Armchair Theologian Warning

“The Puritans made me aware that all theology is also spirituality, in the sense that is has an influence, good or bad, positive or negative, on its recipients’ relationship or lack of relationship to God. If our theology does not quicken the conscience of soften the heart , it actually hardens both: if it doesContinue reading “Armchair Theologian Warning”

Preaching with “Uses”

Introduction  Some years ago Doug Pagitt, whom I was surprised to find is still a minor thing, caused something of a stir with the quote “Preaching doesn’t work.” The larger context was his book Preaching Re-Imagined which brought about a flurry of rebuttals. My favorite being Matt Chandlers delivered as a sermon at an ActsContinue reading “Preaching with “Uses””

No End to the Making of Books

In my usual tradition of arriving several years late to the party I will now weigh in on the people don’t read debate. I find most of this to be a preaching to the choir kind of writing, simply because the people who are most likely to read this kind of critique/complaint is most likelyContinue reading “No End to the Making of Books”

Repentance

After the 2016 election I was struck by how churches responded to their various congregants reactions to the election. I say struck, I mean disappointed, angry even. It seemed to me based on the reactions of both parties the election was like a ancient near east clash of the gods. Each army had lined up,Continue reading “Repentance”

Book List 2020

“Well we come now to that part of the show when I say: ‘Well we come now to that part of the show…” – Stephen Fry As so many blogs do around this time of year I now present a reading list. This is supposed to be the best books I have read this year.Continue reading “Book List 2020”

Idols Fit for Destruction

Introduction A couple of years ago the second largest house of worship in Memphis was built. 271,000 square feet, and cost 64.3 million dollars to build. And it was constructed next to the largest church in Memphis, Bellevue Baptist Church. This new place of worship also has a name, it is open on Sundays, andContinue reading “Idols Fit for Destruction”

Two Opposing Pastors

Part Three Editors note: This is the final of a three part series the previous posts can be found here and here. Introduction When a Puritan minister ascended to the pulpit it was heavy with intent. He was a dying man preaching to dying men from behind, “The Sacred Desk.” Preaching was no light matter,Continue reading “Two Opposing Pastors”

The Puffed up and the Invisible Rabbit

(Part 2) Introduction Screwtape calls it, “The blessed word, adolescent.” It is one of his favorites to conjure up and distract from actual immaturity. The idea that Lewis, though Screwtape, wishes to convey is that posture in which a, usually young, man takes to task a person or an idea that he believes that heContinue reading “The Puffed up and the Invisible Rabbit”

Gratitude Toward the Fallen

I would like to take some time to make some observations that will no doubt enrage a great few people with axes to grind. It seems to me, from my particularly small perch on the internet, that the phrase, “No one eats their own like X” is a genre of behaviour that Christians seem to feel we have not received enough credit for, and as such, must make up for lost time. Heretic burnings be damned, nothing lights a fire under a theologian or pastor like negative online reactions. To paraphrase James, “So also the keyboard is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!”

Unspoken Sermons

Editors note: I continue to be out of town this week so forgive this article being a little shorter that usual. One of my books that is of great personal value, is a clothbound edition of Unspoken Sermons by George MacDonald.* The title alone is romantic but it has come to mean more to meContinue reading “Unspoken Sermons”