Thursday, February 20, 2014


I recently completed Calvin Miller's book, THE VANISHING EVANGELICAL.  Miller died before the book was published and it was his last salvo directed at a  church he grieved as being in its death throes.

The book is not light reading.  Miller seems a lot caustic in his criticism of the mega church movement and what he calls the emergence of "jumbotron".  He is not unfairly judgmental, but his wide-sweeping condemnation is painful when applied to many popular televangelists and authors who have "contributed" to the current evangelical movement.

Miller suggests that the mega church movement has been caught up in the corporate lifestyle and philosophy of "doing business" and though its goal of reaching more with the gospel may be valid, the "stripped down" version contrived to make the gospel more marketable has diminished the evangelical movement and its potential for impact on our culture.

Enough's a good read and a call to us as individuals to think about what God has called us to individually as believers and collectively, as His body--the church.  

Here's how I was affected by what I read...

1.  I attend a church of about 1000-1200 pastored by my stepson.  The church is growing and getting ready to move to three services.  How can they (we) guard against the temptation to accommodate a growing number by re-shaping the message?  Fortunately, I can attest to the rigid determined stance of my pastor against the "dumbing down" of the gospel.

2.  I am a retired pastor and I am continually asking God what my role is in this season of my life.  I am an evangelical--and I am committed to affirming the essential elements of the gospel creed while at the same time looking for opportunities to share it with others.  I am looking right now for someone to disciple.

Read the book.  Don't be discouraged.  Resist the temptation to be absorbed by our culture and another unwitting member of the vanishing evangelical crowd.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

A "day off"

Tomorrow I have a "day off".

Currently, there is nothing on my calendar and Bev and I have determined that nothing shall invade or "corrupt" our coveted "day off".

A "day off" is new jargon in my new world.  In my former work place there was an expectation that I would take time off but more often than not, being a self-confessed "workaholic", I worked even on my "day off". It became a joke around the house about which phone call I would answer and which "emergency" I would respond to.  It was not the church's fault; it was all on me.

With my semi-retired status I am discovering the joy of a "day off" but acknowledging, as well, the opportunity to answer three questions relevant to my stewardship of this gift-- How can I glorify God? How can I serve my wife?  How can I enjoy myself?

I am not sure about tomorrow's agenda--Bev says we can't have one--but I am confident this gift from God will be used wisely and we will return to the regimen of life with renewed energy and purpose.

Take a "day off"...and enjoy it!