Rooted: The Christian’s Place

Tree_Roots_attrib_Tim_Green

by John Ellis

My family and I live in the DC area. Our house is approximately a mile and a half from the Pentagon and about five miles from the U.S. Capitol, as the bird flies. We live in the thick of one of the most powerful cities in the world. And we’re not big fans of the place, at least my wife and I aren’t. We’re type-B personalities (on a good day) living in a super type-A personality community.

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The Church Is Filled With Hypocrites … and Other Reasons to Skip Church

church building

by John Ellis

Is it necessary for Christians to attend church? Well, first off, if you understand who/what the Church is, the question is nonsensical. The Church is the Bride of Christ; God’s people being reconstituted into a new Kingdom. For a professing Christian to distant himself from the Church is, in essence, a renunciation of Christianity. You can’t be a Christian and not be a member of the Body of Christ – the Church.

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Liberal Theology and the Decline of the PCUSA

abandonded church

by John Ellis

Several months ago, my pastor and I attended a lecture at a local Unitarian church (I wrote about that lecture here). Before the lecture began, a gentleman from the church gave some opening remarks. In those remarks, he bemoaned the shrinking membership of the Unitarian denomination. He also smugly criticized conservative, “white” churches for their lack of diversity. My pastor and I looked at each other quizzically. As we walked back to our cars after the lecture was over, my pastor asked me, “Were you thinking what I was thinking?” I replied, “Yes.”

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Identity Politics Is Incompatible with the Church

people-in-the-church-song

by John Ellis

Conservative evangelicalism’s penchant for a consumerist approach to church makes for an easy target.[1] And progressive Christians love to point out and shout down the sins of their parents and those not enlightened enough to escape their parents’ “consumerism.” Although, I doubt that progressive Christians would use the word “sin.” Except, progressive Christianity has glaring deficiencies of its own when it comes to ecclesiology. The list of those deficiencies is rather long, too long for one article. In this post, I’m going to focus on how identity politics is incompatible with a Biblically informed anthropology and ecclesiology.

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Should Pastors Attend a Different Church Upon Retirement?

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by John Ellis

As a preacher’s kid, I frequently heard my dad express his opinion about the ways in which pastors should conduct themselves. Two such pieces of advice that I heard my dad give on a regular basis were that the church administrator’s office shouldn’t be enclosed and that a pastor should find a new church upon retirement. The first piece of advice receives my hearty “Amen!” While empathizing with my dad’s motives, I disagree with the second piece of advice, though.

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It’s Also Blessed to Receive

helping-hand

by Jed Kampen

A month ago, my wife and I took our nine day old daughter to the emergency room. We waited two long hours to be seen. Finally, we were taken back and after an initial run of tests, the doctor said she thought things would be ok, but we would need to wait in the hospital until the remainder of the tests could be completed. As we waited for the test results, my wife and I realized how much the stress was wearing on us. We were both hungry and had headaches. I texted a friend from church asking if he could bring meds and takeout.

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Unity Among Political Disagreements

the-united-states-capitol-building-roland-rollinger

by John Ellis

Unless you live in the DC area, it’s hard to fully comprehend how much politics dominate everyday life around here. Politics aren’t relegated to water-cooler talk, social media discussions, or the occasional argument over a meal; in the DC area, politics encompasses almost all of life. As I’m thinking through the people whom I consider friends, the majority have jobs that are directly connected to politics. If I were to extend that to my acquaintances, that percentage rises. When people in the DC area engage in small talk, it inevitably involves politics.

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