Is Racial Reconciliation Dead?

No, racial reconciliation isn’t dead, but perhaps Christians need to talk about the topic differently. God has put in my heart a dream of a multi-racial church in the heart of downtown Cincinnati. In that previous sentence, there’s about three things that people have told me are foolish ideas. I have been told that (1) Cincinnati is “rough soil” for church planting, and (2) downtown Cincinnati is especially difficult, but to be (3) multi-racial is just plain out of the question. I believe that God can and will do it, however. And right now, God has answered my prayers of raising up a core group of Christian leaders who want to see the same thing happen downtown in Cincinnati. But I have been beating my head against a wall trying to figure out how to make our group more ethnically diverse. Yesterday, I met Alvin Sanders, the Chief Diversity Officer…

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When College Costs More than a House

I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day. He knows a couple who is about to get married and who has a debt burden from college that exceeds $100,000 between the two of them. That’s a bad place to start a marriage. Are these Ivy League graduates or med school students? No. They’re graduating from Cedarville with degrees in education and English. To put it in perspective, my first home in Louisville cost my wife and I less than $100,000 and we mortgaged that amount for 30 years. Our monthly payment was around $850 per month. This makes perfect sense when you’re purchasing an asset that appreciates in value  over time, like a home. But that is a crazy amount to pay for degrees in education and English from a small Bible college. With this kind of sticker price, is this worth it? Most people go to…

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Church Plant Updates

Since my blogging has been scarce the last few months, I thought I would take the opportunity to post some ministry updates for those who check this blog periodically for that purpose. Recent Activity The last few months have been a whirlwind. I moved to Cincinnati in July of last year, and have spent the last eight months getting settled into our home, finishing seminary online, enjoying the arrival of my new son Owen, and meeting scores of new people in my effort to start a new church in the downtown area. I have devoted so much energy to these chores that I took a blogging break. That break is over and the blog is on. By the Numbers Here are some numbers: Laura and I have hosted in the neighborhood at least 100 different people (we’ve counted) in our home for meals or other events since we moved here.…

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Christian Hipsters

Definition of a Christian Hipster: Christian hipsters like music, movies, and books that are well-respected by their respective artistic communities–Christian or not. They love books like Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas and Will Willimon, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ron Sider, God’s Politics by Jim Wallis, and The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. They tend to be fans of any number of the following authors: Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Wendell Berry, Thomas Merton, John Howard Yoder, Walter Brueggemann, N.T. Wright, Brennan Manning, Eugene Peterson, Anne Lamott, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Henri Nouwen, Soren Kierkegaard, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Annie Dillard, Marilynne Robison, Chuck Klosterman, David Sedaris, or anything ancient and/or philosophically important. Christian hipsters love thinking and acting Catholic, even if they are thoroughly Protestant. They love the Pope, liturgy, incense, lectio divina, Lent, and timeless phrases like “Thanks be to God” or “Peace of…

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Why I’m Planting a Racially Diverse Church in Cincinnati (final reasons)

I have written four previous posts over the last few months on the top 10 reasons to plant a racially diverse church in downtown Cincinnati. Here’s a recap of the first four, and the remaining six reasons as well. Racial reconciliation is biblical. Every society has its own racial tensions to deal with. The early church had the Jew/Gentile tension. We have the black/white tension. We apply the same biblical principles to both. The world wants racial reconciliation, but only the gospel can achieve it. Change needs to begin with Christians, like me, dealing with their own racial pride in order to love their Christian brothers of other races. Racial reconciliation cultivates a missionary mindset. The remaining six reasons are more practical than theoretical, so they require less comment. Cincinnati is about evenly divided between white people and black people. Any person who is called by God to be a…

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