Even Southern Baptists know not to turn down an invitation from the Pope. Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church, and Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission, will meet Pope Francis and offer an “evangelical Protestant” perspective as part of a Vatican colloquium on marriage and family held this November 17-19. “I am willing to go anywhere, when asked, to bear witness to what we as evangelical Protestants believe about marriage and the gospel, especially in times in which marriage is culturally imperiled,” wrote Moore on why he’s going to the Vatican despite his disagreements with the Pope. … The Pope has increasingly been interacting with a number of notable Protestants, including Geoff Tunnicliffe and Brian Stiller of the World Evangelical Alliance, pastor Joel Osteen, televangelists Kenneth Copeland and James Robison, members of the Green family (founders of Hobby Lobby), and Westmont College president Gayle Beebe. “We are brothers,” Francis told a gathering of Pentecostal leaders at a Copeland conference. more
How do you accurately assess a church that expresses interest in you, particularly if there have been serious problems in its history? At Titus Task Force, which provides interim pastors for troubled congregations, we suggest four questions to identify congregations likely to break your heart. …act like Legion in the swine. W hen I was on the faculty of Westmont College, I frequently drove to the campus on my Honda Gold Wing touring motorcycle along a beautiful, seven-mile stretch of the California…more
But as a community, JPUSA has been dogged by controversy since the 1994publication of Recovering from Churches That Abuse. In that book, Ron Enroth, author and Westmont College sociologist, chronicled how former JPUSA members reported being spiritually abused. more
The Second Calling of a Christian Burnout: Amidst a turbulent season of life, Carolyn Weber learned to see the sheer joy of every moment with God.
I arrived at Westmont so battered—personally, from academia, and living an intellectual life as a Christian. I have been traditionally at Jesuit institutions, which overall have been wonderful. There was some of the same push and pull as secular institutions, but there were great Christian traditions too. more
Dallas Willard, a prominent philosopher on a “quiet quest to subvert nominal Christianity” (according to a 2006 CT profile), died today after losing a battle with cancer. He was 77. … According to Gary Moon, executive director of the Dallas Willard Center at Westmont College, Willard died early Wednesday morning, but “awakened to a full experience of the reality of the Kingdom of the Heavens he described so beautifully. Fittingly, his last two words were, “‘Thank you.'” more
Who Said It … Ben Patterson
Ben Patterson is the campus pastor at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. He is a contributing editor for Christianity Today magazine and Leadership Journal. Ben is also the author of several books including God’s Prayer Book: The Power and Pleasure of Praying the Psalms, Deepening Your Conversations with God, and Muscular Faith. Ben and his wife, Lauretta, have four adult children and one grandson.
What he Said … Life and Death in Focus
It’s hard to follow Jesus, but it’s a good hard. To follow Jesus is to choose life over death, heaven over hell forever. The road to life is a good hard. The road to hell is easy, but it ends in a very, very bad hard. [See Mark 8:35-37 and Matt. 7:13-14.] more
Lesley Sebek Miller, a Westmont College graduate, lives in Sacramento, California. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild, and her work has appeared in Relevant Magazine. more
Evangelical Evolutionists Meet in New York: N. T. Wright, Tim Keller, John Ortberg among Biologos conference attendees.
Participants seemed particularly appreciative of Westmont College’s Jeffrey Schloss, who presented an elegant overview of evidence for evolution and closed with a critique of more
My little brother is one of my favorite people. He is patient and gentle and considerate and funny. (Although I would never tell him that.) He is in his last year at Westmont College, my alma mater, and for the past few years has been putting his music composition major to use by playing in the band at a local church on Sunday mornings. more
John Stott: A Uniter and a Divider; A new biography portrays both the evangelist’s triumphs and his frustrations.
Alister Chapman’s Godly Ambition: John Stott and the Evangelical Movement (Oxford University Press), the first biography of Stott published by an academic press, helps us assess his legacy with critical distance. Chapman, associate professor of history at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, never persuaded Stott to grant an interview. more