Saturday, July 28, 2007


Tony Campolo

Last Sunday I had the opportunity to hear a sermon by Tony Campolo, professor emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University and an ordained minister in the American Baptist Church, at Lakeside Sunday service at Hoover Auditorium (I'd already attended worship on the lakefront). He was the "Chaplain of the Week." Regardless of what you think of his theology or the larger umbrella of "the emergent church" you'll never hear a more entertaining Christian. He even jokes about being a bald guy with a son named Bart and a daughter named Lisa. He's a member of a predominantly African American congregation, and can preach it with patois better than anyone I know. If you were to hear it on a recording, you'd never guess he's an Italian American.

I always listen carefully for the gospel--not the social, feel-good, do-gooder peace and justice gospel, but the real Jesus-died-on-the-cross-for-your-sins, because without that you're just kiddin' around, giving people false hope that they can get into the kingdom with good works. Jesus didn't set aside any of the ethical and moral codes of the Jews developed over hundreds of years--the good news was about him. And Tony did mention it--at the end of the sermon. If you're in a liturgical church that sings traditional hymns and has a lesson from the NT and OT, you can fill in what the preacher misses. But why should you need to?

Thirty some years ago I had the impression that Prof. Campolo and I were on the same page. Of course, I'd been a works-Christian most of my life before 1974, so maybe it was just that with the fresh blush and bloom of the Gospel, I didn't notice that some people who called themselves Evangelicals had become bored with the Good News of Jesus and wanted to "move on." Or maybe he came to the conclusion that there were no unbelievers in the pew. Wrong. If the folks aren't saved, Tony, there's not much point to a stunning sermon about the spirit.

Cross posted from Collecting My Thoughts

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


They buried the N-word

There probably should be a few others. Story. As usual, Christians are followers, not of the King, but the Culture.
    Worse still, many emerging pastors today are embracing the idea that foul language is a great way to engage the culture. A recent church baptism training video (intended to look like an MTV farce) features a pastor in a pool, preparing for a baptism, when someone does a cannon ball right behind him. The church thought it would be funny to bleep out what the pastor says, as though he is cussing. When the church starts becoming like the culture to supposedly win people, nowadays that includes the use of foul language. On the Christian news blog that I publish, I cannot even link to some church sites due to their use of vulgar language and their promotion of Hollywood filth. I frequently have to delete comments from Christian readers who use words like “su***”, and cr**. Christians are joining the great stampede toward Gomorrah, and they justify it every step of the way. Those who oppose this kind of speech by believers are told to get over it. Read the rest at When Vulgarians Seize a culture

Thursday, July 05, 2007


On Beth Moore Bible studies

I've been in a lot of Beth Moore Bible studies--usually Saturday mornings, but occasionally the Thursday morning group. But this one is a hoot.