The Mainstreaming of the Niche

The rallying cry for arts to be in church is being heard in many places. It has become (almost…?) mainstream. Even saying that the church used to be a centre and a patron of the arts — and should be again! — is mainstream. We can’t get anywhere productive until we consider the reasons why […]

Surprise!

Donald Trump is president-elect. Wow. I never saw that coming. But even more surprising, based on his acceptance speech, he might turn out to be a good president. I definitely never saw that coming! He gamed it — he gamed the whole election. I don’t mean he controlled it. I mean he played like there […]

A Radical Welcome — Part 1

The more I’ve shared the disquiet I’ve had around this issue, the more people I’ve discovered share it. The less radically welcoming church is, the more incapable it is of connecting to those who may need it the most. When it comes to faith, there is a growing awareness of all the things we don’t get […]

Extravagant Generosity

No Surprise Here Anyone who’s even passingly familiar with Christianity is probably familiar with the fruits of the Spirit (or should be). It’s easy to slavishly rattle them off like a check-list of to-dos: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. That’s why I think the Message’s fresh approach is worthy of attention: […]

If Only…

If the majority of your thoughts include the phrase “if only,” you need some better thoughts. “If only” means you’re fixated on limitations, roadblocks and lack. The only one who can make your dream transcend that stuff is you. Start by believing your creativity is stronger than the factors which impede it. There are things you cannot change right […]

The Problem of Violence

Violence is the problem. People who believe that violence is the way to solve problems are part of the problem. People who believe violence is the only way they will get attention are part of the problem. People who only pay attention when faced with violence are part of the problem. People who provoke violence are part […]

The Courage Fallacy

Courage is found in all of the following: Action Reaction Resistance Seeing as these can clearly become polar opposites, courage cannot be the only benchmark by which engagement is measured. Courage is generally regarded as a virtue — one that we assume our ideological opponents lack. Yet courageously holding to folly is clearly not virtue. The […]

Do People Want to Know and be Known — Really?

What is our current relationship to community? I’m torn. I think technology has added richness, efficiency and effectiveness into our understanding of connectedness. But I also think it adds noise, clutter and distraction. Technology is increasingly enabling surrogate experiences to shape our lives. I want to rant. But a rant is too one-sided. Largely, I think people […]

The Harsh Deception of “Countercultural”

It’s still so trendy for Christians to declare themselves to be countercultural. It offers up the rebel-thrill justification of any departure from the mainstream. The only problem is it just isn’t true. We don’t oppose every part of culture — not even most of it. Neither did Jesus. In fact, it only ever applies to a rather narrow set of values which insiders can’t […]