The Future of the Church: Cynic-Saints?

Gospel Centered Discipleship asked me to write something about how we disciple cynics.  In working on the piece (“Discipling the Disillusioned”), I was struck with the urgency of that task.  If young (and not-so-young) folks are leaving the church due to their frustrations and disillusionment, then the future of the church lies in our capacity…

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The Heartbeat of “Hopeful Realism”: Already… but not yet / Coming… and now is

The namesake of this blog is taken from a phrase my wife supplied as she carefully read through drafts for Faith Without Illusions.  Hopeful Realism is a perspective that holds rosy idealism and shallow optimism as incompatible in an ex-Eden world (hence, “Realism”).  But the perspective is “hopeful” because it holds that cynicism is incompatible…

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Calvin & Coffee: Word — Spirit

[This is part of an ongoing series of posts I am calling “Calvin & Coffee”]   I just finished ch. IX in Book I of Calvin’s Institutes.  Here we see the insistence that Word and Spirit are conjoined in “an inviolable bond” [1].  Calvin has in his sights what we might would call “charismania,” an…

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Karl Barth and ‘Hopeful Realism’

I am reading Church Dogmatics VI.1, sections 57-59, and I just had a moment.  Okay, I have all sorts of great moments in reading Barth so far, but something that stood out this morning is the comment below.  The reason it struck me is because the hopeful orientation of the Christian to the incoming (and…

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Faith Without Illusions at Jesus Creed

I am just so grateful for Scot McKnight’s willingness to make posts on each chapter of Faith Without Illusions.  His comments and summations at Jesus Creed are so helpful even for me to read.  Access to the perspective of a senior writer and scholar on one’s work is quite a privilege.  If you want to…

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