Church Posts

How Should We Respond to Eugene Peterson?

How Should We Respond to Eugene Peterson?

***Update: Eugene Peterson has retracted his remark and clarified his stance on gay marriage (see: Actually, Eugene Peterson Does Not Support Same-Sex Marriage).***

You may or may not be aware of the recent controversy about Eugene Peterson twirling faster than a fidget spinner among Christians in America this week. In case you are unsure of who that is, Peterson is the one who translated the Message version of the Bible (by himself). He’s the author of many books and a revered pastor for decades. And until this week, he would likely have been widely considered one of the most respected Christian leaders in America.

So what changed?

In an interview with Jonathan Merritt, Peterson briefly discusses his changed view on homosexuality and the Bible, even stating that he would perform a gay wedding (see: RNS blog). The interview is worth reading in its brief entirety. It feels less like Peterson takes a bold stand and more like he thinks we should downplay this topic. My reaction to this controversy has everything to do with Christians’ response to him and little to do with his answers. That doesn’t mean I’d answer the questions the way he did. But the far bigger problem in my view is how we handle the diversity of thought on non-essential issues like this (meaning these are not salvation-level views concerning our beliefs in Jesus).

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Top 20 Quotes from Catalyst West (2017)

Top 20 Quotes from Catalyst West (2017)

This is part of a series of posts on 20 quotes. Click here to see others.

I had the opportunity to attend the Catalyst West conference this week with some of the team from Central. I’ve had the chance to become friends with the President of Catalyst and that has made these experiences even more special. Catalyst is a great shot in the arm of encouragement and connection with other church leaders.

Below I’ve selected twenty of my favorite quotes from the event. Each of these quotes is my best representation in writing of what they said verbally or a summary thereof. Any errors in wording are my own.

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When a Sermon Goes Off Script

This weekend my dad talked about great stories and decided to reference Star Wars. He wanted to actually have a lightsaber on stage for it so we got him a really nice one. The kind of saber that turns any male who touches it into a ten-year-old. You may not know this, but we actually rehearse and record a version of the message on Wednesday mornings. It was during this time an idea emerged.

After he does his creative element on stage, what if we did our own?

That’s when we unleashed the creative flow and Darth Jeremy was born. The video above shows us hijacking his sermon and catching him more than a bit off-guard. His laugh makes the whole thing worth it. Who said church can’t be fun?

*NOTE: if you watch the video on your phone you may not hear audio. Try watching it on a computer to ensure you hear the sound.

"Two thousand years ago God started a revolt against the religion He started. So don’t ever put it past God to cause a groundswell movement against churches and Christian institutions that bear His name. If He was willing to turn Judaism upside down, don’t think for a moment our institutions are safe from a divine revolt. I am convinced that even now there are multitudes of followers of Jesus Christ who are sick and tired of the church playing games and playing down the call of God. My travels only confirm that the murmurings of revolution are everywhere. I am convinced that there is an uprising in the works and that no one less than God is behind it."

Erwin McManus
Top 20 Quotes from Purpose Driven Church (2016)

Top 20 Quotes from Purpose Driven Church (2016)

This is part of a series of posts on 20 quotes. Click here to see others.

Rick Warren and Jeremy JerniganI had the opportunity to attend the Purpose Driven Church conference this week in California, hosted by Saddleback and Rick Warren. In case you missed it (which I’m not sure is possible), Warren’s book The Purpose Driven Life sold more than 32 million copies and became a runaway success worldwide. This conference was designed to pour into church leaders and empower local churches to think more strategically in the way they develop people.

Below I’ve selected twenty of my favorite quotes from the event. Each of these quotes is my best representation in writing of what Rick said verbally or a summary thereof. Any errors in wording are my own. At the bottom of the page are some tweetable versions of them.

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Top 20 Quotes from Blessing Ranch (Spring 2016)

Top 20 Quotes from Blessing Ranch (Spring 2016)

This is part of a series of posts on 20 quotes. Click here to see others.

I spent the week in Florida returning to a place called Blessing Ranch. It’s a ministry for pastors, and lately they’ve been gathering groups of people from across the states to join up in mentoring groups. That meant I had the opportunity to dive deep into rich conversations with three other guys in ministry along with an incredible mentor named Dr. John Walker. I meet with this group twice a year to sit together and learn from one another.

Below you’ll see my 20 favorite ideas shared throughout our time together. Normally I save my “20 quotes” posts for conferences, but this week brings so much for me to think about that I include it.

All of these are typed into my paraphrase of what was said and some of them are just my personal thoughts in response to something another guy said. Many of these are likely quotes from authors and leaders but which may not have been attributed as such in our discussion (although I’ve attributed the source if it was mentioned). They also include a few ideas from Jud Wilhite (numbers 15-20), the Senior Pastor of Central Christian Church in Vegas and the author of a number of books. We had a chance to video chat with Jud and allow him to speak into our conversation as well. All that to say this list is my best attempt at capturing some of the incredible insights I received from this week in hopes it can be a blessing to you as well.

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