Category Archives: Uncategorized

Preaching the startling news

So, if part of the saving work of the gospel is to startle us into a new perception of the world (see my two previous posts), then what should the aim of preaching be? Preaching, every week preaching, should be … Continue reading

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Some implications of being startled

In my last post, I suggested that there is often a connection between the word “gospel” and being surprised. The good news is not the same old, same old, because it is truly startling. And I wondered if this might … Continue reading

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Startled unto Salvation

I’ve been thinking a lot about gospel and salvation these days, and some things are falling together in ways that they haven’t before. Let me begin with the idea that the gospel is “news.” Shocking, I know. But we tend … Continue reading

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A little riff on Springsteen

This past October, James Smith led our Streaming conference on worship and the formation of missional communities. He also supplied the title for the conference, “Everybody has a hungry heart,” a Springsteen lyric. We took his title and ran with … Continue reading

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Shifting the center of worship from sermon to table

In anticipation of the conference we hosted a few weeks ago, “Everybody Has a Hungry Heart: Worship and the Formation of Missional Communities,” I put out a survey for those who plan and lead worship. The results were revealing in … Continue reading

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When excellence is a guiding principle, is your worship Christian?

At a conference at a Christian University several years ago, I heard Stanley Hauerwas comment on part of the University’s mission statement that used the word “excellence.” As only Hauerwas can say it, “When excellence is in your mission statement, … Continue reading

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The Patient Practice of Sail Making

A little excerpt from the book I’m trying to finish on Luke’s view of the church. The movement and power of the Holy Spirit explains the practices and shape of the church in Acts. This statement bears some emphasis. In … Continue reading

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Tell a Story, Change the World

I’ve said in this space many times that information is a fairly weak instigator for change. We don’t change much, generally speaking, just because we receive new information. We tend to absorb new information into the frameworks we already have … Continue reading

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Blessed are those who believe without seeing

Wouldn’t you kill for a paragraph or two in the NT on what should happen in the worship assembly? Maybe we could put to death some of our worship wars. Alas, no NT writer ever weighed in on the appropriate … Continue reading

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Worship Planning: what are we aiming at?

I am often struck by how much thought goes into planning worship these days. Back in the day, worship planning often meant the song leader picking out songs on the front row right before worship (with enough time to slide … Continue reading

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