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The Cost of Conscience in the Culture Wars

At the time, Michael Lindsay had no idea he’d just lit a fuse that would threaten to explode his institution. As the president of Gordon College, a Christian school near Boston, Lindsay simply joined other Christian leaders in signing a letter to the White House, concerning a proposed employment rule about hiring homosexuals. The private letter was released to the […]

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2 True Tests for a ‘Relational’ Ministry

Many declare, “We do relational ministry.” That’s good. But some who declare it don’t really do it. When people claim to do relational ministry they often explain that their ministry is based on authentic relationships. Sometimes they add, “We’re about people, not programs.” That’s good–when it’s true. How can anyone determine if a church’s claim of […]

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How the Church Confronts Evil

Pure evil. Is it on the rise? How are churches handling the public’s curiosity or concern about the presence of evil in our world? Public interest is intensifying. The horror of another mass shooting causes many to ask questions about evil influences. They wonder where God is when evil erupts in ghastly ways. While events […]

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Jesus at the Pub: Dangerous Cocktail?

The controversy divided the congregation. “You want to start a ministry in a pub? Jesus would roll over in his grave!” Aside from already rolling over–and out, I suspect Jesus is just fine with the pub outreach. But I know not everyone agrees. In fact, when people see a pub ministry depicted in our documentary When God […]

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Are the Dones Really Christian?

Are the millions who no longer attend church just a bunch of faith imposters? That’s the assertion of some denominational officials who seek to minimize the exodus of the religious Dones. Research shows that American congregations have lost over 30 million adults who are the Dones–those who have left the organized church, but not their faith. […]

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Read–and hear–the new Holy Soup

You may now consume a steaming bowl of Holy Soup in a new way. The Holy Soup podcast is coming. You’ll hear me and special guests talk about juicy subjects in a whole new audio dimension. Listen to the podcast on your computer or mobile device. Starting tomorrow, look for the podcast at http://www.holysoup.com, or through […]

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Church Mission: Self-Preservation or Something Else?

I asked the pastor and congregation members, “What’s your church’s mission?” The answers were all over the landscape: To carry on our tradition in the community. To make people feel good and want to come back. To show God’s love through acts of kindness. To keep our old building open and maintained. It’s the same […]

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Uprising in the Pews

Part of what is crippling the American church may actually lead to its renewal. Over the past few generations, the people–the church–have formed an entrenched mindset. It’s this: the work of the church–ministry–is something the people pay the professionals to do. The laity’s role is to simply watch the paid staff work, or perhaps to make a financial […]

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Church Property: Boon or Bane?

Bricks and mortar are killing some churches–and opening opportunities for others. Grand old edifices that once stood as prominent, physical religious symbols in their communities may now overwhelm their congregations’ ability to sustain themselves financially. In the documentary When God Left the Building, a church leader says, “Within a quarter of a mile here there are five huge […]

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Terror Tension: Guns in Church

As terror attacks continue abroad and closer to home, are Christian churches seen as a vulnerable “soft targets?” In addition to all the other challenges facing the Western church, now physical safety has risen as a growing concern. Has gathering for worship or other church activities become a palpable safety concern for the public? Will […]

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