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Reflections on the Crisis in Ukraine

There are difficult days ahead for Ukrainians, and the West must not back off from full support of their struggle against the Russians. As Pete Wehner has noted, in this terrible human drama, we are witnessing “ordinary people – including the young and the elderly – acting in extraordinary ways to defend the country they love, against overwhelming odds.” There are lessons here for us.
March 21, 2022
ChurchFeatured

Judicial Business

It has been my lot to chair the judicial business committees of three different classes and now this regional synod. Why should I do this, when I might better spend my time on Christ-and-Culture or spiritual iconography in the films of Tarkovsky? Or how to convert my front lawn into a haven for native pollinators? Why do I end up having to act like a canon lawyer when I want to live like Wendell Berry?
Daniel Meeter
March 14, 2022
ChurchFeaturedTheology

Where Are We Going?

If our goal is not to punch our ticket to heaven and escape this world, but to live into the reality of the new creation, the role of Christian mission needs to be more than just teaching people to say a prayer or understand a truth. The goal is to have people see new creation in us, through us, and around us.
March 7, 2022
FeaturedOld Testament

Isaiah and Glorious and Vainglorious Leadership

A corrupt leader is a cancer cell in the body of a people. Corruption begins small, grows exponentially, saps the vital energy, and eventually kills the body. Isaiah saw this in himself when he said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell among a people of unclean lips.” God’s self-disclosure is chemotherapy, a consuming fire that burns clean.
February 28, 2022
Featured

The Age of Autocracy? Maybe Not

In this Age of Autocracy, we who follow the Gospel need to refute nonsense like this whenever we hear it.  An authoritarian leader who has subjected universities, news media, courts and regional governments to political control, while stirring up xenophobic nationalist fervor, is hardly a model Christian ruler.  With friends like Orbán in Hungary – and Putin in Russia, and Duda in Poland, and, yes, Trump in the US – the church needs no enemies. 
February 21, 2022
EnvironmentFeatured

Stewardship Is Not Good Enough

If we are partners in earth-healing, we need to ask different questions about any place that we own or live on or love. For millennia, humans have mostly asked, “What do we want and need from ‘nature’?” In this age, we need to ask instead, “What healing does this place need, and how can I help?”
February 14, 2022
FeaturedMemoir

An Autobiography of Call

This year marks thirty years since I received that early vision of God’s calling on my life. Paying attention to the various details around my experiences has led to a celebratory incarnational theology. It is a privilege and honor to live amongst and serve the nations God has placed me with here in Hannover. It has enabled a continued reliance upon, and a relationship with, the God who called me so long ago. It is a relationship that is situated…
Gretchen Schoon Tanis
February 7, 2022
ChurchFeaturedYouth Ministry

Less Spiritual and More Human: The End (Telos) of Youth Ministry

For the young people I know, the world’s gone crazy, and the church isn’t far behind. They’re not concerned with the same things adults in the church seem to care about, at least not in the same way. Human sexuality? I’ve found young people across the theological and political spectrum are much more thoughtful and nuanced than adults. Politics? Social issues? Same thing. They’re not a monolith, but they’re much more willing to engage the conversation in a way that…
January 31, 2022
ChurchFeatured

A Curious Omission

It is not fully clear to me why the 2022 committee did not engage the Smedes analogy nor why they characterized the 1980 report as hard and rigid and legalistic when in fact that report finally argued against being hard and rigid and above all legalistic in matters of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. The curious omission of this engagement is noteworthy and is something deserving of reflection by all who will have anything to do with the reception of this…
January 24, 2022