The Two Shall Become One

From First Thoughts

A few years ago, I attended a family wedding and watched an amazing sight. The groom’s grandmother was suffering from advanced Parkinson’s and was confined to a wheelchair. She was utterly dependent on her husband. As a part of the ceremony, the minister invited the congregation to come . . . . Continue Reading »

Pondering the Fall

From First Thoughts

Not long ago I was dealing with a particularly thorny issue at work (I’m an academic administrator), one that drained me of much mental and emotional energy. I had to negotiate a conflict between two persons (both of whom are godly) who had hurt each other’s feelings. These situations . . . . Continue Reading »

A Federal Ecclesiology?

From First Thoughts

In a previous post, I proposed that a portion of the schism between evangelicals and non-evangelicals may be found along the fault-line of local church / hierarchy: Does the hierarchy / denomination serve local churches or do local churches serve the hierarchy / denomination? I lamented the weakness . . . . Continue Reading »

Evangelicals and the Local Church

From First Thoughts

Several of my fellow bloggers have alluded to the role of the local church / local ministries in defining evangelicals, which got me to thinking about an experience that I had a few years ago.I heard a leader from a Mainline U.S. denomination speaking his thoughts on the denominational hierarchy. . . . . Continue Reading »

Moving Beyond Simple Criticism

From First Thoughts

When I was a kid, I loved the sight gags in the old Adam West “Batman” series. One in particular used to crack me up: in the Bat Cave, the equipment was labeled with large signs, no matter how obvious it was what the item was. “Bat poles.” “Bat phone.” Etc. Ever . . . . Continue Reading »