I am launching this blog primarily as a forum for discussing how churches and individual Christians can better serve as a redemptive presence in the world. The modifier “creative” in the title refers to the capacity God has given each person to participate in his creative (and re-creative) work in the world. If this description seems vague, my goal is to make it clearer as the blog progresses.
Although I will be approaching this subject from a Christian perspective, I believe much common ground exists in this discussion to bring people together from a great variety of backgrounds. Differing perspectives are welcome, as long as we relate to one another respectfully and constructively.
What do I bring to this discussion? I have been involved in church ministry since 1974. After completing my Ph.D. at Hebrew Union College, I began serving as a Bible professor at Lipscomb University in 1986.
Over the past decade or so, I have joined many others in trying to understand the major shifts in the world that have impacted the church and its relationship with the larger cultures in which it finds itself. Of special interest and concern is the disconnect between the traditional church and those in the 18-29 age group. Times like these appropriately call for soul-searching within the church.
In addition to these concerns, however, I see reasons for hope. First, the same generation that finds itself estranged from the church still possesses great passion for God and for serving others. The possibility of bridging the generational gap remains, and if this gap closes, the consequences could be tremendous.
Second, in my earlier years of ministry I found myself feeling “stuck” in terms of the church’s purpose in the world. Several areas I have explored more recently have given me new hope. These areas will be elaborated in subsequent posts, but they include a missional reading of Scripture, the practices of spiritual formation, and the broad field of conflict management.
My goal is to bring together a variety of resources that will encourage and enable others to positively impact our world in fulfillment of God’s creation intention for humanity. I would value thoughtful dialogue partners in this blog along the way!