Showing posts from October, 2008

let's give 'em something to talk about

(no, i was never a bonnie raitt fan.)

last weekend was an historic time in the life of prosper and its original church, the united methodist church. friday night i loaded james and miles up and we went to prosper eagles vs. celina bobcats, our neighbors a few miles to the north. prosper last beat celina 24 years ago. however, celina had already lost two games this season, and i predicted prosper would win. at halftime the score was eagles 20-0. normally we stay for the bands and leave at the start of the third quarter, but there was no way we were going to miss this finish. final score: 33-7. their 7 came with a minute left in the game. of course miles saw none of this-- he was out at the beginning of the fourth quarter. james went nuts as the students stormed the field.

the next day was our church's annual fall festival, Lord's acre. it's a day filled with carnival games, food, face painting, silent and live auctions, hayrides, etc. monies raised benefit local an…

a presidential endorsement

following up on my most recent post, i am not endorsing anyone for president, not personally, not from the pulpit, and not on my car (notice on the back of the van it says WOMEN for obama). this article is an endorsement for senator obama from the very conservative chicago tribune. not only is the article unique in that it is the first time in the paper's history it has supported a democrat for the white house; but in a year where the rhetoric gets worse day by day, the article is respectful and intelligent in its tone. i offer the article not as an endorsement, but because i find it interesting that this has happened:

while i speak about tone, i understand that many people are angry this year. but the fact that people have been allowed to shout things like "terrorist!" and "kill him!," plus comment about an individual's race, and they have not been dismissed from the rally or condemned by those speaking has taken everything to a wh…

the pulpit and politics

i spent most of the week in the library at smu. i am coming around the last turn on my doctoral project, the first major part of which is due nov. 15. the project centers on the question of pastors preaching on moral, sometimes even controversial, topics in sermons. for the most part, very few pastors in "mainline denominations" do this. their reasons are legion: do not upset parishioners; separate politics from religion; wanting to avoid any potential consequences to their ministry. i understand these concerns, but i have chosen to take the opposite direction in my preaching, especially this election year.

my research this week focused on the social gospel movement in american religious history, roughly 1865-1918. one of its principal leaders was walter rauschenbusch, a baptist minister and seminary professor in new york. during his pastorate at 2nd german baptist church in hell's kitchen in nyc, rauschenbusch witnessed first-hand the suffering of the poor, who had…