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Meaningful Worship

World Magazine reports on the new CD by the band Jars of Clay that updates the tunes of traditional hymns specifically because the words are so much more meaningful with much more depth than most contemporary worship songs.

Blog Post | Theology | Melinda Penner | June 14, 2005

Being Generous: Acts 4: 32-37


Blog Post | Theology | Melinda Penner | June 9, 2005

The Rise of the Evangelicals

"Evangelical" is a Christian label tossed around so often that I think it's become fairly useless because it's so indistinct. I'm never quite sure what it means to the person using it except that it's supposed to be a label of approval kind of like "born-again" became in the 70s: "I'm not that kind of Christian, I'm this kind of Christian."

Blog Post | Theology | Melinda Penner | June 9, 2005

Anti-intellectual Churches

What happens if it turns out that your church is not very receptive to your interest in the life of the mind as a Christian? Don't make it your goal to change your church, at least not initially. Rather, have a goal to establish a beach-head by assembling a stable group of Christians who value the life of the mind. Your group can then be a catalyst influencing other things happening in the church.

Blog Post | Theology | Melinda Penner | June 7, 2005

Just a Matter of Power?

Something I heard said by one of the Emerging Church representatives at the Biola conference is a theme drawn from postmodernism. While the EC is not necessarily postmodern, some thinkers and writers are significantly influenced by this philosophy.

Blog Post | Theology | Melinda Penner | May 30, 2005

Is Reformation Always Good?

JollyBlogger has a very insightful essay on the question of reform movements in the church, and the Emergent Church's reform movement in particular. He considers a very helpful distinction between "going farther up and further in" to understand and experience Christianity more deeply, and movements that encourage a change of direction.

Blog Post | Theology | Melinda Penner | May 29, 2005

Vatican Bible School

Frank Beckwith has a new article published in Touchstone Magazine called "Vatican Bible School" that is really excellent. Frank writes, "Today, although not agreeing on every policy or program, Evangelicals have become close cultural and political allies to theologically and morally conservative Catholics. Both sides embrace a common philosophy that informs our understanding of the good, the true, and the beautiful."

Blog Post | Theology | Melinda Penner | May 27, 2005

Form vs. Function

Mike at Eternal Perspectives makes a very important distinction between changing the forms of the church to make them more effective and meaningful to fulfill the functions of the church, that should never vary from what the Bible teaches. Many in the emergent church have raised fair concerns, many of which don't strike me as particularly new, but still valid.

Blog Post | Theology | Melinda Penner | May 24, 2005

False Dilemma from the Emergents

Brett Kunkle reported on the Youth Specialties/Emergent Church national conference he attended in Nashville. He attended a session on epistemology (the study of how we know) where John Franke and Todd Hunter critiqued modernism. Go read it and come back.

Blog Post | Theology | Melinda Penner | May 23, 2005

Keeping Your Balance

I like this extended quotation from J. Gresham Machen posted at Stones Cry Out because it reminds us that some of the challenges of the church are somewhat ageless and there's a great deal to learn from the "great cloud of witnesses" who have gone before us.

Blog Post | Theology | Melinda Penner | May 20, 2005