All posts from “Christianity”

Fighting Christians: We Need a Christmas Truce

December 23, 2013 11:49 AM

Most of us have heard of the famous Christmas Truce of 1914. For roughly a week before Christmas, the shooting of the First World War ceased, and carols were sung from the trenches and even together across no man’s...

Ganja Love

October 12, 2013 8:00 AM

Any Christians out there want to puff some heady nuggets? Don’t worry, we’ll toke in moderation. Let’s score some of that sticky, stinky, skunky, outdoor, organic Kush and spark one up! Can’t afford 50 bucks an eighth? No prob....

The Polyglot Gospel

October 10, 2013 7:34 AM

I grew up listening to National Public Radio. With that awakened an early love for the modern, progressive, thoughtful existence that Democrats dream and preach about. My old man, more than any, instilled a handful of progressive ideals into...

Don’t Laugh; Your Church Might Be Miley Cyrus.

August 28, 2013 8:52 AM

Yes, it was bad. Judging by the reactions to the former child star’s very adult performance at the VMA awards, we had a cultural moment there. We again realized that not everything that can be done should be done....

Ur Video: Skye Jethani on the Mass Exit From Church

March 27, 2012 12:00 AM

In January, Skye spoke at the Lumen conference at Mariners Church in California about the exodus of young people from our churches. Rather than focusing on the sociological data, he used his time to talk about how the way we...

Christianism Leads to Atheism

March 22, 2012 12:00 AM

As I get around the country there is one question I hear from pastors more than any other: How do we reach young people? They don’t need research from Barna, Lifeway, Pew, and Gallup to tell them young people are...

Ur Video: David Kinnaman on Growing Indifference Toward Faith

March 6, 2012 12:00 AM

In this segment of an interview of David Kinnaman by Kevin Palau, Kinnaman discusses new research by the Barna Group revealing Americans are becoming increasingly indifferent toward religion. The implications for outreach and evangelism are profound, and it may result...

Mormons, Mormons Everywhere

September 12, 2011 12:00 AM

Newsweek dubbed it “the Mormon Moment” in June. There’s a Broadway musical about Mormon missionaries, two potential Mormon presidential candidates, Warren Jeffs in the media, and TV shows like Big Love and Sister Wives. It seems America is fascinated with--or,...

Ur Video: The King Jesus Gospel

August 22, 2011 12:00 AM

It seems everyone has an answer for the exodus of young people from the church. We're too homophobic, too irrelevant, too age-segmented, too boring, or too consumerist. But Scot McKnight's explanation goes far deeper. He thinks we have fundamentally misunderstood...

Scandal of the Evangelical Imagination

August 8, 2011 12:00 AM

In 1995, Mark Noll argued in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind that the problem with evangelicalism is “that there is not much of an evangelical mind.” His solution was to take scholarship more seriously. A decade later, Ron Sider...

Did Jesus Preach the Gospel?

August 1, 2011 12:00 AM

Prepare yourselves for the onslaught. Scot McKnight is venturing into the "What Is the Gospel?" war that's been waging between the Neo-Calvinists and...well, everyone else. McKnight's new book, due out later this month, is The King Jesus Gospel: The...

Does "Born-Again" = Small Brain?

June 3, 2011 12:00 AM

A study released last week by the Duke University Medical Center finds that Mainline Protestants have larger brains, literally, than "born-again" Christians, Roman Catholics, or the religiously unaffiliated. The research, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Templeton...

Skye Jethani's New Book "WITH"

May 6, 2011 12:00 AM

Just a quick heads up for urbanites. Skye Jethani, senior editor of Leadership Journal and a regular here on Ur, has a new book being released this August- WITH: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God. Thomas Nelson has...

Do Christianity & Capitalism Clash?

April 21, 2011 12:00 AM

A poll conducted by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service was released this week that finds more Americans (44 percent) believe Christian values are at odds with capitalism than believe they are compatible (36 percent). However,...

Ur Video: The Church and the Arts

January 11, 2011 12:00 AM

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The Christian Industrial Complex (Part 2)

December 17, 2010 12:00 AM

(Read part 1) In light of all the exciting movements addressing world hunger and peace, many with Christians in the forefront, I really believe Christian stores should be pioneers and innovators, rather than chameleons. Selling fair trade coffee is a...

The Christian Industrial Complex (Part 1)

December 15, 2010 12:00 AM

I went into a Christian bookstore the other day and was surprised to see some of the most prominent display space given over to military flags for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. These flags, and a vast...

Lessons from the Lausanne Gathering

October 26, 2010 12:00 AM

Over the course of the last week, I’ve joined more than 4200 representatives from 198 nations to listen to dozens upon dozens upon many more dozens of speakers address many of the most challenging issues of our age. Here are...

Book Review: The Next Christians

October 22, 2010 12:00 AM

If you have not yet encountered Gabe Lyons, let me encourage you to do so because he is a person worth your time. As co-founder of Catalyst, founder of Q (a learning community dedicated to mobilizing Christians for the common...

Atheists Split at Annual Conference

October 13, 2010 12:00 AM

Fans of the Beatles celebrated John Lennon’s 70th birthday this week. Lennon was killed by a gunman in 1980 in New York City, and his violent death is often contrasted with the utopian dream Lennon composed in his song Imagine....

Ur Cartoon: Anglican Ignorance

September 24, 2010 12:00 AM

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Augustine on Celebrity Conversions

September 22, 2010 12:00 AM

One of the constant pleasures of studying Christian history is being reminded again and again that Qoheleth was right: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”...

Ur Video: Brian McLaren on Being a Heretic

August 18, 2010 12:00 AM

At the Q Conference last April in Chicago, Scot McKnight interviewed Brian McLaren about the "provocative ambiguity" in many of his writings. Does McLaren still affirm the classic creeds of the church as he stated in A Generous Orthodoxy, and...

Anne Rice's Renunciation

August 13, 2010 8:46 AM

Best selling author Anne Rice has quit Christianity. She is not quitting on Jesus Christ or the Bible, she says, but she is quitting organized Christianity. Ms. Rice announced her quit-decision not through a resignation letter (where would one send...

Who Speaks for Evangelicals?

July 20, 2010 9:38 AM

One of the advantages of being Catholic is that, whether you agree or not, at least you know who speaks for you. When a controversial subject needs to be discussed, there are vehicles and forums to help it get a...

Review: Brian McLaren's 'A New Kind of Christianity'

March 18, 2010 9:00 AM

Scot McKnight, a regular contributor to Ur, has written a review of Brian McLaren's latest book for Christianity Today. McLaren and his ideas have been the subject of much debate in recent years. Does A New Kind of Christianity pacify...

The Hansen Report: 5 Myths about Emerging Adult Religion

February 22, 2010 12:00 AM

If you want to rile up the evangelical masses, drag out dubious statistics about how many Christians fall away from the faith after high school. We fear for our youth, that they’ll rebel against what their parents and churches...

A Movement or a Fad?

February 2, 2010 12:00 AM

The difference between a fad and a movement is that a movement produces long term enduring change. A fad, on the other hand, feeds off something that already exists: a cultural awareness, a disenchantment, or even a novel idea and...

The Battle Lines Over Justice

January 15, 2010 12:00 AM

As I write this, Christian relief agencies, denominations, churches, and parachurch ministries around the world are mobilizing to aid the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. But the call to alleviate suffering and rescue the oppressed is not only being...

Ur Video: Joel Hunter on Social Justice

December 3, 2009 12:00 AM

Catalyst Voices - Dr. Joel Hunter, "Social Justice" from Catalyst on Vimeo....

Rocking the White Citadel

September 4, 2009 12:00 AM

My life and worldview will never be the same after living seven years in Uganda. My wife and children, our mission team members, and I all made friends with and learned from people who were struggling out of poverty but...

Miss California and the Politics of Sexual Redemption

July 20, 2009 12:00 AM

I know this is little late, but for me, nothing illustrates the current state of the church's witness in regard to sexual issues in America better than the Ms. California/USA pageant episode a couple months ago. It was an embarrassing...

Gospel Coalition or Expedition?

June 30, 2009 8:36 AM

The Gospel Coalition (TGC) has been galvanizing many younger evangelicals to re-think their theology and practice. I applaud this new theological energy. But I wonder (given its moniker) whether TGC will be a force for coalition or expedition. "Coalition" describes...

Do It, Don't Blog It

June 22, 2009 3:48 PM

I was a guest speaker at a church, waiting for my time to go up to the platform. That's when I saw something curious. The staff person responsible for coordinating the worship service was busy typing away on her...

Catalyst Leadership: Ministry Mastermind

May 8, 2009 12:00 AM

The following interview was excerpted from the latest issue of Catalyst Leadership--our new free digital magazine created in partnership with the Catalyst Conference. For instructions on reading the full text, see the note at the end. Any church with a...

Ur Video: Eddie Gibbs & Mike Breen on Post-Christendom

May 7, 2009 12:00 AM

Our partner at Shapevine.com, Lance Ford, interviews Mike Breen and Eddie Gibbs about the blessings and challenges of mission as the world moves beyond the familiar trappings of Western Christianity....

New In the Newsletter

January 16, 2009 10:14 AM

Instead of teasing you with a paragraph or two this week, let me tempt you instead with a table of contents. If you're not subscribed to the Out of Ur newsletter, here's what you're missing: Currents "Bible Society Supports Atheists'...

Video Ur: Preview 2009

January 12, 2009 12:00 AM

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Video Ur: 2008 in Review

January 9, 2009 12:00 AM

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Ur 2.0: Get Farther Out of Ur

November 13, 2008 12:00 AM

You can get out of Ur, or you can get really out of Ur. For those desiring the latter, the Ur Newsletter is the resource for you. For a few years I’ve been sending out a free email newsletter...

Ur 2.0: Introducing Url & The Urthlings

October 28, 2008 12:00 AM

You may have noticed that the blog has a slightly new look. The revised banner is a simple way for us to celebrate Out of Ur's third anniversary. In October 2005, Leadership embarked on a digital journey of conversation....

Out of Context: Andy Crouch

October 16, 2008 10:31 AM

The Fall 2008 issue of Leadership contains a new feature: The Golden Canon book award. One of our finalists was Andy Crouch's Culture Making: Recovering our creative calling (IVP), the much-praised contribution to the ongoing conversation about the relationship between...

Scot McKnight: The Eschatology of Politics

September 26, 2008 12:00 AM

by Scot McKnight Somewhere between 6pm and 8pm, Central Time, on November 4th, 2008, the eschatology of American evangelicals will become clear. If John McCain wins and the evangelical becomes delirious or confident that the Golden Days are about to...

The Church & Politics Quiz

August 26, 2008 12:00 AM

Where I grew up in the South, the three big holidays on the church calendar were Christmas, Easter, and Fourth of July Sunday. Now I live near Chicago, where many churches let Independence Day slip by without a word from...

The Hansen Report: Warren, Obama, and McCain

August 19, 2008 8:35 AM

I'm not Rick Warren's biggest fan. Don't get me wrong; I admire his godly character and zeal to claim this world for Christ. But I could live without the hokey acronyms and, especially, his "felt needs" approach to evangelism....

Out of Context: Mark Dever

July 31, 2008 12:00 AM

"Too many Christians today are trying to improve on the gospel. The gospel is what it is: the Cross of Christ. Christians on both the political right and the left are downplaying the effects of the Fall, and instead...

New Christians VS. Vintage Jesus (Part 3)

July 18, 2008 12:00 AM

I want to thank Chad Hall for taking the time to read the book and giving me some helpful feedback in his review. I also appreciate the opportunity to respond and will seek to do so graciously. (Read Chad Hall's...

New Christians VS. Vintage Jesus (Part 2)

July 17, 2008 12:00 AM

As writer, I am always thankful for reviewers who are thoughtful and evenhanded. I'm afraid that Chad Hall is neither. (Read Chad Hall's review here.) Firstly, I clearly do not write that the emergent movement is the exclusive purveyor of...

New Christians VS. Vintage Jesus

July 15, 2008 12:00 AM

If you'd asked me two years ago if I was part of the emerging church movement, I would have thought for a second and said, "Yes." When asked today, I pause for half a second before saying, "No." The New...

Tuning Out Christian Radio

June 27, 2008 12:00 AM

It's official: I'm tuning out of Christian radio. When some of the Christian radio stations in my area shifted their play lists from Southern gospel, country Christian and syndicated preaching, I took notice. I was thrilled to have airwave access...

Audio Ur: Dan Kimball's Take on Being "Missional"

June 26, 2008 12:00 AM

A few weeks ago Skye Jethani had the opportunity to speak with Alan Hirsch about the definition of "missional." Hirsch expressed concern that the word was being redefined and its true meaning lost. This week Skye sat down with...

Audio Ur: Alan Hirsch Defines "Missional"

June 4, 2008 12:00 AM

The word "missional" is everywhere. But what does it mean? Is it another way of saying "seeker-focused" or "purpose-driven"? Not according to Alan Hirsch, author of The Forgotten Ways and The Shaping of Things to Come. In this edition...

From Useful Idiots to Political Misfits

May 14, 2008 12:00 AM

What is an "evangelical"? According to almost 80 prominent pastors, theologians, and activists, the word "evangelical" has become "a term that, in recent years, has often been used politically, culturally, socially - and even as a marketing demographic." The group...

The Emerging Synagogue?

May 9, 2008 12:00 AM

While following a relatively uninteresting trail of research recently (which I won't retrace here), I happened upon Synagogue 3000 (S3K). This consortium of rabbis and other Jewish leaders is committed to offering "challenging and promising alternatives to traditional synagogue structures."...

John Ortberg on Religion AND Politics

May 6, 2008 12:00 AM

Anybody but me notice that this is an election year? I have loved politics since I was a kid; one of my first and favorite books was a little Cold War classic called Being an American Can Be Fun....

Monsters on the Loose 2

April 25, 2008 12:00 AM

Read part one of Craig Detweiler's post here. Monsters movies are a tired, moribund, nearly dead genre. Roland Emmerich's 1998 Godzilla remake was horrible - all the effects, none of the joy. It had a traditional scenario, established stars,...

Monsters on the Loose

April 22, 2008 12:00 AM

If you hate Cloverfield (or don't even know what it is), then you probably loathe emerging Christians. If you like Cloverfield, you're likely to dig the emergent conversation. Both deliver on their grand promises in a novel way (that...

You Might Be Emergent If...

April 21, 2008 12:00 AM

In the introduction of their new book whose title says it all - Why We're Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be (Moody, 2008) - authors Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck offer yet another attempt at defining "emergent...

T4G's 5,001 Theology Freaks

April 16, 2008 7:47 PM

I'm sitting at the airport in Louisville, Kentucky, heading back home after spending two days with 5,000 theology freaks, and I mean that in mostly a good way. Together for the Gospel ("T4G" to the initiated) is the second gathering...

Live from Shift: Bursting the Christian Bubble

April 11, 2008 1:44 PM

The final session of Shift 2008 featured Dan Kimball, pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California, and regular contributor to Leadership and Out of Ur. Kimball shared some insights from this book, They Like Jesus But Not...

Live from Shift: Telling Better Stories

April 9, 2008 4:30 PM

Here at Out of Ur we've been hosting a conversation about the themes found in Shane Claiborne's latest book, Jesus for President (part one and part two). As is evident from this conversation, Shane is a guy who provokes...

Pagan Christianity (Part 2)

February 19, 2008 10:11 AM

Many of you have requested a more formal review of Pagan Christianity, and I feel obliged to provide one. It should be said, however, that Out of Ur is not usually a place for reviews. We offer snippets and opinions...

Is the Pastorate Pagan?

February 14, 2008 9:19 AM

I appreciate it when a writer shows all his cards at the beginning of a book so I don't have to guess at his presuppositions. Frank Viola does just that in the opening line of his newly re-released Pagan...

Out of Context: Ken Fong

December 5, 2007 12:00 AM

"The old paradigm of evangelism was a transactional sharing of the gospel. I would try to get people to intellectually agree with me. But the new paradigm is different, an approach in which I invite you to walk alongside me,...

Faith & Politics After the Religious Right (Part 2)

June 19, 2007 12:00 AM

Brian McLaren believes the Religious Right movement has lost credibility, but what will replace it? In part 1 of our interview McLaren called for a more mature Chrisitian engagement with politics, and warned about linking political ideology with our identity...

Faith & Politics after the Religious Right

June 14, 2007 12:00 AM

Last month the politically polarizing founder of the Moral Majority, Rev. Jerry Falwell, died. Falwell has been credited with mobilizing millions of evangelicals to engage the political process. The religious right, as the movement came to be called, has been...

Out of Context: Mike Breen

June 1, 2007 12:00 AM

"In most evangelical environments, including mine, we have been overwhelmed with models and programs that are designed for local churches to grow bigger. Unfortunately, most really don't work...Many have also come to define Christianity by a set of beliefs. Churches...

Lights…Camera…MISSION!

May 1, 2007 12:00 AM

Films have been a popular subject on Out of Ur. That might seem odd for a blog devoted to issues facing church leaders. But in recent years films have become a testing ground for evangelical engagement with popular culture -...

Muscular Christianity or Fluid Theology?

April 10, 2007 12:00 AM

Barry Taylor is back with another excerpt from An Emergent Manifesto of Hope (Baker, 2007), edited by Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones. As our culture abandons any sense of certainty, how should Christians respond? Taylor invites us to consider a...

Jesus and the Art of Automobile Maintenance

April 3, 2007 12:00 AM

Leadership's editor-at-large, Gordon MacDonald, is back with further reflections on life and faith. This time he addresses the nature of spiritual brokenness - a truth incarnated by his temperamental 1950 Ford. (Sorry, I have a weakness for bad puns.) My...

The Future of the Emerging Church

March 19, 2007 12:00 AM

Conversations about the future of the emerging church can be overheard at conferences, seminaries, chat rooms, or anywhere church leaders congregate. Does the movement have legs? Does it represent a passing trend or a new Reformation? Not long ago we...

Gordon MacDonald's 2008 Questions

March 6, 2007 12:00 AM

A bumper sticker I saw the other day asked, "Is it 2008 yet?" From the other stickers on the car, I surmised the political change the driver wanted - and soon. My reaction, after the chuckle, was the desire to...

Out of Context: Sarah Cunningham

March 1, 2007 12:00 AM

"Few people see Christianity as a shift of allegiance that prompts us to make personal changes in beliefs, habits, and lifestyles. We must continually examine our churches to make sure our message is one that requires transformation." -Sarah Cunningham is...

Out of Context: Tony Jones

February 8, 2007 12:00 AM

"Modern Christianity has emphasized the immanence of our Savior, but, pushed too far, we are in danger of making the God of the universe little more than our buddy." -Tony Jones is coordinator of Emergent Village. Taken from "Prayer Beyond...

Sundance Film Festival: Report 1

January 22, 2007 12:00 AM

For ten days each winter filmmakers and film-lovers descend upon Park City, Utah, for a movie-watching frenzy. The Sundance Film Festival has been taking place since 1978 and has evolved into one of the premier independent film festivals in the...

Have We Become Crypto-Christians?

January 5, 2007 12:00 AM

To my knowledge this blog hasn't tackled too many issues of church history, so this post may be more "Out of Place" than "Out of Ur." Still, I have found that the past often illuminates my understanding of my faith...

Product Placement in the Pews—Part 2

December 22, 2006 12:00 AM

The Wharton School of Business has posted an article on their online journal, Knowledge@Wharton, about the growing trend of marketing products through churches. In part 2 of the article we hear from some critics of linking business practices and ministry...

Product Placement in the Pews

December 20, 2006 12:00 AM

A reoccurring issue on Out of Ur has been the effort of secular corporations to market to and through the church. But Leadership hasn't been the only one to notice the trend. The Wharton School of Business recently published an...

Who Will Save Thanksgiving?

November 22, 2006 12:00 AM

Wal-Mart announced this week they will return the word "Christmas" to their seasonal greetings. Good move, especially given their faithful hick-hop constituency. No more generic salutations that so many of us carped about last year, when many merchants dropped Christ...

Out of Context: J. I. Packer

November 3, 2006 12:00 AM

"There's no sense that people need to be born again. There's no sense that Christians are different altogether at root level from non-Christians in society." -J. I. Packer is the Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, B.C. and...

The Body Politic

November 1, 2006 12:00 AM

Last night I received an automated phone call warning that the Democrat running for Congress in my district wants to take my house and give it to illegal immigrants. I've received similarly ridiculous calls about the Republican candidate - apparently...

Who’s More Spiritual: Emergent or Traditional Evangelicals?

October 22, 2006 9:32 PM

Okay, so no one's had the chutzpah to frame the question so baldly. But each group seems to assume the answer in its favor--at least, that's the impression you'd get from some emergent critiques of traditional evangelicals and from...

Baptizing the Imagination

October 12, 2006 12:00 AM

Our Good Friday this year included no sermon, no worship team, no cutting edge technology or lavish drama. And still people lingered for hours to pray, teenagers returned later in the night with their friends, and children begged their parents...

Reaching the Liberal Next Door: Are conservative politics a barrier to the gospel?

July 21, 2006 12:00 AM

Last March, the conversation on Ur heated up when Greg Boyd posted excerpts from his book The Myth of a Christian Nation (Zondervan, 2006). Boyd believes the mission of the gospel is jeopardized when we confuse God's mission with our...

From Lord to Label: how consumerism undermines our faith

July 10, 2006 12:00 AM

Christian critiques of consumerism usually focus on the dangers of idolatry - the temptation to make material goods the center of life rather than God. This, however, misses the real threat consumerism poses. My concern is not materialism, strictly speaking,...

Protesting, Pirates, and Potter: our inconsistent outrage toward Hollywood

July 6, 2006 12:00 AM

The summer movie season continues. First Elizabeth Diffin confessed her affection for da Vinci. Then Skye Jethani thanked Hollywood for not marketing Superman to churches. And now Johnny Depp and crew blur the line between character and criminality. In this...

Is Jesus the Answer or the Question?: rediscovering the role of mystery in our faith

June 6, 2006 12:00 AM

Recent posts on Ur have focused on the nature of Emergent - is it liberal Christianity recast for a new generation, or simply a forum of conversation for those looking for a better understanding of their faith? Critics have accused...

Is Emergent the New Christian Left 2: Tony Jones takes on Chuck Colson and "true truth"

May 25, 2006 12:00 AM

In part 2 of his post, Tony Jones addresses emerging church critic extraordinaire Chuck Colson. Colson sees the Emergent conversation as a threat to traditional Christian understandings of the "truth." Jones responds by discussing the interdependence of truth and community...

Is Emergent the New Christian Left? Tony Jones responds to the critics

May 23, 2006 12:00 AM

In December, Brian McLaren was arrested along with 115 other activists while peacefully protesting the federal budget that he believes unfairly treats the poor. As one of the most visible participants in Emergent Village, McLaren's increasingly outspoken political views has...

Cutting the Cord: Are Megachurches Birthing the House Church Movement?

March 10, 2006 12:00 AM

In recent months the conversation on Out of Ur has explored why increasing numbers of Christians are opting to pursue Christ apart from a local church. The discussion began with Kevin Miller's review of George Barna's new book, Revolution. And,...

The Jaded Driven Church: Re-Introducing People to God & His Church

December 5, 2005 12:00 AM

Some churches are seeker-driven. A growing number are purpose-driven. But one church in Denver, Colorado has positioned itself as jaded-driven. Dave Terpstra, teaching pastor of The Next Level Church, shares how his own disillusionment with ministry made him question the...

Introducing Url and the Urthlings

October 1, 2005 12:00 AM

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