Conversation Starter

Moving Into Year Three of Getting Our Bearings by Sharing Our Stories

As we ease into our third year of publication of The BTS Center’s award-winning blog, Bearings, co-editors Elizabeth Drescher and Alyssa Lodewick have been mulling the role of outlets like ours in shaping what the Church is becoming in a dynamic religious landscape. We’re excited to continue what we see as a multi-dimensional dialogue that extends across that terrain.... Read more

Jesus, The Jerk

Making Sense of the Times Jesus Wasn't Very Christlike

Jesus could be a real jerk sometimes. I’m not referring here to the times he got angry (John 2:13-17), cynical (Matthew 21:18-22), or sarcastic (Mark 12:18-27) with people. I’m talking about the times Jesus was just plain mean to them. Case in point: the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15. You remember the story. After months of popular acclaim in Galilee,... Read more

Confession Reboot

Why Sharing Our Failure with Others Still Matters

“I failed,” Jon Snow said to Ser Davos in a recent “Game of Thrones” episode. And Jon had. In fact, because of his leadership decisions, Jon was murdered by his friends. But Melisandre, a priestess of the Lord of Light, brought Jon back from the dead. Why? No one knows. Melisandre only has guesses. Ser Davos isn’t sure. Jon feels unworthy. After all, Jon reasons,... Read more

Seeing Through Brokenness

Beauty and Love in the Church's Kaleidoscopic Change

As my father might say, it was déjà vu all over again: Driving to Andover Newton Theological Seminary (ANTS) for the last class of the course I taught this semester, closing out my year as a visiting professor there. Rather than some “school’s out for summer” kind of delirium, the drive carried a good bit of melancholy. It was more than vaguely reminiscent of one... Read more

The Ministry of Stories

Creating Space to Notice and Know

During the four hot, humid months between my junior and senior years of college, I waited tables at Beethoven’s Inn, a hole-in-the-wall deli that served sandwiches named after classical music composers. The realm of the “Handel, Bach, and Scarlatti” was a land of firsts for me. There, I ate gazpacho for the first time. I interacted with members of a traveling circus... Read more

Is Donald Trump a Christian? Does it Matter?

By now you undoubtedly know the basics of the story: Earlier this month Pope Francis made a historic six-day visit to Mexico during which he used all of his spiritual and moral influence, as well as international star-power, to lift up and decry the humanitarian crisis of forced migration northward. At the end of the trip a reporter asked Francis whether he... Read more

Life As Art

[Editor's Note: We are pleased to introduce you to the work of Troy Bronsink, who will serve as the keynote speaker and moderator at The BTS Center's annual January convocation. This year, the theme of Convocation 2016 is “Life as Art: Design Thinking and Mindfulness for Integrating Life and Ministry.” In the following piece, Troy offers a preview of its content.] What... Read more

Waking the Blessed Peacemakers

In a week . . . no, a month . . . no, a year . . . no, a decade . . . saturated with terror that has been tinged, if not triggered, by religion, it hardly seems possible that the most disturbing bits of “content” stirring in my mind would be a comment made by one of my students as the San Bernardino, CA shootings were—unbeknownst to those of us in the bubble of... Read more