Vintage CC: Five Really Good Reasons to Leave Your Church

This post comes from January 2014, which I fired off in response to a Relevant Magazine article. I didn't expect what it would lead to: it went viral that week, it continues to be one of my best-viewed posts, and it even led to a radio appearance a few months later. I think it still holds up well, because all of these reasons are still very real experiences for thousands of people wondering whether it's time to move on.

Recently, Relevant Magazine posted an article on their website entitled Five Really Bad Reasons to Leave Your Church. Essentially, it was a lament about the consumerist attitude that some take toward seeking a church, including "I'm not being fed," "I don't agree with everything preached," and so on.

As a pastor, I resonated with some of what the article was going for. It's important to remain in and contribute to a faith community, and if there are certain ministries there that you'd like to see offered, perhaps it's up …

Book Review: Seven Stories by Anthony Bartlett

If you are picking up this book for the first time do not doubt that it contains the germ of something capable of transforming everything. Not only does it show that the God of the Old Testament is consistent with the God of the Sermon on the Mount, but it carries a sea-change in the meaning of church. Rather than an institutional guarantee for an afterlife, Christian identity is a profound journey of human change in this life, one always intended by a God of unimaginable love and vitality. The resurrection of Jesus is a pledge of a transformed Earth where all of history is invited into a fullness of life, a time and place where violence has no part. - Anthony W. Bartlett, Seven Stories

Not all Christian education curricula with a progressive bent are created equal. Some are very good at providing background information but short on providing resources within itself for actually teaching that information to participants. Others seem to assume that participants already know or agree wi…

Winter/Spring Reading

Now that we are at the beginning of a new year, I have to compile a new list of books to read. Between the obligations of writing a manuscript and preparing for Lent and Easter, I'm not sure how quickly I'll be able to get to them. But there they'll sit on my nightstand, beckoning in those free moments.

So here is at least a sampling of what I'm planning to read between now and summer:
Vital Vintage Church by Michael PiazzaWildwood by Colin MeloyCold Fire by Kate ElliotBehemoth by Scott WesterfieldEndure by Daniel D. MaurerThe Walking Dead Volume 29 by Robert KirkmanElectric Arches by Eve L. EwingSpiritual Friendship after Religion by Joseph A. Stewart-SickingFinding Seekers by Bruce TallmanCourageous Faith by Emily C. HeathThe Very Worst Missionary by Jamie WrightEverything is Flammable by Gabrielle Bell So, a few churchy/spirituality books, a few novels, some poetry, and a couple graphic novels.
What's on your list for this first part of 2018?
As always, I need t…

Small Sips Has An Excuse for Book Hoarding Now

Well, if you insist. You know how you sometimes have more books on your nightstand or on your shelves that you have all the good intentions in the world to read, but feel bad because you can never quite get around to them? Jessica Stillman says that's okay, and observes why it's actually a good and healthy thing to surround yourself with more books than you'll ever read:
An antilibrary is a powerful reminder of your limitations - the vast quantity of things you don't know, half know, or will one day realize you're wrong about. By living with that reminder daily you can nudge yourself towards the kind of intellectual humility that improves decision-making and drives learning. "People don't walk around with anti-résumés telling you what they have not studied or experienced (it's the job of their competitors to do that), but it would be nice if they did," Taleb claims. Why? Perhaps because it is a well known psychological fact that is the most incomp…