Confessions of a Small Church Pastor

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Chuck Warnock

    Easter Podcast: “I Have Seen The Lord”

    Mary Magdalene encounters the risen Christ at the tomb of Jesus.

    On Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014, I preached an Easter message from the Gospel Reading for the day, John 20:1-18. Mary Magdalene’s testimony to the other disciples was, “I have seen the Lord.” In this message I explore the idea that it isn’t enough to have seen only Jesus the baby of Bethlehem, or Jesus the miracle worker, or even Jesus the crucified. We must also see Jesus the risen […]

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    Palm Sunday: A Service of Lessons and Prayers


    For this Palm Sunday, we took a different approach. We combined elements of the Liturgy of the Palms about the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, with elements of the Liturgy of the Passion. This enabled us to move from the joyous crowds which greeted Jesus on his entry into Jerusalem, to the vengeful crowd that cried, “Crucify him!” We took this approach because many in our congregation will not […]

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    Losing Our Religion Online


    The more we’re online as a society, the less religious we are. That’s according to MIT’s Technology Review which features a new study by computer scientist Allen Downey of the Olin College of Engineering. Downey concludes that “Internet use decreases the chance of religious affiliation.” Downey’s study analyzed statistics from 9,000 respondents to the University of Chicago’s General Social Survey in 2010. In 1990, only about 8 percent of the U.S. […]

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    Lenten Sermon: An Incurable Blindness

    On the fourth Sunday in Lent this year, the lectionary reading from the New Testament was John 9:1-41, the story of the man born blind. Here’s the message I preached last Sunday:

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    5 Evangelical Trends for 2014


    In keeping with end of the year predictions, here are mine. Of course, several years ago I predicted $5 per gallon gas. Thankfully, we never got to that point. But in light of my obvious fallibility I’m framing my prognostications in the familiar “what’s in and what’s out” categories. Here’s what I think (and hope) are in and out for 2014: 1. Out: Celebrity Christians. In: Communities that model love […]

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    Duck Dynasty and The Beverly Hillbillies


    The Christian outrage over A&E’s dust-up with Phil Robertson missed an opportunity to protest the media’s portrayal of Christians as freaks. I am not saying that Phil Robertson and the Duck Dynasty cast are freaks, despite their ZZ Top beards and relentless camo attire. What I am saying is that Duck Dynasty is just another media portrayal of Christians as bizarre, redneck, and unsophisticated. Duck Dynasty is the reality TV […]

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    The Ethics of Outreach

    ‘No Muslim Parking’ Sign Angers US Muslims

    I have read lots of articles on church outreach in my thirty years of ministry. I’ve even written a few myself. However, I have never read an article on the ethics of outreach. Maybe it’s time for a look at the ethics of outreach. Here’s why. In Hibbing, Minnesota, according to the KSMP-TV, the local Fox affiliate, a Muslim woman who had registered for a September 28 conference was asked […]

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    Why We Still Need (Some) Monocultural Churches


    Multicultural churches are all the rage these days. Conferences are packed with pastors learning how to start multicultural churches, or how to turn the churches they pastor into one. That long-overdue trend is welcomed because God is the God of diversity. In light of God’s call to reconciliation, churches ought to reflect the diversity of their neighborhoods. But, we still need monocultural churches, particularly among newly-arrived immigrant populations. Here are […]

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    Mark Driscoll, Let’s Talk!


    I try not to react to everything I read on the internet, but sometimes something so egregious comes along that I have to respond. Recently Mark Driscoll, megachurch pastor, posted on his blog an article titled, Is God a Pacifist? Driscoll is preaching through the 10 Commandments, and he has arrived at “Thou shall not kill.” I’m okay with his saying that this passage addresses murder–intentional and malicious killing. I’m […]

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    Bonhoeffer the Assassin? Probably Not

    Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 10.42.34 PM

    In their newly-released book, Bonhoeffer The Assassin? Challenging the Myth, Recovering His Call to Peacemaking, the authors Mark Thiessen Nation, Anthony G. Siegrist, and Daniel P. Umbel provide compelling evidence that Dietrich Bonhoeffer did not participate in a plot to kill Adolf Hitler. I had anticipated this book’s publication since reading an article in which one of the author’s, Mark Thiessen Nation, revealed the thesis of their research. Excited as […]

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