Author Archive

Are you a “centrist” evangelical?

Here’s a good article that suggests evangelicals are improving the image of Christianity (and in a way that I would imagine pleases God, I might add):

The majority of these centrists, like the traditionalists, oppose gay marriage and abortion on demand. The religious differences between the groups lies, according to Mr. Green, “in emphasis and tactics.” Centrist evangelicals are less likely to explicitly proselytize and to announce that non-Christians are going to hell. They’ve tried to bring greater racial diversity to their churches, believe in a broader role for women in society, and are more likely to view homosexual behavior as a discrete sin rather than to blame homosexuals as a class–for, say, terrorist attacks.

Amen. But the “centrist” label, like “moderate,” still connotes middle-of-the-roadness, fence-sitting and lack of commitment, and these evangelicals are not antithetical to “traditionalism” insofar as it seeks after the true origins of the faith. Can’t we think of something more accurate? How about “authentic evangelicals” or “faithful evangelicals? “Genuine” is perhaps most to the point but admittedly sounds a bit immodest.


More on podcasting

We’re not the only ones podcasting worship sermons. (We’re on our third podcast of the new year, btw.)

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“The Simple Way”: A little too simple?

Interesting article about The Simple Way and Shane Claiborne’s “Irresistable Revolution.” Anyone read or heard of this book/movement?

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M@MH: Memento next Friday

Movies@Milligan House resumes this coming Friday (Feb. 3) when we watch and discuss Memento, the 2000 thriller about a man with short-term memory loss who tries to solve a murder.

Rated: R for violence, language and some drug content.
Runtime: 113 min

Links for more:


Now Podcasting: Old Orchard Church

With last Sunday’s sermon, Old Orchard Church has begun podcasting. Look for it on iTunes or wherever you download your podcasts.

The RSS feed is:

If you have any ideas for improvement, please reply in this space, or contact Nate or me. Enjoy!

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Top 10 Things We’ll Miss Now that the Church is Being Renovated

  • the garage-door effect: visitors who crane around to see just what the heck’s happening behind them as the service begins


Movie Reviews: Brokeback Mountain, Munich


Book Review: Christine Rosen’s “My Fundamentalist Education”

I haven’t read the book (yet?), but here’s a review from the Wall Street Journal of My Fundamentalist Education:

Christine Rosen’s complaints about Christian fundamentalism are mainly aesthetic ones.

Anyone read or heard about this one? Be forewarned: Amazon’s “customers who bought this book also bought” list includes:

  • Misquoting Jesus : The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart Ehrman
  • From Jesus to Christianity : How Four Generations of Visionaries & Storytellers Created the New Testament and Christian Faith by L. Michael White
  • The Sins of Scripture : Exposing the Bible’s Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love by John Shelby Spong
  • Hungry Planet by Peter Menzel
  • The Republican War on Science by Chris Mooney

Not exactly people who are open-minded about Christianity and Christians…

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When we sign “We Gather Together” this Thursday…

Interesting background on the Thanksgiving standard:

So how did “We Gather Together” get from a 17th-century Dutch songbook to 20th-century American churches and schoolrooms?

One answer is Dutch settlers, who brought it with them to the New World, perhaps as early as the 1620s. The hymn stayed alive in the Dutch-American community throughout the centuries, says Emily Brink of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in Grand Rapids, Mich. In 1937, when the Christian Reformed Church in North America–a denomination that began with Dutch immigrants who sang only Psalms–made the then-controversial decision to permit hymns to be sung at church, “We Gather Together” was chosen as the opening hymn in the first hymnal.

So the Methodists don’t have a corner on the market of great hymns, after all! 😉 The article goes on to say that the hymn “has has all the elements that make a hymn great,”

  • accessible melody
  • catchy “incipit” or opening phrase
  • a message that unfolds through the stanzas and carries the congregation with it to an uplifting conclusion

I suppose it overlooks what I would consider a fourth necessary tenet: scriptural association and authority, though that’s maybe included in the third one. I wonder what our own hymnwriter-in-residence Greg R. would say.


News sources

Susan B. asked me after worship today if I had a list of news resources that people in the congregation like to use (the subject was inspired by a sermon discussion that we had in the Milligan House about a year ago). I posted a list in this space last year, but I thought I’d revisit it, this time with a focus on print publications.

  • City Journal: A quarterly magazine of urban affairs, published by the Manhattan Institute.
  • The Economist: Authoritative weekly newspaper focusing on international politics and business
  • news and opinion.
  • BreakPoint WorldView Magazine: applies a Christian worldview to current events, cultural and social phenomena, and other topics discussed across the neighbor’s fence and around the water cooler, to equip believers with sound biblical thinking and apologetics.
  • The New Criterion: a monthly review of the arts and intellectual life. Written with great verve, clarity, and wit, has emerged as America’s foremost voice of critical dissent in the culture wars. A staunch defender of the values of high culture, The New Criterion is also an articulate scourge of artistic mediocrity and intellectual mendacity wherever they are found: in the universities, the art galleries, the media, the concert halls, the theater, and elsewhere. Published monthly from September through June.
  • WORLD Magazine: weekly newsmagazine, published 50 times a year. WORLD includes sharp, full-color photographs and offers complete coverage of national and international news, all written from a Christian perspective.
  • First Things: published by The Institute on Religion and Public Life, an interreligious, nonpartisan research and education institute whose purpose is to advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society.
  • National Review: one of the United States’ most politically influential publications, a conservative political magazine founded by author William F. Buckley, Jr., in 1955
  • The Weekly Standard: magazine is published 48 times a year, a “must read” for anyone interested in American politics and American life. Also has insightful international coverage.
  • The Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition: More digestible version of one of the best newspapers in the world.

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