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Book Reviews

The Great Dechurching: Who’s Leaving, Why Are They Going, and What Will It Take to Bring Them Back?

Despite some qualms about theological language and recognizing that this is not a Pew Research or Gallup study with in-depth explanations of social causality, I came away from reading this book with a better understanding of what has happened in the past twenty-five years, and with hope for the future because God is presently at work, even amid the Great Dechurching.
Kent Fry
January 31, 2024
American HistoryChurch HistoryFeatured

Slavery and the Difficulty of Interpreting the Bible

When I listen to fellow pastors and church members say to me, “The Apostle Paul in Romans 1 is very clear about same-sex relationships,” I hear echoes of the way many cited scripture to justify slavery. This has caused me to revisit my own plain and literal reading of the Bible. To do so is not to be lost in the sea of relativism, nor a failure of moral formation, nor a failure to take the Bible seriously, nor a…
Kent Fry
July 3, 2023
Book Reviews

Humility, From Two Angles

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to ask Eugene Heideman, who served the Reformed Church in America in a variety of roles for a half century, “What is the most important quality that a disciple of Jesus needs to demonstrate in our day and time?” He did a little bit of pondering on the question and then answered in a quite firm manner, “Humility; a follower of Jesus most needs humility!”  
Kent Fry
December 30, 2022
Featured

A Quiet Influence: Remembering Eugene Heideman

Just before Gene suffered a stroke in 2019, I was sitting next to him in church on a Wednesday morning at a men’s breakfast and book study. We were discussing the current friction in the denomination, which he was able to put into a much larger context of denominational history and the forces at work in society and culture. “I have come to the point where I think for the good of the church and for many Christians it would…
Kent Fry
May 30, 2022
Book Reviews

Aging:

Willimon has waited until retirement and his senior years to write one of his most practical and thoughtful books.  Pastors and parishioners preparing for retirement do not need only a financial advisor but a Christian theological worldview that helps us to cherish the last third of life, be honest about our coming death, and live with the sure and certain hope of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Willimon's book explores precisely this,
Kent Fry
May 25, 2022
ChurchFeatured

Coronavirus, Race, Politics, and Congregational Division

Neither a policy statement nor a sign can be the end of our discussion or action on racial justice. The Holy Spirit is leading us into difficult but important conversations around racial discrimination and justice. This is happening at the same time of a major demographic shift in America, where the white majority is becoming a minority. At the recent RCA General Synod, General Secretary Eddie Aleman said, “The future of the RCA is multi-ethnic…I love to say this is…
Kent Fry
November 22, 2021