Reclaiming ways of talking collectively about the great harm our culture demands we do to one another in order to survive – without turning ourselves and other people into the problem (into sinners) – is the whole purpose of atonement: to scapegoat the scapegoat and not one another.
The way we have built our digital world has encoded this fracturing principle (sin) within the emerging technological system itself. Our connected technologies threaten our primal, sacred bonds. We are hyper-connected and still so lonely.
The Bible says that we have this treasure in earthen vessels, but moments of moral reckoning, such as the one we are enduring now, remind us just how fragile earthen vessels really are.
Experience and new research show that churches aren’t punishing morally wayward members like they once did. “There is less discipline overall,” said George Bullard, a veteran church and clergy consultant and director of missions for the Columbia Metro Baptist Association in…
The hosts of the Gospel Gothic radio hour — Jake Hall, pastor of Highland Hills Baptist Church in Macon, Ga., as well as Wes Griffith and Brad Evans, local entrepreneurs and owners of 100.9 FM The Creek — are inviting Macon and listeners around the country to join them each Sunday morning in exploring “faith, music and meaning in the Christ-haunted South.”
The day Jake Hall discovered 100.9 FM The Creek, he nearly plowed through a red light into oncoming traffic. As Hall approached the Spring Street bridge in Macon, Ga., to pass over the Ocmulgee River, Darrell Scott’s “Down to the River” on the radio suddenly broke through his humdrum focus with communion of another kind.
When Martin Luther wrote, “Love God and sin boldly,” he was not in a fast food restaurant, but he could have been. Luther was inviting us to recognize what is important and what is not. There are times when you should order the salad, but sinning a little without worrying about it too much may, on occasion, be good for your soul.
We’re going to have to do more, to move past talking (even preaching!) and into the messy and painful work of deep conversation held together by real relationship. In fact, it’s increasingly my conviction that this may be the heart of the faith community’s work in this moment: building authentic relationships upon which these difficult conversations can rest.
Amy and I led a retreat for a wonderful Presbyterian church this weekend. The response to our leadership and the session material was excellent — though my wife scolded me for throwing John Calvin under the bus in one of…