If the Church is God’s idea who are we to dismantle it?

Recentering the Christian life inside the gathered community

I wonder if our lack of a well-informed, biblically-shaped, Jesus-centered theology of the church is due in no small part to the Evangelical/Protestant over-emphasis on the individual over against the community? I wonder if we have come to define Christianity almost exclusively as a privatized spirituality, that either ignores the central role of the church […]

There is no ‘us’ or ‘them’, there’s just ‘us’

Charting a way forward through fear, isolation, tribalism, and hate

One of the primary reasons we struggle with differing views on any subject is that we believe acceptance equals agreement. That is, to accept a person or their argument is to agree with them. As a result, we conclude that we cannot accept the person for fear of being seen as agreeing with them. However, […]

What is the Gospel?

Revisiting the biblical idea of Good News

When we understand that the Jesus-story is the long-awaited fulfillment of Israel’s story, salvation immediately takes on an ancient, prophetic, and shared dimension. We quickly realize that faith didn’t begin with us. This is the faith that was once for all delivered to us from those who have gone before us. (1) It is a faith […]

gospel

A Faith Received

Learning to reconnect with the ancient, prophetic, and shared faith of Christianity

When we understand that the Jesus-story is the long-awaited fulfillment of Israel’s story, our faith immediately takes on an ancient, prophetic, and shared dimension. We need to quickly realize that faith didn’t begin with us. This is the faith that was once for all delivered to us from those who have gone before us. It […]

Pulling the future vision of God’s ‘new creation’ into the present

A call for a renewed vision of the person and work of the Holy Spirit in the Church and world

It was the apostle Paul who first introduced the New Testament idea of people being made new through the life-giving grace of Jesus Christ. In a number of his correspondences, he chose the phrase ‘new creation’ as a way to capture the essence of Christ’s saving vision for the world. However, when people think about […]

The Uncontrolling Love of God by Thomas Jay Oord

A review, commendations and recommendations

One of the things I love most about Tom Oord’s work is that it causes me to approach an old topic in fresh, new ways. His latest book, The Uncontrolling Love of God: An Open and Relational Account of Providence, continues this trend. Rather than provide an incredibly long and critical review, I would instead […]

Thomas Jay Oord

Knowing and Experiencing God’s Amazing Love

Learning to give and receive God's measureless, abounding, eternal love

For the love of God is broader than the measure of man’s mind; And the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind. This stanza from the hymn, There’s a Wideness, written more than a century ago by Frederick W. Faber and Lizzie S. Tourjee, depicts with explicit clarity the height, depth and scope of the love […]

God's Amazing Love

Bridging the Pentecostal Denominational Divide

Finding unity within the shared-centeredness of our one faith

In Pentecostal circles, the word denomination has never received a warm reception, especially when used in an attempt to self-define. We have often relegated the term to articulate what we are not, as opposed to what we are. Viewed primarily from a negative perspective, the term is seen as something to be shunned rather than […]

Pentecostal

Embracing the Kingdom Vision of Jesus – Part 2

Ending the cycle of violence and beginning a new cycle of grace

Have you ever been wronged? I’m confident that most, if not all of you, would say yes. For those who have, Jesus provides us with a quick and decisive response. “Love your enemies.” In Matthew’s account of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (5:43), he chose to frame this portion of teaching by using tradition as a point […]

kingdom vision of Jesus