for the LSAT, or how to thrive in business school, but books on seminary education are pretty rare indeed. Keeping the Faith in Seminary not only fills a gap in for anyone interested in what seminary is like […]

On Apple Stores & Congregational Welcome

Apple is not God, but the company pretty darn good at creation (design), evangelism (marketing), and worship (sales). Author Carmine Gallo who devoted a year to researching the Apple store experience writes that, by design, all laptop screens in the stores are tilted to 70 degrees. Why? So customers have to adjust them. The angle […]

Theological Doctrines, Plain Speech, & the Public Square

What basic Christian tenet, doctrine, or word have you struggled to “translate” into plain speech? That question is part of an essay prompt I’m considering for a July writing workshop with Kathleen Norris at the Collegeville Institute at St. John’s Abbey and University in Minnesota. Can you help me think out loud on this one? […]

“Click 2 Save: The Digital Ministry Bible,” A Review

Though doing so makes me a bit bashful as I’m featured in it, I would like to review Click 2 Save: The Digital Ministry Bible by Elizabeth Drescher and Keith Anderson (both Twitter and Facebook friends whom I’ve never met in real life. Yet.) In short: it’s a darn good book. Unless you have a […]

Reaching Out to Young Adults Will Screw Up Your Church

While many churches say “we want young people” they don’t really. If young adults actually showed up and joined their church for good, the change they’d naturally bring with them would be stark, even off-putting. In fact, making a congregation welcoming for young adults necessarily means it will get less comfortable for the current members.

Ready. Set. Speak! & Relax

It was late and one chair sat empty when I got an uneasy feeling in my stomach. Looking at the panelists seated up front, I knew the speaker from the Jewish tradition, the Islamist, and the Buddhist were present. By process of elimination, I figured the other two occupying their chairs were the Hindu and […]