CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) We did a focus group here, part of a local church’s strategic planning process. Question: if you stood on the edge of your church’s property and looked outward, rather than the usual inward, what would you see?
Author Archives: Tom Ehrich
(RNS) The bubble I see bursting is establishment Christianity in America. It is bursting ever-so-slowly, even as millions of people still find life, meaning, safety and structure inside their bubbles. But one failing congregation at a time, the surface of shimmering shape is being breached.
(RNS) Monday morning’s New York Times had two articles about the season finale of “Downton Abbey,” and even though I was behind on previous episodes, I couldn’t stop myself from reading them. Finding out how the story ends, however, doesn’t take away its meaning or mystery.
How will Pope Benedict XVI be remembered? Hard to say. My guess: as a placeholder. I hope the next pope does what Jesus did: hearing the beggar’s cries and, against his disciples’ wishes, inviting the beggar closer and then healing him.
(RNS) Keeping these three elements in balance -– dream + freedom + structure — is daunting. Three personalities must collaborate, and those personalities don’t necessarily play well together.
AUSTIN, Texas (RNS) Those who try to simplify American culture and demand that it be uniform (fitting their standards, of course) fail to see the beauty of diversity and the half-truth of the mythologies we create.
RNS) I think we scared ourselves in recent years with unbridled intolerance and insane castigation of the other. The politics of exploiting fear and stoking anti-other rage was a sobering reminder of evil days we don’t want to revisit.
(RNS) Wise leaders spend time in the wilderness. Some choose a sojourn in the desert; most are driven there when their leadership fails. In the desert, beyond their cocoon of comfort and success, they see more about themselves. By Tom Ehrich.
(RNS) The dysfunction of Congress is just a highly public instance of a typical conflict scenario. I recently compiled some basics of church conflict. See if you agree with me that this playbook applies broadly. By Tom Ehrich.
RNS) Part of looking forward is to see the face of fear, for it is fear that seems to underline the hatred, greed, dysfunction and extremism we saw in 2012. For all of our advancements in science, technology, learning and democracy, humanity remains a frightened lot. By Tom Ehrich.