Interacting With “Love Wins”

by Matthew Raley The publication of Rob Bell's Love Wins marks the acceptance of emergent Christianity by the American mainstream. Bell has been featured in a Time cover story, and is now a reference point for all sorts of popular spiritual writing. The pantheon of the American empire now includes Bell's Jesus. Over several posts,... Continue Reading →

The Pantheon’s Embrace

by Matthew Raley The Romans achieved cultural durability not through military force, but through the embrace of every god in their empire. They appropriated Greek culture wholesale, and affirmed the other traditions they conquered. While their broad piety was generous toward foreign gods, the generosity was motivated by shrewdness. If a conquered city could keep... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Colors of God

by Matthew Raley Congregational life among evangelicals is changing across the United States and Canada. For several decades, innovators have been challenging the way churches worship, preach, and structure themselves. The new book, Colors of God: Conversations About Being the Church, is another perspective that seeks to be innovative. The list of problems in churches... Continue Reading →

Your Individuality in Jesus Christ

For many Christians, individualism has become distasteful. The phrases American individualism or rugged individualism do not carry positive connotations anymore. The team player is now the epitome of godliness in churches -- the guy who doesn't make trouble. The person who goes it alone, who isn't swayed by majority opinion, who makes his or her... Continue Reading →

Tough Questions 2008: Do Evangelicals Portray Jesus Accurately?

Sermon audio: Do Evangelicals Portray Jesus Accurately? This question from the community invites me to do what some believe I do best: criticize my own subculture. Of course, I will answer, "Evangelicals often do not portray Jesus accurately." And, of course, I will try to specify which evangelical qualities are misleading. By merely asking this... Continue Reading →

Intellectual Sentimentality and the Tour

A lot of people I know are revising their understanding of the gospel. I worry about those who aren't. Much of what we learn about Christ comes from the communities in which we worship and the traditions of interpretation those communities embody. Though we say we learn truth from the Bible alone, our actual doctrines... Continue Reading →

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