Showing posts from October, 2022

Declining Churches Searching for the Silver Bullet Pastor

  The problem of declining churches in America was nothing new when the COVID-19 pandemic first struck in March 2020. I tend to ignore 2020 through 2022 when measuring whether a church has declined. But let’s be honest: if you look back to March 2020 and compare your attendance and financial giving back then to that of today, in March 2024, and both are lower, on average, by more than a few percent, your church has declined. If you had a children’s ministry before the pandemic, and you now struggle to wrangle up more than a few kids on a typical Sunday, you have declined. Your church needs revitalization. Sure, there are other, less tangible measures of health. How are you doing evangelistically? Are you reaching your neighborhood with the gospel? Are you making disciples? Maybe your church has already taken proactive steps in the direction of revitalization. Perhaps you’ve already decided to make some hard decisions rather than kicking the can down the road. If so, good on you! Sadl

“Because of the Angels”: A Timeless Directive for Female Head Coverings in Church?

Among others, K. P. Yohannan argues that the final phrase in 1 Cor 11:10, “because of the angels,” makes the directive for women—married or unmarried—to wear head coverings while praying and prophesying a timeless and universal directive for the church. This paper will show that while 1 Cor 11 holds many timeless principles, nothing about Paul’s instruction on head coverings should be seen to apply outside of the immediate context of first-century Corinth.  The phrase, “because of the angels” makes Paul’s directive no less a matter of culture, a question specific to the first-century church at Corinth. In arguing that the practice of women wearing head coverings in the assembled church, Yohannan states: “When he talks about the head covering, however, there is no mention of anything remotely cultural.  Instead, Paul goes to lengths to describe its spiritual roots—the divinely ordained authority structure God established at the original creation and reaffirmed in the new creation of

The Ultimate Answer

I don’t watch much television, but when I do, I really enjoy the game show “Jeopardy!”   The show has been around for close to 60 years, and the late host, Alex Trebek, stumped contestants for well over 7,000 episodes during 36 years on the show. [1]   For those who can’t get enough “Jeopardy!” or want to be part of the action without leaving home, there are board games and video games based on the show.   “Jeopardy!” is a quiz show, but with a twist.   In this game, contestants receive the answers and are required to provide the question.   Quiz shows like “Jeopardy!”—and more recently, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” which I also love, are a bit more intellectual than many other types of game shows.   In fact, a smart friend of mine once lamented that he was a “Jeopardy!” person living in a “Wheel of Fortune” world. When I see people who don’t do so well on “Jeopardy!” the first thing I think is, “That’s how I’d do on this show.” And the second thing I think is that sometimes we