Midreach

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 6 Comments

“Inreach” is fairly well defined in my mind as ministry that seeks to bring believers to spiritual maturity. “Outreach” is also fixed in my thinking as ministry that extends the gospel to the surrounding community and nations. What I’m trying to figure out, however, is “midreach.” Thus far, I’ve come up with this: Midreach is both. It’s communicating Biblical ideas …

Jesus outside the box

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 2 Comments

These days I am writing my own commentary on the gospel of Mark. Am I finding fresh meanings in Mark? Writing something never before written? Not really. Scholars have been conducting a weighty conversation about the NT for the past 2000 years, and I’m simply joining in the fun. It would be quite dangerous to swerve outside the lines of …

Sponsoring Downward, Outward

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 14 Comments

I have a radical idea. It’s not going to apply in every situation—I realize that. But here it is: Church is not really for me. Don’t get me wrong. I am HIGHLY committed to Grace Church Roseville. What I’m saying, however, is that my job as a 50-something is not so much to receive as it is to give. Sharon …

Adaptability

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 3 Comments

In his excellent book, The Rise of Evangelicalism, historian Mark Knoll (Wheaton College) portrays the early evangelical movement of 18th century Europe and colonial America as entrepreneurial, adaptable, revivalist, experiential. . . radical. This in contrast to the “creaking mechanisms” of established state religion. Knoll observes: “By setting aside earlier religious forms, the evangelicals did not think they were setting …

Tradition or Change?

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 11 Comments

My friend R is more conservative than me. My good buddy P is more Catholic than me (right, since I’m Protestant). In lengthy discussions with both this past year, a critical issue has arisen—though from different angles: the place of tradition. Each friend in his own way is telling me that church tradition keeps us from wandering outside the boundaries …

The New Apologetic

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 2 Comments

Last week at Sonoma State University (CA) three “apologetics” converged like streams to a river: 1.    The Free Thinkers group pressed me with questions such as “Are miracles rational?” and “Why does God never heal an amputee?” They wanted evidence, even proof, of God—“classic” apologetics. 2.    The InterVarsity group provided me with a different kind of proof of God’s presence: …

Toast in the chapel

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 4 Comments

Get this: One day I show up for chapel in the gorgeous theater at North Central University* to hang with my son, Ryan, who studies music at the school. “Who’s leading worship today, buddy boy?” I ask. “One Accord.” “They any good?” He just grins at his senile father. Five minutes later OA begins playing in front of 600 peers …

A Titanic Change

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 6 Comments

In his excellent book, Emerging Hope, Jimmy Long reminds us that the young generations in America represent a shift from Enlightenment modernism to postmodernism. In Long’s view (and mine), this is a change of titanic proportions. It means, among other things, that “Those who think that in due time [young people] will ‘grow up’ and look like everyone else should …

Radical Divergence

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 9 Comments

If you’re 45 years of age and up (like me), I have news for you: The younger generation of evangelicals is not going to learn our ways and grow into maturity to look like us. They’re never going to get it, as we define “it.” They’re not going to take over our (white) churches like sons and daughters assuming the …

The Camel’s Nose

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 3 Comments

My friend Dr. Bob Osburn at the University of MN http://www.wilberforceacademy.org/ notes how the arrival of postmodernity actually creates space for Christians on campus in a backwards sort of way: “There is little doubt that postmodernism has been the camel’s nose under the tent, and, thus, alternative, nontraditional worldviews like Christianity have found a place to enter and engage the …