A Brief Rant on Worship

I'm reviewing The Next Worship by Sandra Maria Van Opstal. As of yesterday, I completed page fifty-five, which means I'm over a quarter of my way through the book. In this work, which won Christianity Today's 2017 Book of the Year Award of Merit, Opstal argues that a multi-ethnic congregation and a cross-cultural style of worship … Continue reading A Brief Rant on Worship

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According to the Scriptures [Farkasfalvy, Ch. I]

Farkasfalvy’s goal in this chapter is to expound the relationship between Christianity and the Jewish Scriptures. The formula given is a paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 15:3-4: “All that has been written has been written for us.” By “All that has been written,” Farkasfalvy means Paul means the entirety of the Jewish Scriptures; by “written for us,” he means the Christian Church.

3 Views: Is It Okay to Hire Non-Christians Onto My Worship Team?

Music frames so many elements of Christianity that a worship service without music would be unrecognizable to the earliest Christians, the Apostles, or the Old Testament Prophets. They would think something was seriously wrong with a tuneless church. Every church needs music, and it should be done well. But there isn’t an equal distribution of talent. Oftentimes, worship … Continue reading 3 Views: Is It Okay to Hire Non-Christians Onto My Worship Team?

Church Fraud and Financial Stewardship: A Cautionary Tale from Silicon Valley

Every business is conceived inside a catch-22. On the one hand, a business cannot grow until it has the confidence of investors. On the other hand, it can’t win the confidence of investors until it has begun to grow—or at least given sufficient grounds that it will. In many respects, churches face a similar paradox: … Continue reading Church Fraud and Financial Stewardship: A Cautionary Tale from Silicon Valley

Bigthink: How We Mistake Church Growth for Church Health

“I am a small church pastor. And I am not a failure.” So opens The Grasshopper Myth, a daring little book by Karl Vaters, pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship. As a child of the Church Growth Movement, Vaters spent years reading books, attending conferences, and applying innovative growth practices to his modest congregation. But like … Continue reading Bigthink: How We Mistake Church Growth for Church Health

Recovering Traditional Apologetics: a Review of Penner’s “The End of Apologetics”

“The End of Apologetics: Christian Witness in a Postmodern Context,” by Myron Bradley Penner, a Canadian philosopher and Anglican priest, calls for the trial and death of apologetics, which he claims “might be the single biggest threat to genuine Christian faith that we face today” (now and hereafter, all emphases in quotes are his). More … Continue reading Recovering Traditional Apologetics: a Review of Penner’s “The End of Apologetics”

Opening for Josef Pieper’s “Tradition: Concept and Claim”

I have forgotten the number of times I have read Pieper’s "Tradition: Concept and Claim." It is no great task, being a mere 68 pages. I selected this book because it was quoted and the quote was underlined by the former owner of a copy of Pelikan’s "The Vindication of Tradition" (which I will not cover here). … Continue reading Opening for Josef Pieper’s “Tradition: Concept and Claim”

Précis of Chapter One of Pieper’s “Tradition: Concept and Claim”

Introduction Αmong the strands in the process of history, which are many, and not all are known, and none are known thoroughly, tradition stands apart from the others. It differs in a single fundamental respect: It preserves something pre-existing through the passage of time and in spite of it. On one hand, tradition's constancy through time … Continue reading Précis of Chapter One of Pieper’s “Tradition: Concept and Claim”