Tales from Assembly: Why I Dissented

“Pragmatism or principle” was the duelling dynamic for commissioners as we wrestled with how we would rank the four pathways proposed by the Special Committee of Former Moderators. For many who hold onto classical theology, only two pathways – ‘A’ (tradition) and ‘C’ (three streams) – were seriously considered. ‘B’ (inclusion) and ‘D’ (accommodation) were non starters. … Read More

A Commissioner Scans the Pathways

What will best serve the Kingdom – politics or principle? That is one of several questions I have as I consider the four pathways laid out by the Special Committee of Former Moderators, whose long-awaited report was released May 21 (posted here). The committee’s report is in response to General Assembly 2018’s direction to “propose ... Read more

Healing the soul of the PCC

The idea that the reformed church is a priesthood of all believers is noble, and even somewhat true. Each believer is called to take the gospel into the nations, to have a reason handy for the hope that we have in Christ, and be equipped to be as Christ to the least of these. Those ... Read more

Making space for God, not each other

One of the risks that we take in talking publicly is that we have absolutely no control over what’s printed or broadcast. Comments can be taken out of context or be quoted inaccurately. Headlines attempt to draw the reader’s attention but sometimes miss the mark and create the wrong impression. Those don’t sound like the ... Read more

When Ordination Vows are Broken

Progressive Christians continue to react with shock and dismay over the decision by the United Methodist Church to uphold the traditional definition of marriage. It didn’t take long for those who are opposed to the decision by the worldwide body to declare their next move: to continue defying church law. “We are not going anywhere,” ... Read more

Holy Koinonia!

As I write this, first responders and tow truck operators are untangling 70 vehicles from a massive chain-reaction pile-up on one of Canada’s busiest highways. Squalls and blowing snow warnings have been routine from coast to coast for what seems like a week. And our poor, desperate friends in the Prairie provinces are locked in ... Read more

We’ve Got it — Use it!

The ability to receive seekers at our doorsteps is essential. “People, get ready!” is what I said in my last blog. I truly believe that because so many of us are inwardly focused — prepared to deal with potential abusers but woefully incapable of talking to skeptics — the Holy Spirit isn’t encouraging people to come our way. Prepare, and I honestly believe that they will come. Part of that is prepping our virtual entrances. … Read More

People, Get Ready!

We Presbyterians are a careful bunch. We carefully follow legal process in our courts. We develop protocols when dealing with children and vulnerable adults. We study issues carefully and repeatedly, especially as they relate to doctrine. And for good reason: Insurance, due diligence, criminal record checks, The Barrier Act and guidelines for appropriate touch are ... Read more

We’re not cans of soup

Years ago, I worked in a grocery store. Cleanup went with the job. Boxes and sacks would break open, jars would shatter, cans would dent and lose their labels. There wasn’t much we could do with the broken boxes or shattered jars but the unlabelled cans could be sold at a fraction of the price. ... Read more