Can’t We Talk? Conversations about LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Church

It may seem that the frustration expressed by people wanting to discuss LGBTQ+ inclusion is an indication that conversation about LGBTQ+ inclusion is unwelcome. I am sure that there are people who would like to have more conversation, and the sooner the better. But it would be an overstatement to suggest that conversations are unwelcome, […]

Talking About Family

I recently wrote an article for my denominational periodical, the Herald. One blog post about it elicited a number of responses and questions, so I am replying to them here. These are my thoughts — no one else’s. And since I am only one person, I am posting one reply rather than inviting a prolonged […]

Jesus Doesn’t Care About Your Church Growth Strategy

Jesus established his church, and pronounced that the gates of hell will not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18) In case anyone needs to be reminded, this is not a statement about the defensive strength of the church Christ is building, but rather a statement reflecting that the church will grow and prevail. Gates are portals […]

Is Freedom Really a Christian Ideal?

There is a particular mode of political organization and rhetoric that has manifested itself in Canada and the United States, increasingly in the past century or so, although it has existed for centuries. It is not unique to North America; there are examples in history all over the world. But to give focus to the […]

Jesus was a socialist

For many white North American evangelicals, the basic assumption that capitalism is Christian and socialism is hostile to Christian faith has been an unquestioned assumption. This is an expectation that is grounded in beliefs about major developments in European politics from the nineteenth century. New socialist movements, especially the form of socialism developed and championed […]

On Revolutions and Epistemological Thresholds

I’m in a course planning and preparation phase lately, so I am doing some reading. I read a chapter of Jacques Ellul in preparation for a meeting about a course on culture, media, and theological formation that I am co-teaching. Just now I was skimming through Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Kuhn was […]

Wrath? No! A Reflection for Easter

Jesus absorbed the wrath of God on the cross. That is true, but let us understand that wrath means consequences, not anger. Let us not caricature God by portraying God is an angry despot who needs to have his anger satisfied in order to be able to love us. Not so! Rather, God made it […]

Why a Confession? Part 2: It’s Not About Me

I think the problem is that familiarity really does breed contempt. What do I mean? When I joined the Mennonite Brethren, I was attracted by what I knew about the denomination, but I realized that there was much I did not yet know. Happy to learn that the MBs had a long tradition of theological […]

What Do I Do with Feelings?

When I was growing up in church, the faith passed on to me was one that was clear and reliable. It left very little to the imagination, speculation, or intuition. I can recall a Campus Crusade tract that described how theology and spirituality related to one another. The image was of a train. The locomotive […]

A Proposition About Propositional Truth

I don’t think that propositional truth has the power that some Christians think it does. In fact, despite the fact the propositions have their place in theology, I don’t think that truth is very effectively communicated in propositions. It is certainly not contextualized in propositions in Scripture. Modern conceptions of propositional truth are based on […]

How to Be an Affirming Church

Christians who have spent any amount of time in church have heard exhortations to the effect that members of Christian communities are supposed to love one another, encourage one another, bear one another’s burdens, and, as needed, rebuke/exhort one another, among other things. The call we experience is to be disciples, people who live out […]

Coffee and Convictions: Theology and Life

I like to make coffee. I like to make it even more than I like to drink it (and I like that as well). I have heard that coffee is an acquired taste, and I tend to agree. I used to drink coffee made in a variety of places, and I noted that it was […]

Biblical Inspiration and Authority

What does it mean when we say that the bible was inspired by God? In fairness, despite our formulas, we can only speculate – our statements are only theories about what happens and how. But this is a fruitful exercise for two reasons. One is that thinking through the integration of our convictions about God […]

Reading Scripture – For the Right Reasons

Browsing a free book table recently, I picked up a book entitled The Foundation of Biblical Authority, edited by James Montgomery Boice, dedicated to advancing biblical inerrancy. The foundation for the theological system evident in the book was believed to arise from a commitment to the inerrancy of Scripture. Evangelical leaders in the 1970’s were […]

Hermeneutics and the Myth of Biblical Authority

At the 2019 Mennonite Brethren denominational conference on hermeneutics (the study of how to interpret Scripture, in case you wondered), a significant theme in the event was the authority of Scripture. The basic premise of biblical authority is that because the bible is inspired by God, the things we read in it about life and […]

Why Does Anyone Need a Seminary?

For the past decade or so, I have had the privilege of teaching students at MB Seminary, part of ACTS Seminaries in Langley BC. Anyone who has known me for a long time might realize that I am an unlikely seminary professor. As a seminary student, I did not fit the typical profile of a […]