Theology – Pop Culture

A recent interview…

Peter Burfeind Pastor Peter Burfeind (pictured right) recently asked me to do an interview for his blog Gnostic America. I accepted his gracious request. The fruit of said interview can be found here. Pastor Burfeind also recently released his book “Gnostic America: A Reading of Contemporary American Culture & Religion According to Christianity’s Oldest Heresy.” This book is quickly climbing its way up my to-read list and I would encourage you to also pick up a copy. You can find it here. In addition, Pastor Burfeind is a solid confessional Pastor at Holy Cross Lutheran Church and Student Ministry which is a campus ministry at the University of Toledo. If you are a person who likes the idea of a solid confessional ministry for college students, then I would encourage you to consider supporting this important ministry. You can do so here .

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Spiritual Daycare: Why Youth Pastors Shouldn’t Exist

Spiritual DaycareLet’s get right to it… Do we really need youth pastors? Are they necessary? Are they truly helpful? These are rather taboo questions in the context of current church culture. I grew up hearing the mantra “the kids are our future” and rightly so in a sense (Christ is actually our future…), but is the youth pastor and children’s church adequate means for preparing our future generation? (more…)

A Christmas Public Service Announcement (… and Venting Session)

I once again find myself in the midst of December internally conflicted.Jon FP

While I thoroughly enjoy Advent and the ensuing Christmas celebrations that stir a nostalgic concoction of warm memories and tender fellowship, I cannot help but catch a case of the “Bah, humbug’s.” It’s not that I revel in negativity, or remotely desire it. I enjoy spending time with family & friends, looking at the wonderful decorations and watching classic Christmas films.  More than all, however, I want to celebrate the coming of Christ and his eventual birth.

So why the negativity you may ask? (more…)

Quietly coming to a town near you…

020806-F-7823A-004This post is strictly for my confessional Lutheran brothers and sisters.

I’ve spent some time researching and writing about a network called FiveTwo. If you are a confessional Lutheran within the LCMS, I encourage you to make your acquaintance with the FiveTwo Network and its founder, LCMS Pastor, Bill Woolsey.  My encouragement to familiarize yourself with this pastor and his network is a lesson in discernment. You see, whether you realize it or not, FiveTwo is a church planting network and though it’s not directly funded by our synod, it’s leadership is overwhelmingly comprised of rostered LCMS pastors and their sights are firmly set on transforming our synod. I could write of the vast issues I see within FiveTwo, but for anything to get accomplished we, the confessionals, must take ownership of our synod by educating ourselves about the clear and present dangers within this movement. (more…)

Deja Vu…sort of…

This upcoming Sunday, October 5th, will mark the end of my first year in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. It was, and has continued to be a breath of fresh air. It’s not that my previous 16 years in the Christian & Missionary Alliance were terrible. I had sound pastors that cared for me and always pointed me to God’s word, and although we now disagree on several key doctrines, I am still thankful for the care and instruction they gave me. (more…)

I spy something with my little eye…

I spy something with my little eye…

Picture yourself sitting in your favorite church pew.

Do you see it?

It’s right there…

It’s a staple.

It’s not as if you are actively aware of its presence, but you’d probably notice it’s absence.

It’s usually in the front, left hand side of the sanctuary in most US churches. (more…)

Wearing Jean Shorts to a Wedding: 7 problems with CoWo

Zack at our wedding

Music is one of my favorite indulgences. Thanks to my parents, I grew up on a healthy dose of Motown, British Invasion, CCR and Abba. Being a child of the 80’s and 90’s, my ears were subjected to a melting pot of style and influence and I loved it all. This fondness of music eventually birthed a desire to write and play my own ditties. Upon learning of my newly acquired talents, my church’s newly formed worship team asked me to join. They needed another bassist for Sunday morning and since I was going to be there either way, it was a match made in heaven. The year was 2000 and I was 21 years old. As my abilities grew, I blossomed into a worship team leader as lead vocalist and guitar player. (more…)