The Mission Field

If you haven’t read this article from the Washington Post, it about sums up the mission field outside your front door.

Basically, the Post did an experiment on American distractedness and inability to see the beauty right before our eyes. They placed Joshua Bell, famous violinist, in L’Enfant Plaza (Washington D.C.) and chronicled him playing for 43 minutes, seven pieces from Bach to Shubert. 1097 people walked by, 3 or 4 stopped and overall folks threw a whopping $32 into his violin case. So sad. One of the world’s greatest, yet people were to busy to even pay attention. But it says something about our inability to see with eyes that are not stuck in the pager-cellphone-ipod-blackberry-calendar-wethinkwearesodamnbusy

Is it possible for we, in the West, to see the Good the True and the Beautiful? Can we see He who is Good and True and Beautiful?

Getting Pentecostal


As many neophytes know, I grew up in the Pentecostal tradition. People often ask how I got so ‘far away’ from my Pentecostal roots, since now I am in the Anglican Tradition.

There are times when I look back at the days of my childhood with a bit of nostalgia for the passionate preaching and the unswerving confidence in God’s Word and in his Spirit; elements, sadly, that are (sometimes) missing in Anglicanism.

I know that millions in the Christian world claim Pentecostal or Charismatic identification and I certainly am still tinged by the fires of Pentecost myself. However, with the chaos and dis-ease that has plagued American Christianity, I wonder where the Spirit of God will blow next and if it is possible for Him to revive the Christian communities of the West, and our slice of the Kingdom here in the United States.

I find myself wondering where the Wesleys and the Whitfields are. If once in my recent theological past I had a disdain for the Great Awakening(s), I would sure love to see one now. I am not necessarily enamored by the glossolalia or drama that sometimes is overdone in Pentecostal contexts. But the passion, the ‘tarrying,’ the seeking of God’s Spirit–it is desperately needed in the Church, and in my own life.


What the Church (and the world) need is another Gregory of Naziansus. He was one of the great Cappadocian Fathers of the Fourth Century and instrumental in the formation of the Creed.

What strikes me about Gregory’s life is not only his sublime orthodoxy, but his reluctance to take the seat of power. He was hesitant to become a bishop and took posts in ‘one horse towns.’ Only his friendship with Basil the Great brought Gregory influence.

Gregory was strong, convinced in the power of Christ’s salvation to heal humanity through His holy life and divinity, and best of all—humble. While he was not afraid to ‘mix it up’ with heretics, at the end of the day it was the Holy Trinity that got the glory.

On Dealing With Judas

More than ever we need a solid apologetic for the faith. We need a clear strategy for evangelism and apologetics. We are surrounded by, both inside the Church and outside, a culture that has abandoned Christianity.

Even many who profess Christ and the basic doctrines of the faith, those ‘agnostics with collars,’ exist within the church and sometimes control entire denominations. In some cases, there are bishops with full episcopal juristiction who do not believe in the same ‘Christ’ as faithful believers have for 2000 years.

What, then, do the faithful do? What then do orthodox laity and clergy do? There is the obvious answer. Leave. Form a new ‘province’ or ‘communion’ or ‘house church’ or ‘denomination,’ or whatever you want to call it. Is there another strategy?

What would Christ do in the face of apostasy? I’m not sure. We only have one example of Jesus facing obvious apostasy. This was when Judas turned him in for 30 pieces of silver. What did Jesus do with Judas? The same thing he did with Peter the denier and all the disciples who abandoned him. He washed their feet. He was Judas’ servant as much as he was the ‘beloved disciple’s.’ Can we do no less? But what might this look like?

Rest in Perpetual Light

One of my all time heroes is now with the Lord. Dr. Robert Webber is one reason why I am an Episcopal priest. His book Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail has blessed many and his ‘ancient future’ writings have inspired me.

My wife and my first ‘date’ was spent discussing Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail together at Starbuck’s. We both grew up in ‘low church’ traditions and were drawn to Anglicanism independent of each other. Robert Webber then, though I only talked with him once briefly on the phone, is our matchmaker of sorts!

For him we pray:

Into paradise may the angels lead thee; and at thy coming

may the martyrs receive thee, and bring thee into the holy

city Jerusalem.