Category: Theology & The Church

Rod Dreher on Cultural Engagement and The Benedict Option

“There are people alive today who may live to see the effective death of Christianity within our civilization.” So suggests Rod Dreher in his new book The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation. Dreher claims that the West has come to reject the principal tenets of Christianity. In fact, he says, not only has society at large bought into nominalism, come to value…  [more]

When the Bible is No Longer a Book

“A new kind of mutated Christianity for a digital age is appearing.” Rev. Dr. Pete Phillips I still remember the first time I preached a sermon with an iPad. Fearing my congregation’s response, I walked to the pulpit with notes and a Bible concealing the glowing screen. I continued the practice of bait and switch for several years until I sensed people growing less nervous. While there are still…  [more]

Trump and the Transfiguration

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the noise and seeming chaos of the first days of the Trump administration. The tweets, the hyperventilating media, the alternative facts, the pundits, pontificators, and protesters. The insults, the leaks, the fake news, the lies, the Facebook posts, the language of war, opposition, resistance. It’s all created a deafening roar. The world feels full of sound and fury. The…  [more]

Glitter Ash Wednesday: a New Way to Practice Grace

Editor's note: TC is a ministry of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The denomination's position statement on homosexuality can be found here. Ash Wednesday is my favorite day on the Christian calendar. Some people find this hard to understand considering my relatively upbeat personality, yet I’m drawn to this somber, dark, honest confrontation with death. Ash Wednesday offers relief for…  [more]

Self-care as a Spiritual Discipline

“Self-care” is a popular term that can be found everywhere these days, from Christian circles to secular magazines. It can refer to anything from a day at the spa to getting enough sleep to taking a luxurious vacation. I’m interested in looking at that phrase from a Christian perspective. What does the care of self have to do with our discipleship practices? In Scripture we are called to be doers…  [more]

Bible Study with Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens is on a tear. The mysterious, press-shy, and often obtuse indie-music darling has been leaving little to the imagination when it comes to his Christian convictions lately. It seems desperate times call for desperate measures. Stevens has a platform, dadgummit, and he’s gonna do some preachin’! Although Stevens’ music has been imbued with spirit and soul since day one, he’s been…  [more]

What if Christians Were the Ones Being Banned?

Following his Jan. 27 executive order suspending travel and immigration from seven predominately Muslim countries, President Donald Trump told CBN News’ David Brody that persecuted Christians would be given priority when it comes to refugee status. To understand why Christians—yes, Christians—should find this troubling, let’s imagine a somewhat similar scenario. Japanese Prime Minister Bans…  [more]

If Trump Does ‘Destroy’ the Johnson Amendment, Churches Won’t Benefit

During a prayer breakfast last week, President Donald Trump told religious leaders that he would “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits tax-exempt non-profit organizations, including churches, from endorsing or opposing specific candidates. Under the current system, if a member of the clergy endorses a particular candidate, the contributions to his or her church are no longer considered…  [more]

Parsing the Prayers at the Trump Inauguration

With the inauguration of the United States’ first business president—Donald Trump, who has no experience in politics or the military—it’s time to be honest about the degree to which 21st-century American culture esteems wealth. Trump’s nomination of a cabinet full of people with experience building or managing fortunes further suggests that he and his supporters see business ability as a…  [more]

Podcasts and Mass-mediated Fellowship

When I needed to rest after delivering our daughter recently, my husband knew a familiar routine that would help: he put one of our favorite podcasts in the delivery room. The reaction of the nurse who came in to check on me led me to believe this isn’t a typical choice, but it made sense for us. We had been listening to familiar weekly podcasts at bedtime for years. This style of podcast isn’t for…  [more]

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