Do-It-Yourself Religion

I see this more and more often. Faith is no longer something we share among a community of believers, but a possession in the hands of an individual who will shape it to his or her liking. Perhaps this is the religious outworking of “liquid modernity,” a culture in which structures change so quickly that…

Are our expectations of God too low?

Recently I had the privilege of speaking with Odell Horne of the North Georgia Annual Conference and Dr. Daniel Castelo of Duke Divinity School on the nature of the God we worship as Christians. The conversation was a program for the United Methodist Men in that conference. Both of these conversation partners have very keen…

Clean Water in the Slums of Nairobi

In October of this year I had the privilege of traveling to Nairobi, Kenya, with a small group from Springdale First UMC (Springdale, Arkansas) and Stillwater UMC (Dayton, Ohio). Our work was with the Huruma Tent of Prayer in Mathare, the third largest slum in Africa. The focus of the trip was the provision of…

A Western Dark Age?

I was very concerned reading an article on The Upheaval by N. S. Lyons called “There Is No Liberal West.” Lyons holds that no Western country is any longer committed to principles of liberalism. He summarizes these principles as follows: that individuals possess universal and inalienable natural rights; that “liberty of conscience is every man’s…

2 Clement on the Prosperity Gospel

2 Clement is one of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers. It was probably written sometime in the first half of the second century. It’s an early Christian sermon on the Christian moral life and the nature of the church. Toward the end of the work, the author takes a shot at what looks like…