faith formation

The Future of Faith

As ministry leaders, we’ve embraced a common narrative about the exodus of young people and young adults from the church—we know this generation is fed up with the church’s hypocrisy, disinterest in social justice, and general irrelevance. But a new study by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative-leaning Washington DC think-tank, reveals a more nuanced …

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In Defense of Judging

Today the church is commonly perceived to be full of judgmental people—a primary reason the “Nones” give for abandoning churchgoing altogether. Carl Jung said it best: “Thinking is difficult; that’s why people judge.” And, apparently, non-thinking is epidemic among Christian people. When Barna researchers asked young adults to describe Christians, nine out of 10 said …

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The Grenade In Our Pocket

Technologies, especially the smartphone, have a forming influence on our spiritual, emotional, and psychological “shape.” I stubbornly resisted getting a smartphone until about seven years ago, preferring instead my ancient (and, I was told, ridiculous) flip-phone. My oldest daughter saw such profound impact on her friendships when smartphones entered the picture that she refused to …

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Three Loaves of Bread

Jesus is finishing an intimate conversation with his Father when His disciples ask if He’d teach them to pray. So he models for them how to pray, not necessarily what to pray (“This is how you should pray…”). Even so, we’ve turned His how into a what-formula we call The Lord’s Prayer—“Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come…” It’s …

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The Hidden Pothole In Our Affluent Culture

Almost a decade ago, just before the release of the film Son of God, I interviewed the co-producers—Hollywood power couple Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. He’s the brains behind Survivor, Shark Tank, The Voice, and many other successful TV shows. She’s an actress best known for Touched By An Angel. I asked what might be behind the cultural resurgence around interest …

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A Conservative Expatriate’s Prophetic Perspective

Earlier this week I attended the kickoff session for my denomination’s annual Synod meeting, held in my church this year. I don’t know how they did it, but organizers managed to get the much-in-demand Dr. Russell Moore as their keynote speaker for all three days of the gathering. For many years, Moore was the high-profile …

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