Viewpoints

Where are the Followers?

Ever since being part of the North American Mennonite Church, I’ve appreciated the cyclical if not constant emphasis on leadership development. Self-development for personal satisfaction, new and increased competency for pastoral and lay leader success, and a wider range of healthier leadership patterns are needed and wonderful. But at the same time it’s caused me to wonder.

Training to live generously

This summer, as I watched the Olympics, I was amazed by the performances of the athletes. I was even more impressed by the stories of determination, dedication and discipline. Years before competing at this level these athletes are determined to be the best. They dedicate their lives, and in many cases, their own resources, to achieve their goal.

COMMENTARY: Debating the value of the debates

Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest based in New York. He is the author of "Just Wondering, Jesus" and founder of the Church Wellness Project. His website is http://www.morningwalkmedia.com Follo.w Tom on Twitter @tomehrpiscopal priest based in New York. He is the author of "Just Wondering, Jesus" and founder of the Churi

Why, exactly, does it matter if President Barack Obama gave a lackluster performance in the recent presidential debate?

Is the Bible Reliable?

When I was eighteen I participated in a “street evangelism” campaign at the Boston University campus as part of a Bible course I was enrolled in. A few of the BU grad students decided to have a little fun and interrogate us with some questions of their own. We were steamrolled by their merciless intellectual superiority. My ignorance was not bliss on this particular occasion.

When we’re not busy

We often greet each other with a question like, “Keeping busy?” For many of us the answer is yes, and we may add a summary of our current tasks or activities to the one who greeted us. Or we may mentally review the kinds of things that are keeping us busy. As we do so, we could feel stimulated by these pursuits and well-engaged with life. Or possibly we feel overloaded and stressed.

Spirit sent!

Sailboats seemed so idyllic—until I went sailing. I discovered that what looked peaceful from a distance was physically vigorous. It involved constant alertness, team work, and careful attention to the instructions of my friend. Only then could we align the sails of our boat with the powerful prairie wind and experience the exhilaration of being caught and propelled!

Shedding Sola Scriptura

I grew up in a church where everything was painted “Sola Scriptura.” I’m not referring to some chic Greco-Roman inspired hue from Benjamin Moore, but a Latin phrase meaning “Scripture Alone” which coloured the way we saw everything under the sun. “Sola Scriptura” was the primary pillar and doctrinal gatekeeper of Protestant faith.

Impulsive generosity

In his book Money, Sex and Power, Richard Foster tells this story: “A doctor once asked a very wealthy patient, ‘What on earth are you going to do with all of that money?’ The patient replied, a bit reluctantly, ‘Just worry about it, I suppose.’ The doctor went on, ‘Do you get that much pleasure out of worrying about it?’ ‘No,’ replied the patient, ‘but I get such terror when I think o

September sanity

On a deliciously warm summer afternoon in the middle of August, I greeted my neighbour who is a teacher. We exchanged a few pleasantries and then I began to ask him about the coming school year. “Don’t even start down that direction,” he warned, holding up his hand palm-out, like a nonverbal stop sign.

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