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"For some time now, Tony Robinson has been giving us pastors wonderful guidance for the challenges of pastoral leadership. Tony is a wise, faithful pastoral theologian. His work is always useful, practical and informed by a true pastor's heart. When pastors are listing the voices that challenge and help them in their work, they always mention Tony Robinson."

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Bishop, North Alabama Conference
United Methodist Church

What's Tony Thinking?

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Posted April 24, 2017:

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I’m in Canada this week, speaking at an event for United Church of Canada clergy in the B. C. Conference. My themes are “The Inner Life of the Minister in Turbulent Times,” and “Leading Change and Living To Tell the Story.” The event is at the Bethlehem Retreat Center near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

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Western Civ has lost its nerve. Brooks argues that we have been undoing ourselves by a loss of care and confidence about our own core values and narrative. There is a parallel here to the mainline Protestant church (see next two items) which has often embraced, if tacitly, the narratives of suspicion sponsored by people like Bart Ehrmann, Dan Brown, Elaine Pagels and the Jesus Seminar.

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A Trump Bump Effect for Liberal, Mainline Churches? Last week we cited to and commented on Ross Douthat’s appeal to secular liberals to support liberal churches. Donald Trump seems to be helping the cause too. Here’s a report on the Trump Bump some churches are seeing.

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More Trump Bump, in The First Person. And here’s a column from author Sandra Sing-Lo about her return to a liberal church in the wake of the Trump election. Like this trend.

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Church Renewal in Dallas. What can we learn from the story of a church replant at Munger Place United Methodist in Dallas? Interesting interview with lead pastor, Andrew Forrest, who says that Christian orthodoxy is the way forward.

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O’Reilly Gets A Big Golden Parachute. Apparently, FOX News is paying Bill O’Reilly something on the order of $25m to go away, which is obscene. There’s a weird parallel in the church. If, as a minister, you screw up spectacularly, there’s a good chance you will get a big buy-out, maybe a year’s salary to go away. If on the other hand you do a solid job and leave to take another call, you get a sheet-cake. Friends and I used to joke, “We’re going for the sheet-cake!”

- Tony Robinson

 

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