Simple questions do not always have simple answers. For instance, have you ever pondered the question, “What does it mean to be a Christian?” Well, we might say a Christian is a follower of Christ or a disciple of our Lord or something along those lines. But then we need to unpack what those things mean and all their various contours and implications. To be a Christian might mean something very different to two Christians sitting in the same room.
A few years ago, I read a fascinating and somewhat controversial book called The Churching of America, by Roger Finke and Rodney Stark. In it the authors examined and brought to light the history of religion in America by arguing it works as a free market economy, an economy in which there are winners and losers. The authors were not pastors or theologians, but professors of sociology and they tackled the issue as sociologists. They do not speak much about orthodoxy or heterodoxy or faithful confessions but use the language of economics.
By Paul Koch – At the end of the Nicene Creed, we confess together, “I believe in the […]
By Paul Koch –
We have all known those people who seem to take joy in tearing down what we’ve built up. Perhaps it is the kid at the beach that just can’t help kicking over the sandcastle that you just finished building. Or it is the big sister who knocks over your stack of blocks. When we grow older, these people are still around. They call themselves realists or even pessimists. You speak of something you have accomplished or some great adventure you want to do and all they want to do is tear it down. They attack your planning or your foresight or the practicality of it all. We don’t like to be around those people. We don’t like to spend our days with those who won’t let us dream a little, those who seem intent to kill what we love. Perhaps, this is why prayer and worship are so difficult. Maybe this is why it is uncomfortable to faithfully proclaim the Word of God. Because if we are honest, no one seems more persistent to tear down the things you love than your Lord Jesus Christ.
By Marc Engelhardt –
In this post I’ll share one of the ways we do Foundation, Worldview, and Practice in my context. It comes from a class we teach called Christ in Common, which is a double entendre. The class exists because those involved have been brought into God’s family through Christ; he is the common thread among us. The class is also focused on digging into what it means to have Christ be the influential voice in the everyday things we face. I write these recaps for people who want to reference what was covered. The class itself is very community driven, meaning that many voices are shared and heard, and it isn’t just me lecturing. Since they are brief recaps, they don’t get into all the details of everything that was said, but they should give you an idea of the overall content and approach.
By Marc Engelhardt –
In my last post, which you can find here, I brought up the idea of the Discipleship Triad. It’s a basic principle that once known makes hitting the basics of well-rounded discipleship easier. In future posts I will give examples of how it can be done. But first I would like to emphasis the importance of the triad for youth discipleship and catechesis.