News


18
Nov 2019
Should More Christians Meet Jesus?

British New Testament scholar N.T. Wright has published numerous books over the years and lectured around the world. One of his best books is titled Simply Jesus. Wright opens the book by posing a series of questions about Jesus of Nazareth: “Who exactly was he? What did he think he was up to? What did he do and say, why was he killed, and did he rise from the dead? What might following him entail? How can we know if we are on the right track?” These are profound questions that modern-day......

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11
Nov 2019
Challenges for the 21st Century Church

A few years ago, Brett McCracken, who writes regularly for Christianity Today, wrote a very interesting article titled “21 Challenges Facing the 21st Century Church.” It was later turned into a book titled Uncomfortable. Brett was very honest and forthright in his assessment of what the church needs to pay attention to both now and in the coming years. I recently shared this article with the Woodmont Elders. As a pastor who thinks about the future of Christianity and the Church on a regular basis, I found this article very interesting. Here......

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27
Oct 2019
Religion & The Pursuit of Happiness

Years ago, Arthur Brooks gave a TED talk where he shared insight on the key to achieving happiness. That talk has now been viewed over seven hundred thousand times on YouTube. He argues that happiness is roughly fifty percent genetics, the way we are wired, and fifty percent how life plays out including major events and the ongoing decisions that we make. Specifically, he identified four key components to happiness: faith, family, community, and work. When it comes to work, Brooks argues that meaningful work and earned success is a key component......

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09
Oct 2019
We Are All “Under Construction”

In his excellent book The Road to Character, David Brooks raises the following questions in the final chapter: • Toward what should I orient my life? • Who am I and what is my nature? • How do I mold my nature to make it gradually better day by day? • What virtues are the most important to cultivate and what weaknesses should I fear the most? • How can I raise my children with a true sense of who they are and a practical set of ideas about how to travel......

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30
Sep 2019
Rethinking Happiness, Values, and Success

This fall, I am teaching an undergraduate course at Vanderbilt focusing on the notion of success and the American Dream, a concept defined in many different ways.  We started the semester with some basic working hypotheses. First, in the Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers say that there are certain inalienable rights from our Creator, including “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  But what is happiness and how do we pursue it? Second, research has shown that the “birth lottery” plays a significant role in determining an individual’s starting point in......

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27
Sep 2019

Enneagram expert Hunter Mobley returns to Woodmont with a 3-week series “The Enneagram and Relationships.” Week 1, Sept. 25: “Relationship to Self” Week 2, Oct. 2: “Relationship to Others” Week 3, Oct. 9: “Relationship to God” The Enneagram is a centuries-old tradition that describes nine personality-based approaches to life. Focusing on motivation, rather than behavior, the Enneagram helps us discern both our brokenness and our path toward healing. By understanding our Enneagram type (one of nine numbers, 1-9), we begin a lifelong journey of spiritual work to move beyond episodic meaning and......

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25
Sep 2019
The Enneagram and Relationships

On Wednesday nights, we are starting a brand-new series with Hunter Mobley focusing on “The Enneagram and Relationships.” Dinner will be at 5:30 and his talk will begin at 6:15 pm. This will take place on Wednesday nights, September 25th, October 2nd, and October 9th. The Enneagram is an ancient personality typing system that helps us better understand ourselves and each other. It is over 2000 years old but it was not thoroughly written down until the 1970’s and has become very popular in recent years. It helps us to come to......

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16
Sep 2019
7 Key Challenges for 21st Century Christianity

I recently gave a talk about the church of the future. This is a subject that I think about often and it’s on the mind of many church leaders. Within mainline Christianity, denominational decline and statistics are depressing. Many churches are aging and struggling to reach younger generations. However, some churches are thriving and bucking the trend. What have these churches discovered that needs to be shared? I’d like to identify seven key challenges that represent opportunities for growth and change. First: Authenticity matters. Younger generations can sniff out phoniness and superficiality.......

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