Search results for: The Ex-Reverend

David Fitch Gets His Back to Church Sunday On

The Ex-Reverend always winces this time of year. He writes as a religion reporter and would by all rights be considered a religion observer. Even if he self-describes as having left the building, he is still very much interested in the vocabulary of religion. You may have an affinity against listening to or reading to such a person, but I believe we who still point people to a gathering of Christians should pay careful attention.

Sunday is Back to Church Sunday. Churches all over the Country have signed on to encourage people to come back to church. Lake life, summer vacations, and an all-around malaise may be overcome with a simple invitation. For years Churches have touted what you will get when you come to church. You may have read the rote that generally comes in a four-color, slick-finished postcard, “No boring sermons, Disneyland for children, informal attire,” etc. Read More

Stephen Keating Undresses Pro-Life Tactics or, Let’s Get Underneath Akin’s Skin

I am late to the bash. Representative Todd Akin’s remarks continue to form the nexus for many an article and blog post. My friend Marty Duren recently posted an open letter to Representative Akin from a woman who got pregnant from rape. John Eligon wrote a New York Times piece pointing out another side of Akin from those who support his overall posture in the Republican Party. He closes with this quote,

Still, he [Jonathan Sternberg] acknowledged that Mr. Akin’s mouth could sometimes get him into trouble. “Todd Akin works so hard and tears himself so ragged,” Mr. Sternberg said, “that he has the propensity to say things without thinking.”

There is little doubt we all have said things without thinking.

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Shelved the Church Fathers or, Bittersweet Acquisition from a Friend

Greg, The Ex-Reverend, turns 48 today. It seems like we have known each other for more than ten years. Time warps when you near mid-century levels. I am told it only accelerates.

Last week Greg inadvertently let me know he was selling his set of the Church Fathers, 38 volumes. It was not as if he were keeping a secret. He did not know I might be interested. I did not know he was selling. Long story short, the set is now on the shelves in my study. Pristinely kept, the set is a great aesthetic accent and will be a helpful resource I had been looking at acquiring for the past six months.

Books mean something. As I re-shelved hundreds of books to make room in just the right spot for my new set, I ran across books I may never read again. There are other books I keep not for their incredible content, but for the memory of who gave them to me. I remember Brother Justice offering some books to a young preacher boy. Brother Christiansen offered a slew of books when he retired. Others along they way called to say, “Hey, you might be interested in  . . ..” I was. Read More

(Non) Voting As A Challenge to Power – One Non-vote Voter’s Reflection

A couple of weeks ago the Ex-Reverend sent over several interview questions for a story in anticipation of Oklahoma’s Super Tuesday primary. Greg rightly wondered how Oklahoma’s Christian, Evangelical, voters might view Mitt Romney – a Mormon. You may read the piece here. He offers a lengthier discussion here.

Guy Adams, Los Angeles correspondent for the Independent (UK), read the Gazette piece and sent me a complimentary email with an invitation. He would be in town just before Super Tuesday and wondered if I would be available for an interview. We worked out the details and Guy was our guest at Snow Hill this past Sunday. He and I then enjoyed lunch in Norman before his next interview with Charles Kimball. You may read Guy’s article here.

Now that the dust has settled from Super Tuesday here in Oklahoma it seems clear that on some level Mitt’s religion was more problematic than Santorum’s. Evangelicals carried the vote – but not all Evangelicals. Neither received my vote.

I met Patty at our polling location after work Tuesday. All daylong I wondered whether or not I would even cast a vote. Read More

Christmas As Therapy for the Church

Would Christian churches cancel services on Easter Sunday? Are you kidding? That would be akin to the United States canceling Independence Day celebrations. Question many Christians’ celebration of those two events and said group would “Occupy” in a way that would make the Arab Spring merely a blip on the radar of history. In some circles you need but question Independence Day celebrations on Sunday to experience a plague of Mosaic proportions. Just ask my “former-pastor” brother.

Yet, for at least two months, Christian churches have considered what to do about services when Christmas falls on Sunday. Ed Stetzer began crowd sourcing on his blog on October 27. “What does your church plan to do?” Research conducted by Lifeway noted that at least 90% of pastors surveyed were planning worship on Christmas Day this Sunday.

The thought of not having services on Christmas never crossed my mind. Read More