Thirty years ago the brilliant British sitcom “Yes, Prime Minister” broadcast an episode titled “The Bishop’s Gambit” which focused on the politics involved in filling a vacant bishopric in the Church of England. One of the candidates is a “theological modernist” which the Cabinet Secretary explains to the Prime Minister is “code for an atheist.” Sir […]
71. Can the Church Be Saved? A conversation with Philip Kenneson
Last year while on vacation in the United States my family visited a church. As we walked into the building we were greeted by a large sign welcoming the visitor with this simple but striking message: “You are awesome.” Wow, that’s a good start, right? We walked into the church and sat down in the sanctuary. People […]
I love Tabasco after all: An invitation to rediscover the church
I used to love Tabasco sauce. But over the last few years I’ve found it increasingly insipid. My opinion of the sauce continued to decline until a few months ago when I took to telling people that I don’t like Tabasco sauce, full stop. From that point on I shunned the bottle in our fridge and […]
What’s splitting your church redux
A few years ago I wrote an article titled “What’s Splitting Your Church? Worship Music or Genocide?” This month Regent College (my Alma mater) is featuring it in their publication “Regent World.”
52. Women in Ministry
In 1967 Katherine Switzer made history as the first woman ever to enter … and complete the Boston Marathon. In this iconic photo you can see race official Jock Semple (the bald man in the black blazer) attempting to pull Switzer’s numbers off and stop her from running. As I reflect on the role of women ministering […]
Is there still a place to tremble before God?
Christianity Today recently published a web review of Peter Enns new book The Bible Tells Me So. The reviewer, a fellow named Andrew Wilson, provides a fair-minded and balanced critique of Enns’ book, noting both its strengths while flagging its weaknesses. (That said, I find Wilson’s rating of the book at 2 1/2 stars out […]
The Aesthetics of Design, Automotive and Religious
The Pontiac Aztek is widely recognized to be one of the great design failures in automotive history. It represented the disastrous results when function steamrolls form and no attention is given to aesthetic appeal or organic unity. Bob Lutz, the renown automobile executive, came to work at GM after the Aztek debacle. In this recent […]
Is it time to teach the controversy?
You probably know this phrase as the clever marketing strategy of The Discovery Institute. Right in the upper echelons of marketing slogans, alongside DeBeers’ “A diamond is forever” and Nike’s “Just do it!” we have Discovery Institute’s “Teach the controversy”, a clever plea for open-mindedness and free inquiry as a way to bring intelligent design into […]
Worship. It’s a feeling, right?
Dave walks out of church after the Sunday service and says: “Worship was awesome this morning. The band totally rocked!” This is strange. When did “worship” get equated with the “band totally rocking”? When did “worship” get equated with the emotional flow that one cultivates when joining into the group sing for a set of […]
Let’s talk about violence: Discussions on the Bible
Every year when I teaching atonement in systematic theology class, I start by re-introducing students to the hymns of their youth: songs like “Nothing but the Blood”: Oh, precious is the flow that makes me white as snow No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus! We pause and take in the imagery […]
When God goes to church does he wear a suit and tie?
The debate between “formal” and “informal” church continues. Some folks seem to think Jesus said “If thou wilt enter my Father’s house, thou must first don a three piece suit” while others apparently have a Bible that reads “In my Father’s house are many cabanas, so put on your favorite beachwear and join the fun.” The […]
35. Kevin Miller on The Chicken Manure Incident
“Hospitality.” The word is derived from a Latin root denoting friendliness to guests. It is the making of space for the stranger, the warm welcome of the outsider. The call to hospitality is at the very center of the Christian life. Indeed, it is so important to Christian ethics that Jesus points to the demonstration of […]
19. Mark Buchanan on becoming an Acts church
This time on The Tentative Apologist Podcast we sit down with pastor, author, public speaker and professor Mark Buchanan. After pastoring for 17 years at New Life Community Baptist Church in Duncan, BC, Buchanan moved to Calgary, Alberta in September 2013 to become Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at Ambrose Seminary. Buchanan is perhaps best known […]
16. Gordon T. Smith on Christian conversion
In this episode of The Tentative Apologist Podcast we get to sit down with one of the foremost theologians in Canada, Gordon T. Smith. Dr. Smith is President of Ambrose University College and Seminary in Calgary where he also teaches as Professor of Systematic and Spiritual Theology. Over the years Dr. Smith has worn many […]