All posts from “Culture”

Wednesday Link List: Choosing a Church, Childhood Lost, and More

November 6, 2013 8:00 AM

I've checked this week and nobody in the Pentecostal community is organizing a Strange Ice Conference. So far. Here's the rest of my research: On Monday, the news about American pastor Saeed Abedini, imprisoned in Iran, was not good....

Wednesday Link List: Strange Fire, Asperger's Syndrome, and More

October 23, 2013 8:00 AM

Time to take another look at the best of Christian blogs and internet news you may have missed. Not many weird religious news stories this week; try to do something stupid over the next few days, okay? According to...

Wednesday Link List: Duck the Halls, Theology of Board Games, and More

October 9, 2013 8:00 AM

A big shout out this week to the people who track me down and submit link suggestions. Weekly deadline is 6:00 PM Eastern on Mondays. Although this movie trailer was posted in May, it was new to me: Coming...

Wednesday Link List: A Homeless Wedding Reception, Billboard Ministry, and More

October 2, 2013 7:00 AM

[B]link and you'll miss it! Usually the video links come near the end. But not when it's a new song by Gungor. So why does Compassion invite online writers to apply for one of their overseas trips if they...

Wednesday Link List: 1984 Renault, Everyday Champions Church, and More

September 18, 2013 8:00 AM

My pappy said,"Son you're gonna drive me to drinkin' if you don't stop readin' that Wednesday Linkin'" * Where are the frogs? For Glen Eyrie, a Christian conference center in Colorado operated by The Navigators, last year it was...

Wednesday Link List: Animal-friendly Religion, Suggestive Selfies, and More

September 11, 2013 7:00 AM

Link and the world links with you; lurk and you lurk alone... A Texas pastor believes the R-rating a small budget film received was intended to limit exposure to its faith-based message. In one of their best articles ever,...

Wednesday Link List

September 4, 2013 7:00 AM

The interwebs were moving slower over the Labor Day weekend -- and we stepped outside our rolling 30 day window -- but hopefully what we lack in quantity this week we make up for in quality... A pastor leading...

50 Years Ago: "I Have a Dream."

August 28, 2013 10:00 AM

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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....

Wednesday Link List: Hating Esau, Social Media Sins, and More

August 28, 2013 8:15 AM

If you don't click all these links, how will you know they're not talking about you? The Gay Debate Continues: How can we pick and choose which Levitical laws continue into the present age and which don't? That's easy....

Wednesday Link List: Saddleback Smuggling, Dying Out Loud, and More

August 21, 2013 7:01 AM

All the news that's fit to link. Why should the devil have all the good parties? An expert in block parties suggests that Christians should host the best street events. It's hard to find a place where fracking isn't...

Accountable for Attention?

August 19, 2013 4:29 PM

A couple years ago I attended the E2 Conference on technology and innovation. As is the nature of most business-tech conferences, there was plenty of Kool-aid for the drinking. Industry experts and leading technology vendors were selling visions of...

Big Johnson T-shirts and Christian Comparison

August 8, 2013 12:31 PM

In the mid-90’s, there was a popular (and dreadful) series of “Big Johnson” novelty t-shirts for guys. You remember—those sophomoric t-shirts that not-so-subtly touted the size of one’s genitals with crude, witless metaphors. At one point, the majority of...

Wednesday Link List: John Lennon, Christian Email Hoaxes, and More

August 7, 2013 7:01 AM

Is it Wednesday already? Time for another list of links of interest to people like you from blogs and websites great and small. How about a 19-second video to kick things off? (Apologies to those who clicked!) Frank Viola...

The New York Times on "Addictive Prayer"

August 6, 2013 3:26 PM

Over at The New York Times, op-ed guest columnist T.M. Luhrmann discusses "addictive" prayer, World of Warcraft, and the case of Sigfried Gold, an atheist smoker who kicked his habit after praying for 30 minutes a day to "......

Wednesday Link List: Surprising Missionaries, Vocational Grandma-Guilt, and More

July 31, 2013 7:00 AM

We scan the internet so you don't have to! You still have a few more days left to catch the entire service rebroadcast of Rick and Kay Warren's return to their church, or as my wife calls it, Back...

“I Was Wrong, I’m Sorry, and I Love You”

July 30, 2013 9:19 AM

“I’ve cared too much and not enough in the same breath.” - Derek Webb, “I Was Wrong, I’m Sorry, and I Love You.” In high school one of my closest friends went to a Baptist church. It was the...

Bigger Chunks of Bread

July 25, 2013 7:00 AM

I grew up as a preacher’s kid. My father was a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force before he pastored churches in the United Methodist Church and the American Baptist Association. During my college years at the University of...

Wednesday Link List: Rick Warren, Canterbury Glossalia, and More

July 24, 2013 7:00 AM

Welcome to another installment of (seemingly) random links from Thinking Out Loud. A subject I'll click on every time: Greg Laurie on why is the United States seemingly absent in Biblical prophecy. So what about that verse about those...

Head Coverings in the Day of the Internet

July 18, 2013 8:55 AM

From The Head Covering Movement website....

Wednesday Link List: Early Marriage, Hogwarts Seminary, and Much More

July 17, 2013 8:00 AM

Welcome to this week's list. Remember, you don't want to know what's on the internet, you want to know what else is on, and this week that was quite a lot! Okay, it doesn't rank up there with A...

Do Religions Produce "More than Their Fair Share" of Child Abusers?

July 16, 2013 8:00 AM

Terry Firma recently raised a provocative question through Hemant Mehta’s “Friendly Athiest” channel on Patheos.com: Do all religions—not just Catholicism—produce more than their fair share of child sex abusers? He says yes. Unfortunately for him, it’s just not true....

Robbers, Lawyers, and Neighbors

July 15, 2013 8:54 AM

On Saturday, George Zimmerman was found not guilty for the murder of Trayvon Martin. On Twitter, people were outraged, mournful, sarcastic, and victorious. “Justice has been declared.” “Justice has been mocked.” An unarmed boy was killed, his life snuffed...

Wednesday Link List: Trayvon Martin, Scientology Censors, and More

July 10, 2013 8:00 AM

We return for another adventure in mouse clicking -- for which we thank the recently deceased mouse inventor Douglas Engelbart -- from the Wednesday Link List at Thinking Out Loud. As the Trayvon Martin case continues, a Christian social...

Egyptian Christians and Prophetic Politics

July 8, 2013 10:10 AM

The aftermath of 2010/11's Arab Spring revolutions had deeply mixed results for Christians across the Middle East. The political unrest (usually sparked for worthy motives) frequently suspended laws or enforcement energy that protected vulnerable churches and Christian communities. This...

Wednesday Links: Gender Benders, Positive Prophets, and More

July 3, 2013 8:00 AM

For those of you joining us for the first time, welcome to Random Acts of Linking, AKA the Wednesday Link List from Thinking Out Loud. Links included here may not be new, but they're new to us. We aim...

Evangelicals Are Too Political & Other Popular Myths

July 2, 2013 8:20 AM

Since the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8 last week, it seems everyone with a keyboard has been analyzing the implications of the decisions. What does it mean for the gay...

Bigger Chunks of Time

June 26, 2013 3:44 PM

How well do your church members know each other? How much do people really share and care about one another’s lives? Does anything in their daily existence allow for anything other than superficial relationships? And do the demands of...

Love Closed Down Exodus International

June 20, 2013 9:45 AM

Late yesterday, Exodus International, the 37-year-old benchmark for Christian “ex-gay” ministry, apologized to people it had hurt and announced its closing (and transformation to a new ministry). The official statements (apology and announcement of closing) are national news. In his...

Superman: Sermon Notes from Exile

June 18, 2013 10:54 AM

I wrote the Sermon Notes for the recent Man of Steel blockbuster film. Thousands of pastors took the time to visit a website, enter their address, and download the notes. I am glad that many have found the parallels...

The Fishbowl, My Friend

June 17, 2013 10:13 AM

As a young pastor I hated the “fishbowl effect” of ministry. You know—that feeling that everyone's watching you, and that your mistakes count more. It seemed unfair to my young mind that my personal shortcomings (which would never be...

Is Church Tax Exemption Muzzling the Gospel?

June 12, 2013 11:42 AM

With religious freedom a major topic of national discussion, it was only a matter of time before the issue of church tax-exempt status came up. In a recent speech to a gathering of SBC pastors, ex-pastor, former presidential candidate,...

Jesus Is the Worst Superhero Ever

May 14, 2013 8:06 AM

If you woke up and the world had been transformed into a super-nerd dystopia where a demigod-Patton Oswalt forced you to choose only the best superhero to preserve from 100 years of American comics, you would choose Superman. Sure,...

Friday Five Interview: Russell Moore

May 10, 2013 5:00 AM

For today's entry in the Friday Five interview series, we catch up with Russell Moore, the recently-elected president of the Southern Baptist’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, replacing the recently retired Richard Land. Prior to accepting this position, he was...

The Painted Men

May 9, 2013 8:30 AM

“What’s with the face paint?” I got the question a dozen times from the men in my church. It was a Friday evening in spring. They stood around a fire, bemused and slightly nervous as I painted black and red...

The Beards of Ministry

February 14, 2013 2:51 PM

Face it, folks: the beard is back in a big way. Along with celebrities, bike messengers, and your local barista, pastors are no exception to the glories of facial hair. The ministry beard has a long and glorious history among...

Why the Giglio Debacle isn’t the end of Public Evangelicalism

January 18, 2013 3:58 PM

On January 10th, Louie Giglio declined the invitation to pray the benediction at the Presidential Inauguration over pressure relating to an "anti-gay” sermon that he preached almost twenty years ago. Depending on who you’re talking with, Giglio’s move was either...

Ur Video: Are Mormons Christians?

April 26, 2012 12:00 AM

Most evangelicals vote for Republican candidates, and for the last three decades the Republican Party has coveted evangelical votes by emphasizing the GOP's close link to Christian faith and values. But with Mitt Romney now the Republican candidate for President,...

Seriously Silly

April 20, 2012 12:00 AM

Back in the 1990s, Phil Vischer achieved success with the creation of CG Protestant produce. Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber were the stars VeggieTales, the kids video series that smashed sales records and taught a whole generation that...

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...

Risky Business (Part 2)

March 14, 2012 12:00 AM

Read part 1. So what is the solution to the captivity of ministry leaders to business models? I've got a theory: to the extent that the church does not know its Bible, really know the Bible, the more it seeks...

Risky Business (Part 1)

March 12, 2012 12:00 AM

I first discovered Jim Gilmore when his book, The Experience Economy, was handed to me by a nationally known church consultant in 2002. If I wanted my church to grow, he explained, I had to employ the marketplace strategies in...

Linstant Leader

February 27, 2012 12:00 AM

Normally, February is the dullest month in the sports calendar. The NFL season concluded with the Super Bowl. March Madness is not yet on the horizon. Pitchers and catchers haven't reported. And games in the interminably long basketball and hockey...

Part 2: The Evangelical Industrial Complex & the Rise of Celebrity Pastors

February 21, 2012 12:00 AM

Read Part 1. This market-driven cycle of megachurches, conferences, and publishers results in an echo chamber where the same voices, espousing the same values, create an atmosphere where ministry success becomes equated with audience aggregation. (Thankfully there are outliers like...

The Evangelical Industrial Complex & the Rise of Celebrity Pastors (Pt. 1)

February 20, 2012 12:00 AM

Last week Bob Hyatt wrote about the temptations created by the celebrity pastor culture we live in and the harm it causes to our souls. He's not the only one talking about the issue. Both Relevant Magazine and the Together...

Skye Jethani: Is Tim Tebow a Hypocrite? (Part 1)

January 9, 2012 12:00 AM

Tim Tebow represents America’s two great religions: Christianity and Football. But the way the young Denver Broncos’ quarterback intertwines the two has made some followers of each faith uncomfortable. His post-game interviews always begin with “I’d like to thank my...

Most Popular Posts of 2011

December 30, 2011 12:00 AM

Another year of conversation is coming to an end on Out of Ur. Thanks to all of our writers, contributors, and commenters. It's been a great year. Like many others, Urbanites were caught up in the controversy surrounding Rob Bell...

Christian Saints vs. Cultural Celebrities

December 15, 2011 12:00 AM

Earlier this year, on October 5th, an influential and visionary leader died. His life forever changed the American experience, and his legacy will be felt for generations to come. An ability to see a future many thought impossible marked his...

Tebow, Jesus, and Praying in Public

December 9, 2011 12:00 AM

If you are not a fan of football (or prayer), then you may be unaware of Tim Tebow. The young quarterback for the Denver Broncos has been outspoken about his faith in Christ. But what has been causing a stir...

Shane Claiborne: A Devotion for Wall Street

October 26, 2011 12:00 AM

A reporter recently asked me, “As a Christian leader, does your faith have anything to say about Wall Street?” I said, “How much time do you have?” Theologian Karl Barth said, “We have to read the Bible in one hand,...

Catalyst 2011: Be Present

October 5, 2011 8:55 AM

I'm just heading out to Atlanta for the 2011 Catalyst Conference. Stay tuned for updates from the conference over the next few days. Based on the theme for this year's conference--Be Present--the upcoming participants have posted the following "reasons to...

Leadership Lessons from Superman's Underpants

September 14, 2011 12:00 AM

For years I’ve been trying to help people see that popular consumer culture is a form of religion. It offers us a sense of value, identity, and context that traditional religions once provided. Similarly, pop culture has sacred symbols. How...

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,...

Skye Jethani: Beauty from 9/11's Ashes

September 6, 2011 12:00 AM

A few weeks ago I was in New York City and I visited Ground Zero for the first time. Here is a reflection I wrote later that evening: Despite the ongoing construction of the Freedom Tower and memorial, it’s hard...

Why I Don't Sing the "Star Spangled Banner"

July 5, 2011 12:00 AM

I choose to belong to a strange tribe. Goshen College, my alma mater, made national news last month when its board of directors decided that the “Star Spangled Banner” would not be played before athletic events. As could be expected,...

Taming the Image

June 24, 2011 12:00 AM

The band is rockin', arms are swayin', and you're about to come on screen in high definition with such stunning visual clarity that even people in the nosebleed seats can see your perfect smile. Is this a rock concert? A...

McKnight: Why Don't We Care About Global Missions

June 9, 2011 12:00 AM

If you are an Urbanite then you know that last October church leaders gathered in Cape Town, South Africa, for the Third Lausanne Congress on Global Evangelization. It was the largest, most diverse gathering of Christian leaders in history. Our...

The Post-American Church (Part Dos)

June 1, 2011 12:00 AM

Read Part One of Skye Jethani's article, "The Post-American Church." OBSERVATION TWO: The American Church still has a vital role to play as the global church rises. In 2008, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria wrote the best-selling book The Post-American World from...

Ur Video: Billy Graham & Woody Allen

May 31, 2011 12:00 AM

Earlier this month Billy Graham was admitted to the hospital. The 92 year old evangelist was later discharged, but the incident has sparked a number of reflections about the scope and impact of Graham's ministry. Lisa Miller wrote an article...

Book Review: "Clouds of Witnesses"

May 25, 2011 12:00 AM

I’m seated at the front of a university lecture hall with representatives of five other religious traditions. Listening intently to the brief descriptions of our faiths are seventy undergraduate and graduate students, many hailing from other countries. Two weeks later...

The Post-American Church (Part Uno)

May 24, 2011 12:00 AM

A week ago I returned from a trip to Spain where I was speaking with a team of missionaries working in different regions of the country. Yes, I was suffering for the Lord on a Mediterranean beach. Apart from the...

The Morning After...

May 23, 2011 12:00 AM

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Ur Video: The End of the World!!!!!!!

May 20, 2011 12:00 AM

Matthew Paul Turner composed this essay a few years ago, but it seems relevant given that tomorrow is reportedly the end of the world....

Chuck Swindoll: We're Creating Spectators Not Worshipers

May 9, 2011 12:00 AM

In part 1 of Skye Jethani's interview with Chuck Swindoll, he spoke about the insecurity that leads some pastors to seek a crowd and to pander to cultural trends. Some of you felt Swindoll was just being old-fashioned and grumpy....

Chuck Swindoll: Insecure Pastors Need a Crowd

May 3, 2011 12:00 AM

The Latest issue of Leadership Journal features an interview with Chuck Swindoll about the challenges and problems he sees in the American church. High on Swindoll's list is the infusion of entertainment values into our worship. Here's an excerpt from...

May/June Catalyst Leadership: The God Show

April 26, 2011 12:00 AM

The new issue of our free digizine, Catalyst Leadership, is now online. This time we're covering how technology and entertainment values are changing the way we worship. The issue includes articles and videos by Andy Stanley, Britt Merrick, Louie...

Ur Video: President Obama on the Resurrection

April 20, 2011 12:00 AM

Yesterday President Obama hosted the 2nd annual Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House. Here's a video with his remarks, and how the resurrection puts things in perspective. In attendance were Tim Keller, Louie Giglio, Gabe Lyons, Kevin Palau, T.D....

Skye Jethani: Redefining Radical (Part 2)

April 14, 2011 12:00 AM

Read Part 1 of “Redefining Radical.” Consider who is celebrated in most churches. Typically it is the person who is engaged in “full time Christian work”--the pastor or missionary, or people who pursue social causes that result in a big...

Skye Jethani: Redefining Radical (Part 1)

April 11, 2011 12:00 AM

“How radical do I have to be?” the suburban mom asked. She had recently read a number of Christian books decrying the self-centered nature of much of the American church. The authors had apparently had enough of the consumer orientation...

Ur Video: Quran Burning Pastor

April 5, 2011 12:00 AM

In line with our recent discussion about the overlap in Christian and Muslim theology about God, let's talk about t he chaos that has erupted in response to the burning of a Quran by a pastor in Florida. There is...

The "Allah" Issue

April 1, 2011 12:00 AM

The latest issues of Christianity Today includes an interview with Yale professor Miroslav Volf about his new book Allah: A Christan Response. Volf grew up in Yugoslavia where Christian and Muslim communities have cooperated and clashed. The dedication page of...

Url's Links of the Week

February 11, 2011 12:00 AM

Urthlings, This is your leader. Here are the links and videos you may have missed this week. Consume them and be disturbed. Live well and evangelize. Url Michelle Obama tells churches to eat better. The First Lady marked the first...

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...

Multi-Ethnic Church Conference: Recap & Reflections

November 12, 2010 12:00 AM

It is widely known that by 2048, if not sooner, non-Hispanic whites will no longer make up a majority of the U.S. population. Less clear is what these demographic shifts will mean for us who are living through these days...

Is New Calvinism Really New Fundamentalism?

November 10, 2010 12:00 AM

Fundamentalism is characterized by: A.) Insularity. There’s a mentality of insiders over against those who don’t believe. B.) Distrust towards culture as a place where God is at work. C.) An “us against them” mentality. Because of the previous two...

Multi-Ethnic Church Conference: Day One

November 4, 2010 12:00 AM

I spent Tuesday in a room in San Diego with 400 pastors, academics and ministry practitioners. There’s no shortage of Christian conferences these days, but there seems to be something exceptional represented by these folks. You might get a sense...

Political Code Language

November 1, 2010 12:00 AM

There is a sinister trend gaining momentum in the days leading up to the mid-term elections. It is not initially obvious to many of us, but it has significant implications for the American church. The code language associated with this...

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...

Get Ready for Cape Town

October 12, 2010 12:00 AM

Last week Leadership's editor-in-chief, Marshall Shelley, brought you live posts from the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta--one of the most influential and popular ministry conferences for younger church leaders. Next week senior editor Skye Jethani will be attending the Third Lausanne...

Catalyst Day Two: Spectacle and Restoration

October 8, 2010 1:35 PM

Day Two of Catalyst began with the statement: “It’s impossible to love people and avoid tension at the same time.” Then, after an amazing spectacle, an audience participation exercise in percussion (think Blue Man Group with 13,000 people beating out...

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.”...

Driscoll, Avatar, and Native Justice

July 27, 2010 12:00 AM

Last week Dr. Metzger wrote on Ur about the novelty of multi-ethnic efforts in the church today. He asked whether justice was really taking root in our hearts, or is it just a trend. In this follow-up post he exposes...

Out of Context: Jim Wallis

July 23, 2010 12:00 AM

This excerpt is taken from "Always Personal, Never Private" in the Summer issue of Leadership. "When the status quo benefits you, your theology doesn't normally include changing the status quo. For most white, middle-class Christians, the world is working fine....

Multi-Ethnic Novelty

July 21, 2010 12:00 AM

You can learn a lot about Evangelical Christianity by going into a typical Christian bookstore in a shopping mall. You’ll find scores of how-to, self-help, and church growth books. I doubt you will find many books on reconciliation. While the...

Out of Context: Mark Dever

July 15, 2010 12:00 AM

This excerpt is taken from "Always Personal, Never Private" in the Summer issue of Leadership. "We have a special responsibility to make sure our brothers and sisters in Christ are cared for. Beyond that it is appropriate to care for...

What Did You Say?

July 9, 2010 12:00 AM

The Portuguese issue of Playboy showing Jesus Christ among topless models. “We did not see or approve the cover and pictorial in the July issue of Playboy Portugal…. It is a shocking breach of our standards.” -Theresa Hennessy, Vice President...

Beyond Bono

July 8, 2010 12:00 AM

The summer issue of Leadership is about a week away from mailboxes. The theme is "Beyond Bono: Doing justice God's way is more than a fad." In the last few years, there has been a dramatic rise in pop-cultural engagement...

An Open Dialogue about THE NINES' Poll (Part 2)

June 30, 2010 12:00 AM

Earlier this week, Dave Travis from Leadership Network asked Skye Jethani a few questions regarding his objections to the Twitter poll they launched for THE NINES. In part 2, Travis answers questions about the same poll asked by Jethani. Skye:...

An Open Dialogue about THE NINES' Poll

June 28, 2010 12:00 AM

Skye Jethani, managing editor of Leadership Journal, and Dave Travis, managing director of Leadership Network, have been talking about the controversy surrounding THE NINES' poll. Jethani thinks it was a mistake--a poorly communicated idea that has deteriorated into a popularity...

The Kerfuffle about "The Nines"

June 25, 2010 12:00 AM

Yesterday, Skye Jethani wrote a post critical of how Leadership Network was driving publicity for THE NINES conference. The "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" poll raking Christian leaders struck him as distasteful and he asked his friends at Leadership Network...

Thumbs Down for "The Nines"

June 24, 2010 12:00 AM

In ancient Rome large audiences gathered in coliseums to be entertained by slaves and prisoners—including many Christians—fighting for their lives against wild beasts and one another. Their fate was often determined by the emperor who gauged the crowd’s pleasure or...

The Theology of Multi-Ethnic Church (Cont.)

June 22, 2010 12:00 AM

Read part 1 of the interview. How would describe some of the rewards of leading a multi-ethnic church to pastors who have spent their vocational lives within a homogeneous church? For eighteen years prior to planting Mosaic I served homogeneous...

The Theology of Multi-Ethnic Church

June 18, 2010 12:00 AM

Mark DeYmaz is the founding pastor of Mosiac Church of Central Arkansas, author of Building a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church and co-founder of the Mosaix Network. Mark’s recently published second book, Ethnic Blends, addresses some of the unique challenges faced by...

The Jumbo Jet Generation

June 1, 2010 12:00 AM

40 years ago the Boeing 747 entered commercial service on route between New York and London. While the spectators marveled at the technological achievement—no one had seen 700,000 pounds of aluminum fly before—no one in the crowd realized that they...

The Future of the Global Church

May 27, 2010 12:00 AM

On June 10, Leadership's managing editor Skye Jethani will be moderating a conversation at Saddleback Church on the future of the global church. The gathering is part of the 12 Cities | 12 Conversations tour in advance of the 3rd...

A Church by Any Other Name ...

April 16, 2010 12:00 AM

Have you noticed that church names are getting increasingly strange? Our friend Dennis Baker has. He's been keeping a list of church names in order to document how far we've come from the days of "First Presbyterian" and "Springfield Baptist."...

Glenn Beck is Not the Enemy

April 5, 2010 12:00 AM

The email provided a helpful link and instructed me to “Tell Glenn Beck: I’m a social justice Christian.” The blunt Fox News pundit had recently outed “social justice” as code language for socialism. According to Beck, should you uncover this...

Why I Don't Tweet...

March 24, 2010 12:00 AM

Some months ago I sat down for breakfast with Ed Stetzer while we were both in Phoenix for a conference. Afterwards Ed “tweeted” about our meal together and commented that for some inexplicable reason “Skye isn’t on Twitter.” He gave...

To Tweet, or not to Tweet?

March 22, 2010 12:00 AM

I'm really excited to introduce you to a new Urthling. Jonathan Acuff is the author of the recent book from Zondervan, Stuff Christians Like and the founder of www.stuffchristianslike.net His humorous exploration of the church subculture is a perfect fit...

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...

How Not to Talk about Justice

March 9, 2010 12:00 AM

Back in January I wrote a post on “The Battle Lines Over Justice.” As more evangelicals are rediscovering the sections of the Bible that highlight God’s compassion for the broken and abused in this world, there is a fearful response...

Mark Driscoll: Avatar "Most Satanic Movie I've Ever Seen"

March 1, 2010 1:00 PM

Move over Rob Bell--Mark Driscoll has a new nemesis: Avatar. The blockbuster movie has been condemned by the pugnacious preacher as "demonic paganism" for it's portrayal of a "false Jesus" and a "false heaven." Driscoll said, "That any Christian...

A Christian Sexual Alternative?

February 26, 2010 8:00 AM

The title caught my eye: “Reverend reconciles sex and religion.” Was another church challenging married couples to make time for sexual intimacy for seven days straight? A pastor making headlines for an edgy sermon about the goodness of sex? A...

Ur Video: What is Absolutely True?

February 12, 2010 12:00 AM

In October 2010 the Lausanne Movement will convene the Third Congress on World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa. In preparation for that gathering, Lausanne and Christianity Today are developing a "Global Conversation" around the issue to be discussed in...

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...

Happy New Year!

December 30, 2009 12:00 AM

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Top 10 Posts of 2009

December 28, 2009 12:00 AM

Biblical Literacy Reaches New Low Why "John 3:16" being the top Google search isn't something to celebrate. by Brian Lowery The Body Broken for Who? Theologian J. I. Packer on restricting the Lord's Supper a Leadership interview The Facebook...

Merry Christmas, from Url Scaramanga

December 24, 2009 12:00 AM

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Burger King Health Clinics and Christmas Humbug

December 21, 2009 12:00 AM

Today's newspaper contained some great news. Nearly $9 million of federal stimulus money is flowing to Portland in the form of a grant to open a health care clinic for the poor in the middle of downtown. And the best...

Ur Video: Is Environmentalism a Religion?

December 16, 2009 12:00 AM

This week leaders from throughout the world are meeting in Copenhagen to discuss the impact of global warming. The issue is still hotly debated in the US (pun intended), while polls in many other secular Western nations reveal wider agreement...

Wait a Minaret!

December 9, 2009 12:00 AM

The peaceful, neutrality-loving citizens of Switzerland voted last week to ban the construction of minarets in their country-a decision not welcomed by the country’s 400,000 Muslims. For those unfamiliar with Islamic architecture, minarets are the steeple-like towers attached to mosques...

"Friend" Url on Facebook

December 8, 2009 12:00 AM

Friend me on Facebook and we'll be tight, chums, bosom buddies, cohorts, partners, sidekicks, comrades, cronies, pals, I'll be like a brother from another mother...virtually. (We are talking about online community). Check out my profile....

Ur Video: Joel Hunter on Social Justice

December 3, 2009 12:00 AM

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

Ur Video: NT Wright on Blogging

November 24, 2009 12:00 AM

NT Wright on Blogging/Social Media from Bill Kinnon on Vimeo....

One in Christ or Coffee?

November 23, 2009 12:00 AM

It's very difficult for many contemporary Christians to recognize how much we have been shaped by the consumer culture in which we live—it is in the air we breathe and the water (or coffee) we drink. Consider that in many...

Angry Preachers or Gospel Musicians?

November 19, 2009 12:00 AM

There wasn’t much that could have distracted me on the way to the train station on a recent Saturday evening. After two days at an outdoor music festival—in the rain one day and under the blazing sun the next—I wanted...

Separated at Birth?

November 12, 2009 12:00 AM

A few days ago, Drew Dyck (managing editor of BuildingChurchLeaders.com) sent an email to Skye Jethani (managing editor of Leadership Journal) asking to borrow a book by Dave Ferguson. Drew parenthetically commented that Ferguson looked like Edward Norton the actor....

Are Small Groups Just for White People?

October 30, 2009 12:00 AM

I came across an interesting interview in the recent issue of Leadership Journal. The subjects of the interview were from River City Community Church—a multi-ethnic ministry located in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. Leadership talked with Daniel Hill, who...

Matthew Sleeth on the Environment

October 7, 2009 2:34 PM

A few minutes into his talk on the church and the environment, Matthew Sleeth, MD called up a young man named David to share his story. David recounted how he had recently suffered a grand mal seizure. After a...

Reggie McNeal: 4-phrase definition of The Missional Church

October 7, 2009 12:28 PM

Reggie McNeal, missional specialist for Leadership Network, spoke about his new book, Missional Renaissance (Wiley):...

Recession & Racial Integration

September 11, 2009 12:00 AM

A year or so ago, when gas prices were over $4 per gallon here in Chicagoland, something remarkable happened: people started driving the speed limit. Despite the threat of traffic tickets, commuters regularly speed by 20 miles per hour or...

And the Winners Are...

September 3, 2009 12:00 AM

Last month we invited Urbanites to answer this question: What is Consumer Christianity? Your response has been surprising and creative. Some submitted definitions, others sent in pictures that made us laugh and grieve. A few even composed songs and lyrics....

Scot McKnight: Self in a Castle

August 28, 2009 12:00 AM

Leszek Kolakowski, a Polish philosopher who weakened Marxism’s grip on Eastern Europe, recently died. Few, I suspect, knew who he was. I consider myself fortunate to have read some of Kolakowski, one book being his scintillating sketch of the history...

Skye Jethani: Generation of Sarcasm

August 19, 2009 12:00 AM

A poll conducted by Time has revealed that The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart is the most trusted news anchor in America. He beat Brian Williams, Charlie Gibson, and Katie Couric. Walter Cronkite, having just entered his grave, must already be...

Ur Video: Chris Seay on Consumerism

August 11, 2009 12:00 AM

Chris Seay is one of the featured speakers at the Story conference in October. Learn more and register for the event at www.storychicago.com....

What is Consumer Christianity?

August 10, 2009 12:00 AM

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The Most Dangerous Place in America

July 24, 2009 8:21 AM

The situations in Iran and North Korea continue to concern us and our government, but where is the most dangerous place in America? New York City? Detroit? Baltimore? Chicago? Los Angeles? Large cities such as these have received a lot...

Ministry Lessons From a Muslim

July 8, 2009 12:00 AM

Eboo Patel is not the most likely seminary professor. His credentials are not the issue. Patel earned his doctorate from Oxford University, and he is a respected commentator on religion for The Washington Post and National Public Radio. He has...

Scot McKnight: The Story Called Us

June 24, 2009 8:42 AM

At the end of his lecture and after answering a smattering of questions, the pristine and aged New Testament scholar, Bruce Metzger, asked Doug Moo if he could share something on his heart to the seminary students gathered that day....

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....

John Ortberg: Snapshots of Religious Life

April 27, 2009 12:00 AM

by John Ortberg Snapshot: The recently released American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) indicates that faith is going down across the board. The number of people who identify themselves as Christian has decreased by 11 percent in a generation. The single...

Mark Galli Weighs in on Evangelical Demise

March 12, 2009 8:00 AM

Senior managing editor of our sister publication, Christianity Today, posted a response to iMonk's prophecies about the end of evangelicalism on the CT website Wednesday afternoon. Here's the first bit. You can read the rest there. The Internet is abuzz...

Goodbye, Evangelicalism

March 10, 2009 12:11 PM

In the last 24 hours, USA Today and The Christian Science Monitor have both released less than cheery articles on the future of faith in America. "The percentage of people who call themselves in some way Christian has dropped more...

Urban Exile: Whose History?

March 3, 2009 8:43 AM

I've been to a lot of potlucks. Growing up in church and being a pastor has meant many, many casseroles and Jell-O salads. After a recent preaching gig at a suburban church, I was treated to an entirely different...

Divine Agnosticism

February 25, 2009 12:00 AM

The following is an excerpt from chapter two of Skye Jethani's new book The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity (Zondervan, 2009). My brother and sister-in-law took me to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl while I was...

Welcome to a Third Culture World

January 23, 2009 12:00 AM

by Dave Gibbons It's just the beginning. With the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president we are seeing what many consider a dream fulfilled. Of course there are still conflicts, and there still is racism, prejudice, and stereotyping...

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'...

Ministering to the Imagination

January 13, 2009 12:00 AM

by David Swanson The imagination calls up new words, new images, new analogies, new metaphors, new illustrations, new connections to say old, glorious truth. Imagination is the faculty of the mind that God has given us to make the communication...

Video Ur: Preview 2009

January 12, 2009 12:00 AM

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Biblical Literacy Reaches New Low

January 9, 2009 10:28 AM

by Brian Lowery Today, Friday, January 9, 2009 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America has officially become utterly and inexcusably biblically illiterate. Let me explain. Each Friday, over on the Preaching Today...

Video Ur: 2008 in Review

January 9, 2009 12:00 AM

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Merry Christmas, Urbanites.

December 24, 2008 12:00 AM

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A Win-Win on Same-Sex Marriage

December 12, 2008 12:00 AM

by Bob Hyatt An excerpt: ...the state needs to get out of the "marriage" business. It should recognize that as long as it uses that term and continues to privilege certain types of relationships over others this issue is going...

Happy Thanksgiving from Url

November 27, 2008 12:00 AM

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Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream for the American Church

November 14, 2008 12:00 AM

by Skye Jethani Amazing. How else can you describe what happened last week when Barack Obama became the first African American elected President of the United States? However you voted, whatever your politics, the election reveals something about the progress...

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...

John Ortberg's Lessons from the Election

November 11, 2008 12:00 AM

by John Ortberg My son has a bumper sticker on his car that reads: "I poke badgers with spoons." Its significance is not self-evident to everybody who reads it, so let me tell you the story. It comes from a...

Urban Exile: Re-discovering Justice?

November 7, 2008 3:12 PM

We evangelical folk love conferences. We'll attend one across the country or host one in our spiffy new sanctuary--er, auditorium. Shoot, we'll even blog about a conference for those who couldn't make it. I've attended my fair share of these...

The Hansen Report: The Day After

November 4, 2008 3:50 PM

The view of America from Manhattan was pretty bleak on the morning after November 2, 2004. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, typically a levelheaded observer of world affairs, watched America become "two nations under God." "We don't just disagree...

The Cult of Mac

October 30, 2008 12:00 AM

by Skye Jethani Many people feel that the greatest threat to Christianity today is postmodernity. Others zero in on relativism. Some believe the enemy is secular humanism. And others believe Islamic fascism is the boogey man. I disagree. In my...

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....

Audio Ur: David Swanson on Urban Ministry

October 22, 2008 8:51 AM

A couple of weeks ago, Leadership assistant editor Brandon O'Brien spent a day talking with Out of Ur friends and contributors in Chicago. The result of his efforts is a series of podcasts we'll be releasing on Ur over...

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...

Third Way Faith

October 10, 2008 10:24 AM

I've noticed a trend lately among Christian writers, thinkers, and leaders: they are framing their approach to faith as an alternative to left/right categories. Some stake out a via media between two poles, while others critique the very essence of...

Live from Catalyst: Day 2 Color Commentary

October 9, 2008 11:18 AM

Skye is offering a terrific play by play. Let me offer a word of commentary on one entry he mentioned. One of the people I was most interested to meet at Catalyst was William Paul Young, the author of "The...

Urban Exile: Suburban vs. Urban Church Politics

October 7, 2008 12:00 AM

by David Swanson As on any other Tuesday, my wife and I hosted our weekly small group on Election Day of 2004. A quick scan of the TV stations after the Bible study showed that we'd have to wait until...

The Hansen Report: Modern versus Postmodern Politics

October 2, 2008 2:33 PM

You can listen to every stump speech and read every position paper, but nothing compares to evaluating presidential candidates side-by-side during a debate. Their contrasting styles and views emerge in ways you hadn't noticed during the long primary season. The...

Pastors Defy the IRS

September 29, 2008 12:00 AM

This election season, a group of about 30 pastors plans to challenge the IRS law that prohibits churches from endorsing a political candidate from the pulpit. As part of the "Pulpit Initiative," organized by the Alliance Defense Fund, many of...

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...

Pagitt on Emergence, Emergent, & Emerging...Huh?

September 22, 2008 2:13 PM

In this video, Doug Pagitt explains the relationships between the terms emerging, Emergent, and "emergence." It strikes me as trying to decide which layer of the Incredible Gobstopper is the actual Gobstopper. But you should decide for yourself. --Url...

R.I.P. Emerging Church

September 19, 2008 12:00 AM

by Url Scaramanga "The emerging church will disappear." That is what my informant told me as we shared drinks at our clandestine watering hole. I felt like Luca Brasi being handed a dead fish wrapped in newspaper. The hit had...

Out of Context: Efrem Smith

September 4, 2008 12:00 AM

"People cannot tell the difference between a conservative evangelical message and Rush Limbaugh, or a mainline Protestant message and Howard Dean. Because of the media, any news item related to a major social issue...is politicized in 24 hours. By...

The Dark Blight

August 29, 2008 12:00 AM

by Skye Jethani Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, Batman! I've been meaning to write a post about The Dark Knight for...

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...

Olympic Shifts

August 22, 2008 12:00 AM

Shifts happen all the time - shifts in economics, politics, theology, church, and culture. But we usually don't comprehend the full nature of the shift until much later. One subtle shift happened in Beijing last week. You may have missed...

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....

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...

Formation via Fiction

July 8, 2008 12:00 AM

This is a highly unscientific observation, but I stand by it: In my scouring of bookshelves in pastor's studies and church libraries, I regularly find volumes from the corporate world about how to be an effective leader and efficient administrator;...

God and/or Country?

July 3, 2008 12:00 AM

I've got a special treat for you to commemorate Independence Day - a preview of the summer issue of Leadership due out later this month. The issue focuses on the intersection of church ministry and politics (not an irrelevant subject...

Announcing the Ur Lexicontest!

July 1, 2008 12:00 AM

Regular readers of Out of Ur know that new words and phrases are often coined and disseminated on this blog. ("Church pirate" may be the most recent example thanks to Ed Young Jr.) We'd like to assemble an Out...

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...

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...

Live at Shift: Deep Ministry in a Shallow World

April 11, 2008 12:52 PM

If there is one thing that everyone in youth ministry seems to be talking about it's how to keep students following Christ after high school. That's been a hot topic here at Shift, and this morning Kara Powell addressed...

Live from Shift: Switchfoot Podcast

April 11, 2008 11:19 AM

For the third podcast recorded here at Shift, we sat down with Switchfoot band members Drew Shirley and Jerome Fontamillas. In it, Drew and Jerome discuss the ways in which they've seen student culture change over the past 10...

Live from Shift: The Perfect Storm

April 10, 2008 10:21 AM

The second day of the conference began with Brian McLaren's breakout session, "Onramp to the Postmodern Conversation." This was designed to help newcomers to the issue understand the shift that is happening in the culture. He compared this change...

Live from Shift

April 9, 2008 9:05 AM

I'm sitting in Willow Creek's auditorium as hundreds of youth leaders and students slowly make their way in. In a few minutes Shift 2008, Willow's student ministries 3-day conference, will begin. As previously mentioned, for the next few days...

We're Going to "Shift"

March 27, 2008 12:00 AM

In two weeks the Willow Creek Association is hosting a different kind of student ministries conference. Shift 2008 will address the cultural changes that are impacting the way we think about reaching the next generation. Out of Ur is excited...

The Audacity of Rev. Jeremiah Wright

March 17, 2008 12:00 AM

For months presidential hopeful Barack Obama has been trying to dispel rumors that he is a Muslim. The good news for the Illinois Senator is that virtually everyone in the country now knows he's a Christian. The bad news for...

Al Mohler is Too Cool for School

February 5, 2008 12:00 AM

Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, has a reputation for diving fearlessly into controversial issues. A visit to his Wikipedia page reveals his history of treading into cultural minefields and not leaving until...

The God Strategy

January 30, 2008 12:00 AM

With the presidential campaign in full swing, politics has been a more frequent issue on Out of Ur, but that does not fully account for our interest in the subject. This time around religion is playing a much more prominent...

Top 10 Posts of 2007

December 27, 2007 12:00 AM

A year ago on this blog it seemed hard to imagine that 2007 would surpass 2006 in traffic and participation, but that is exactly what happened. Thanks to the thousands of Ur-banites that read this blog everyday and drive the...

The Church of Stop Shopping

December 11, 2007 12:00 AM

Last winter Pastor Dave Swanson was Out or Ur's man on the street at the Sundance Film Festival. His reports sparked an excellent discussion about the impact of films on culture and theology. Swanson is back with a review of...

Are You Ready for a Mormon President?

December 7, 2007 12:00 AM

From time to time this blog has addressed issues of faith and politics. In September, Isaac Canales shared his views about the church's response to illegal immigration. Brian McLaren has spoken here about the demise of the Religious Right. And...

Me, Myself, and Jesus

October 5, 2007 12:00 AM

David Fitch is back with part 2 of his critique of the emerging response to evangelicalism. In part 1 he noted the "we're in, you're out" mentality in much of the evangelical church, and the anemic emerging reaction to this...

The “We’re In, You’re Out” Mentality

September 28, 2007 12:00 AM

Friend of Ur, David Fitch, is back with a few thoughts about the deficiencies in evangelicalism and the emerging movement’s reaction. But he’s not exactly enamored with the emerging church solution either. Fitch is a pastor at Life on the...

Alien Nation

September 11, 2007 12:00 AM

We are putting the finishing touches on the next issue of Leadership built around the theme of ministering to people on the margins. Isaac Canales, pastor of Mission Ebenezer Family Church in Carson, California, has sent us this provocative article...

Emerging + Missional = Emergissional

September 6, 2007 12:00 AM

Dan Kimball is a recognized authority on the emerging church. After all, he did write the book on the subject. At a recent conference we sat down to talk with Kimball about the future he sees for the emerging church,...

The Tech Effect

August 14, 2007 12:00 AM

Twenty-five years ago, the film Tron was a revolution - the first movie to use digital animation extensively. But critics almost universally panned the movie. One said, "Tron is loaded with visual delights but falls way short of the mark...

The Ever-Changing Message

August 2, 2007 12:00 AM

Our friends at FaithVisuals.com recently spoke with Shane Hipps, author of The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture. We posted part one of the discussion last month where Hipps uncovered the ways electronic media affect our messages, and how it can...

Is Video Technology in Church Manipulative?

July 10, 2007 12:00 AM

As you read this post the summer issue of Leadership is arriving in mailboxes. The issue tackles the impact of living, and ministering, in an increasingly visual culture. Many churches are eager to employ video and other new digital tools,...

The Divine Commodity Contest

July 7, 2007 4:20 PM

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Out of Context: Shane Hipps

July 3, 2007 12:00 AM

"I believe certain technologies preclude incarnational ministry. And the reason I believe that is because God became embodied in Jesus. And embodiment means human physical touch; presence. And there are certain technologies that disembody us, like video." -Shane Hipps serves...

Vintage Consumerism

May 29, 2007 12:00 AM

We caught up with Dan Kimball, pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California, and author of They Like Jesus but Not the Church (Zondervan, 2007), at a conference where he was talking to other leaders about consumerism and...

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 -...

Shepherds or CEOs?

April 26, 2007 12:00 AM

Recent excerpts we've posted from An Emergent Manifesto of Hope (Baker, 2007), edited by Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones, have generated a lot of discussion. This final installment should keep the trend going. Sally Morgenthaler writes about our cultural shift...

Dancing with Consumerism

April 20, 2007 12:00 AM

Url: You moved from a career in advertising to pastor a Mennonite church. Is that reflective of a generation that's reacting against consumerism? Do you see a trend of younger people preferring smaller, less market driven, ministries? Hipps: We are...

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...

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...

Sundance Film Festival: Report 2

January 25, 2007 12:00 AM

David Swanson, associate pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, is back with his second report from Park City, Utah. In this post he questions our assumptions about church and culture, and asks leaders to consider a new...

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...

The Top 10 Posts of 2006

December 29, 2006 12:00 AM

These ten blog posts were not chosen by Leadership's editors, but by the thousands of visitors to Out of Ur every month. Thanks for contributing to the conversation this year. In order of popularity, here's a look back at the...

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...

Cars, Cup Holders, & Complaining

October 20, 2006 12:00 AM

Chrysler has announced it will be showcasing their new cars and SUVs at mega-churches in a strategy to reach more African-American consumers. Chevy used a similar marketing ploy back in 2002 with their trucks. Remember "Chevrolet presents the Come Together...

The Gospel According to Electronic Culture: What if the medium really is the message?

May 30, 2006 12:00 AM

Before entering ministry, Shane Hipps had a career in advertising developing multimillion dollar communication plans for brands like Porsche. It was during his time in advertising that Hipps gained expertise in understanding the power of media, technology, and culture. He...

Liking Da Vinci, Loving Jesus: confessions from a Christian fan of "The Code"

May 18, 2006 12:00 AM

Unless you've living in a cave in Tora Bora you know that The Da Vinci Code movie opens this week. Early reviews have not been kind, but that hasn't deflated Leadership editorial coordinator Elizabeth Diffin's excitement. Elizabeth believes enjoying Dan...

Spencer Burke on the Church that Consumerism Built--and Why I Fled

May 3, 2006 11:38 AM

The upcoming issue of Leadership deals with "Consumerism and the Church It Creates." We asked Spencer Burke to write about his journey from being a megachurch pastor to spiritual guide of an online community (TheOOZE.com). Below is a brief excerpt....

Tivo Tyranny and Preaching to Consumers

February 16, 2006 3:05 PM

I just read about the latest form of oppression: Tivo Tyranny. It's the burden of having recorded too many TV shows, and now finding there's no way you're going to be able to watch them all. Tivo has a feature...

The Hidden Blessing of Brokeback Mountain

February 6, 2006 12:00 AM

Last week the Oscar nominations were announced and Brokeback Mountain, popularly known as the "gay cowboy movie," has been nominated for more awards than any other film. Although not a financial blockbuster, the film has been heralded by critics as...

The Poet of Ur: "Genus: Blog, Species: Comment"

January 31, 2006 12:00 AM

Wheaton College professor, and guest poet of Ur, Dan Haase has been watching our conversation from a distance. Dan sent along this short piece to help us pause and think. It has made me wonder, should this blog be seeking...

Unbundling Christianity: An Attempt to Define the Emerging Church

January 18, 2006 12:00 AM

Since this blog launched last October one of the alluring conversations has been the nature and definition of the "emerging church." The debate started when James McDonald declared why he is not emerging, gained volume with my report on Brian...

Sense & Sensitivity: Why It’s Time to Abandon the Seeker-Sensitive Model

January 6, 2006 12:00 AM

To its credit the seeker movement has made church leaders everywhere more sensitive to the presence of non-Christians in our congregations. But, as the epoch of the seeker-church continues to wane, what enduring lessons will we carry with us into...

The Blessing of Blogs: Is the New Media Good for the Church?

January 3, 2006 12:00 AM

The weblog phenomenon is being felt in every sector of our culture including the church. Some are heralding the blogosphere as an egalitarian "new media" that is changing the way people communicate and process ideas. But will blogs foster communication...

The Best Comments of 2005

December 28, 2005 12:00 AM

With the new year upon us this seems like the right time to highlight the best comments from the most popular posts of 2005. True, Out of Ur has only been in existence since October, but if mediocre sitcoms have...

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...

How Emergent Are You? McLaren's Seven Layers of the Emergent Conversation

October 28, 2005 12:00 AM

Islam has its five pillars. Buddhism has its eight-fold path. Evangelicalism has its four spiritual laws. And now the Emerging Church has its seven layers of conversation. Last month I was part of a small gathering of church leaders that...

Why James MacDonald Is Not Emerging (Part 2)

October 24, 2005 6:50 PM

(Here is the remainder of James MacDonald's commentary on emerging culture. MacDonald is pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, and its several satellite locations. He is also the featured preacher on the radio program Walk in the...

Flowbee, Jesus, and Me: A Catalyst Echo

October 21, 2005 12:19 PM

My hair stylist cancelled my appointment yesterday because of a schedule conflict, and for a few minutes afterward I searched the Internet for the Flowbee, the vacuum-attachment haircutting system that lets you give yourself a buzz cut. (I really, really...

Why James MacDonald Is Not Emerging (Part 1)

October 17, 2005 11:18 AM

(James MacDonald is pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, and its several satellite campuses. His preaching is featured on the radio program Walk in the Word. His is another perspective in the postmodern, emergent church dialogue.) Let...

Theology Is Back

October 7, 2005 7:21 PM

Leadership editor Marshall Shelley offers this report on his conversations with young leaders at Catalyst. "It's funny. It's like theology is back," said Rusty, who is planting a Methodist church near Auburn University in Alabama. The church is meeting in...

Catalytic Conversion

October 7, 2005 11:34 AM

Leadership editor Marshall Shelley reports from Catalyst, a conference for young leaders. After two days at the 2005 Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, I've picked up the mixed feelings that the emerging generation has about leadership. Even though Catalyst is billed...

8,000 Whoopee! cushions

October 6, 2005 10:40 AM

Hello from the Catalyst conference in Atlanta. I just heard a new Guiness World Record set: more than 8,000 people sitting on Whoopee cushions simultaneously. It was explosive! I am hopeful that the rest of the Catalyst conference will be...

Introducing Url and the Urthlings

October 1, 2005 12:00 AM

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