• Book Reviews 4 hours ago

    Capital in the Twenty-First Century

    Capital in the Twenty-First Century

    by Thomas Piketty Belknap Press of Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 696 pages REVIEWED BY SKIP FERGUSON “Marxist!” “Socialist!” “Communist!” Since the publication of his book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” French economist Thomas Piketty, a professor at the Paris School of Economics, has endured a torrent of rants. Yet his book has become a best seller, no small accomplishment for an almost 700-page book dense with facts and figures. The book is a mix of economics and history, and while it is devoid of theology, it is a book clergy… continue reading...
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  • Outpost Blog 1 day ago

    How vulnerable should a pastor be?

    How vulnerable should a pastor be?

    I recently returned to work after nearly seven months on a medical leave of absence. One of my ponderings, as I’ve reentered church life, is how much of my experience to share with the congregation. In seminary, I was taught there is an appropriate amount of vulnerability for a pastor to express: enough to make us human, but not so much that the mission of the church becomes caring for us. I understand the theory, but putting this theory into practice feels more like art than science. How much vulnerability… continue reading...
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  • Editorials 2 days ago

    “ … with those who weep”

    “ … with those who weep”

    by Jack Haberer
    “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” So the Apostle Paul exhorted the church in Rome. In the previous issue of the Outlook I spoke directly to those rejoicing over actions taken at the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Now I turn my attention to those weeping. For some among us, the eight-day sojourn in Detroit Lions’ country will be remembered as a failure on the level of children of Israel building a golden calf at the foot of Mt. Sinai. Those hoping to… continue reading...
    ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someone

Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Capital

by Thomas Piketty Belknap Press of Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 696 pages REVIEWED BY SKIP FERGUSON “Marxist!” “Socialist!” “Communist!” Since the publication of his book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” French economist Thomas Piketty, a professor at the Paris School of Economics, has endured a torrent of rants. Yet his book has become a best seller, no small accomplishment for an almost 700-page book dense with facts and figures. The book is a mix of economics and history, and while it is devoid of theology, it is a book clergy should read, seminary professors should study and church groups should discuss for its basic premise: economic inequality – the gap between the rich and virtually everyone else – has grown to the point where it now exceeds even that of the Gilded Age a century ago. And, absent any effort to restrain it, income inequality growth will continue and the gap will widen. Piketty asked a fundamental economic question: “Do the dynamics of … [Read more...]

How vulnerable should a pastor be?

Rachel Young

I recently returned to work after nearly seven months on a medical leave of absence. One of my ponderings, as I’ve reentered church life, is how much of my experience to share with the congregation. In seminary, I was taught there is an appropriate amount of vulnerability for a pastor to express: enough to make us human, but not so much that the mission of the church becomes caring for us. I understand the theory, but putting this theory into practice feels more like art than science. How much vulnerability is too much vulnerability? In this month’s church newsletter, I decided to address several questions I have heard since my return. I have included my response to one of those questions here: What’s the diagnosis? I never received a definitive diagnosis, which was frustrating at first. One GI doctor said I had chronic acid reflux (GERD), another GI doctor said I didn’t. A series of visits to different family doctors as well as to various GI specialists gave me new things to … [Read more...]

Pastor / Head of Staff

Western Presbyterian Church located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C., seeks an individual who brings joy, authenticity, and passion to our mission. S/he will work to foster the strengths of the congregation, empower lay leadership, and partner with us to discern God’s vision for Western as we grow as a community of faith and service. This special candidate will help us bridge the gap between the church we are and the church we aspire to be. Specifically, there is work to be done in three general areas: community, generosity, and spirituality. Western is a "More Light" church focused on social justice and is looking for a pastor with progressive ideals expressed through a traditional worship setting and our work in the community. We are a 300-member congregation with a rich history and optimistic future. Learn more about the talents, skills, and abilities we are looking for and our hopes for Western in our Ministry Information Form (MIF) #00431.ACO and our website … [Read more...]

Associate Presbyter for Mission

This is a full-time position with generous benefits. The Associate Presbyter for Mission position will be working in the areas of older adult ministry, hunger action, and social justice and will be active part of the Presbytery of West Virginia staff. This position is open to all within our denomination but special preference will be given to ordained ministers and elders within the PCUSA. A position description is available on the Presbytery of West Virginia website wvpresbytery.org. Please send either a résumé or PIF with three references to: [email protected] by August 31st. Presbytery of West Virginia 520 Second Ave South Charleston WV 25303 wvpresbytery.org Job Type: Full-time … [Read more...]

“ … with those who weep”

jack haberer_sm

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” So the Apostle Paul exhorted the church in Rome. In the previous issue of the Outlook I spoke directly to those rejoicing over actions taken at the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Now I turn my attention to those weeping. For some among us, the eight-day sojourn in Detroit Lions’ country will be remembered as a failure on the level of children of Israel building a golden calf at the foot of Mt. Sinai. Those hoping to see the denomination’s highest governing body “steel” itself against proposed policy changes, as they did at the 2012 assembly in Pittsburgh, felt like a lion in a den of Daniels. How shall we respond? First, those self-defining as conservative evangelicals need to own their part of those actions. When two teams agree to play a game and one doesn’t show, what happens? It loses by forfeit. Well, in every GA meeting through the recent decades, scores of evangelicals volunteered … [Read more...]

Starting Missional Churches: Life with God in the Neighborhood (bookmark)

Bookmark

Mark Lau Branson and Nicholas Warnes, editors  InterVarsity Press, Downer’s Grove, Ill. 192 pages  At the recent General Assembly, commissioners in the Congregational Vitality Committee were sent into the neighborhood to listen and watch for God “out there.” They went two-by-two into Detroit neighborhoods, striking up conversations and taking notice of what was happening. The premise is that this is increasingly the way new congregations will begin to emerge: from the streets. And that is the premise of this set of essays edited by two seasoned church planters and consultants, describing various worshipping communities around the country. The essays are seven stories by seven pastors of new and diverse congregations coming into being. They point out that an estimated 3,700 American congregations will stop functioning while 4,000 new congregations will be formed. That is not a pace to keep up with the population. If the church is to remain vital and connected to communities, there … [Read more...]