‘Evangelical’: What Does It Really Mean?

Phil Johnson at Pyromaniacs makes the following observation: If any popular figure “in the evangelical movement” (or on its copious fringe) deserves the label “heretic,” it is Rob Bell. The guardians of evangelical politeness don’t like that kind of candor, but when a secular newspaper like The Boston Globe is publishing pieces implying that the... Continue Reading

Is Anyone (Really) Listening?

Having a mother who was a university professor specializing in professional presentation, I learned early in life about the “communication loop.” The sender seeks to communicate a particular message to an intended receiver. The message is sent. The message may then be intercepted, misinterpreted, received by an unintended party or actually received (“let those who... Continue Reading

“Got Hope?” The Theological Virtue of Obama

As someone who teaches and writes about international politics, I can confidently say that last week was one of the strangest in memory, from the G-20 circus in my backyard (Pittsburgh) to the political zoo at the United Nations. President Obama, of course, was front and center, including with a major speech at the United... Continue Reading

Making Assumptions about Your New Session

IMHO: A Weekly Commentary from our Publisher Much of my current ministry involves training, coaching, advising (dare I say ‘consulting with’?) Pulpit Committees. Although I did not set out to do as much of this as I do (it’s more than half my ministry now), it has certainly been rewarding. Among my list of things... Continue Reading

The G-20 Meeting is Over (Thank Goodness!)

Count me among the cynics when it comes to G-7, G-8, and now G-20 meetings. They seem to involve little more than photo ops and platforms for politicians to bore us with platitudinous pronouncements—at great expense to the taxpayers in the host country and city, I might add. As usual, nothing earth-shaking happened at the... Continue Reading

A Trip to the New Bountiful (And To Yet Another Alternative View Of Marriage)

Bountiful, British Columbia, is a town just across the Canada/U.S. border, close to the Washington/Idaho line – which makes it about a 3 hour drive from Spokane. Think fly fishing! Unlike Miss Daisy’s special ride, a trip to Bountiful today puts one in the midst of a settlement of one of the off-shoots of the... Continue Reading

Americans Who Don’t Identify with a Religion No Longer a Fringe Group

“Nones” now largely mirror Mainstream America HARTFORD, Conn. – The 34 million American adults who don’t identify with any particular religious group reflect the general population in terms of marital status, educational attainment, racial and ethnic makeup, and income, according to a new study by Trinity College researchers, American Nones: The Profile of the No... Continue Reading

Truth and Politics

Many of us are cynical about promises made by politicians. “Campaign promises are made to be broken” is a venerable truism of American politics. There are “truth-in-advertising” laws against misrepresentation by private businesses, but no such protections apply to political speech. Why do politicians so often deny, stretch, obscure, evade or mutilate truth? In brief,... Continue Reading

Attention All Aging White Protestant Southerners

IMHO: A Weekly Commentary from our Publisher ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” Boy, oh, boy, is that ever wrong. When Joe Feuerherd, writing in the August 28 (my birthday of all things) National Catholic Reporter called me an ‘aging white protestant southerner,’ it really hurt. Here I... Continue Reading

Baseball and Yom Kippur?

IMHO: A Weekly Commentary from our Publisher Baseball fans are aware of the biggest current rivalry in the Major Leagues (unless you’re not one of the Eastern Elitists) – it’s the Yanks and the Sox (the red ones, from Boston, of course). Since they are in the same division they play each other 18 times... Continue Reading