My Mind Hasn’t Changed About this in Six Years…

And I see no reason that it should.  6 years ago today I wrote, in connection to reports then circulating, that young people were being ‘driven’ from the church-

I don’t think anyone who really loves God can be ‘driven’ from the Church.  Not by Pastors, not by politics, not by anything.  Not even by the Gates of Hell.  People may leave one church and go to another if the Pastor is an idiot or a jerk or people in the congregation are self absorbed prats, but they don’t leave the Church and they don’t abandon their faith.

Young people leave the Church, I believe, because they lack the spiritual wherewithal to be committed to much of anything at all.  Or to put it simply, many young people aren’t committed to anything but themselves.  And they’ve been taught to act that way by Churches that think pizza parties and outings are more important than Bible Study, worship, and ministry.  So instead of helping the elderly by mowing their lawns in the Summer, young people are taken on trips to water parks.

Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with fun and fellowship- in their proper place.  But to exalt them to priority, as many churches have done in an attempt to ‘bribe them in’ has resulted in an entire generation of self absorbed self obsessed self serving selfish young adults.  They leave the church because they’ve outgrown the pizza parties and they’ve never been taught to worship God and love him more than themselves.

If the Church wants to retain young adults, it has to abandon the world’s methodology of offering a prize for every appearance at the place where God is worshiped and instead teach children and young people that loving and serving God and others is their calling.  And that’s the highest calling and purpose of all.

Don’t blame politics the next time young adults leave the Church- blame them.  They’re the ones who left, because ‘they have no depth of soil, and springing up quickly, lacking root, they wither in the sunlight’.  After all, ‘If they had really been of us, they would have remained with us.  But to demonstrate that they really were not of us, they departed from us’.

Readers Beget Readers


Evangelicals Have Sold Their Souls For Political Power

We’ve seen it in the high visibility sort like Falwell and Metaxas but it’s also true of average Evangelicals who care less about righteousness than they do politics.  And they’re disgusting.

There’s nothing Christian about far too many so called Christians.


periPerichoresis 14.3 (2016), an issue which anticipates the celebration of 500 years since the Reformation and was made possible by Wim Janse, dean of the Faculty of Theology at the Free University of Amsterdam (Netherlands).

Edited by two exceptional scholars from the Faculty of Theology within the Free University of Amsterdam (Gijsbert van den Brink, professor of theology and science, and Aza Goudriaan, associate professor of historical theology), this superb issue includes contributions from

  • Richard A. Muller, P. J. Zondervan professor emeritus of historical theology at Calvin Theological Seminary (USA),
  • Andreas J. Beck, professor of historical theology and dean of Evangelical Theological Faculty in Leuven (Belgium),
  • Randall J. Pederson, managing editor of Westminster Theological Journal (USA),
  • John V. Fesko, professor of systematic and historical theology and academic dean of Westminster Seminary California (USA),
  • Dolf te Velde, associated professor of systematic theology at Kampen Theological University (Netherlands),
  • and the two editors themselves.

An avant-première of 2017 world-wide celebrations of the Reformation, this issue deals with “Contemporary Perspectives on Reformed Theology. Reformed Confessions, Scholastic Thought, and Puritan Divinity in Post-Reformation Protestantism” and is published jointly by Emanuel University Press, De Gruyter Open, and Refo500.

The online version of Perichoresis 14.3 (2016) can be found on De Gruyter’s official website:

Hans Holbein and Martin Luther

All Things Made New: The Reformation and its Legacy

All Things Made New: The Reformation and its Legacy.

9780190616816The most profound characteristic of Western Europe in the Middle Ages was its cultural and religious unity, a unity secured by a common alignment with the Pope in Rome, and a common language – Latin – for worship and scholarship. The Reformation shattered that unity, and the consequences are still with us today. In All Things Made New, Diarmaid MacCulloch, author of the New York Times bestseller Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years, examines not only the Reformation’s impact across Europe, but also the Catholic Counter-Reformation and the special evolution of religion in England, revealing how one of the most turbulent, bloody, and transformational events in Western history has shaped modern society.

The Reformation may have launched a social revolution, MacCulloch argues, but it was not caused by social and economic forces, or even by a secular idea like nationalism; it sprang from a big idea about death, salvation, and the afterlife. This idea – that salvation was entirely in God’s hands and there was nothing humans could do to alter his decision – ended the Catholic Church’s monopoly in Europe and altered the trajectory of the entire future of the West.

By turns passionate, funny, meditative, and subversive, All Things Made New takes readers onto fascinating new ground, exploring the original conflicts of the Reformation and cutting through prejudices that continue to distort popular conceptions of a religious divide still with us after five centuries. This monumental work, from one of the most distinguished scholars of Christianity writing today, explores the ways in which historians have told the tale of the Reformation, why their interpretations have changed so dramatically over time, and ultimately, how the contested legacy of this revolution continues to impact the world today.

The nice folk at Oxford Uni Press have sent a gratis review copy without any expectation of a positive or uplifting review.  For which I thank them.  I’ve read the work and I’ll post my review early next week.  But in a word, wow!

Matti Friedman’s Essay on the 8th Century Hebrew Fragment

Read it here.  Matti is a super writer.  And he wrote his essay back in, hold on to your hats, 2009!