pastoral church

France: A Tale of Two Faiths

Last March, an Islamist terrorist stormed a supermarket in Trèbes, France, shot two people dead and took others hostage. In negotiations with police, the terrorist agreed to accept a police lieutenant’s offer to swap places with the last hostage, a female cashier. The police officer, Arnaud Beltrame, was subsequently killed. In honor of his heroic [...]

A Church Policy for LGBTs and Their Families

On a blog promoting the documentary, “Seventh-Gay Adventists,” David Neff, past editor of Christianity Today magazine, posted, “Conservative churches need to think in advance how to relate to families and committed [LGBT] couples who long to be part of their fellowship.” Neff went on to say the film features a lesbian couple and their daughter, [...]

More Reasons Why “Blessing” Gay Couples Is Scandalous

When the Church “blesses” someone, it usually does so for one of two reasons: to ask God to protect that person from evil, or to confirm that person in the good. Because our spiritual lives are dynamic—at no point are we “holy” enough to rest on our laurels—those two reasons are usually two sides of [...]

Some Canadian Bishops Pull Punches on Euthanasia

Euthanasia is the next front in the culture of death’s juggernaut, and Canada represents one of its biggest wins. The Supreme Court of Canada has declared an entire “right” to “physician assisted death” from protections for life in Canada’s Charter of Rights, and the incumbent government is set, with the same single-mindedness with which it defends [...]

More Thoughts on a Pastoral Church

Theory and practice are never exactly the same, in the Church or anywhere else, but they're not separable either. So what is pastoral depends on what God and the world are like. That issue, the nature of things, is always the great dispute in religion. It usually takes the form of a dispute over God's [...]

Why Doctrine and Pastoral Practice are Indivisible

There has been a great deal of talk in the Church lately about a supposed opposition between rules and reality, theology and life, doctrine and pastoral considerations. Some of the talk has gone to extremes, suggesting that rules, doctrine, and organized thought matter little in comparison with the pastoral needs of the immediate situation. Such [...]

What a Pastoral Church Looks Like

Now more than ever, there are calls for a more pastoral Church. That's a good thing. It's the clergy's job to be our pastors, and who could object to priests, bishops, and popes doing their job? “Pastor“ means shepherd, so we find what pastors should do by looking at what shepherds do, especially in the [...]

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