Dear Barna, I am One of the 38%

My name is John Chaffee, I am 37 years old and I have essentially worked in paid ministries in different capacities for now 20 years. When I read your recent article that 38% of US pastors have thought about quitting full-time ministry in the past year, I was, in a sense, validated by reading it. [...]

Don’t Be Surprised…

If “Christianity" is just about life after death but never asking the difficult question of the possibility of life BEFORE death then you can count whole scores of people out. More than that, If it is about denying the hard and soft sciences rather than celebrating them,If it ravages the earth rather than caring for [...]

Books Read in 2020

Each year I make it a goal to read a certain number of books. I think this year, thanks to Covid, was my all time most. This year was a lot of diving further into contemplative Christianity, prophetic preaching and justice, how we grow and change, and books on psychological/emotional health. Usually I don't shoot [...]

Soren Kierkegaard and Preaching…

It is a difficult thing to preach. Years of study on the content on top of years of learning public speaking make it out to be a task more than some people may realize. It takes a sincere amount of preparation, theological and philosophical accuracy, as well as balancing logic, emotion and ethics. Again, it [...]

Tumbling Down the Rabbit Hole

I was fortunate enough to have two parents that were educators. As they were raising my brother and I, learning was an important emphasis. Throughout childhood and into teenage years, we also had the benefit of a pastor at our home church who was actively working on his own PhD at Drew University. Combine these [...]

We Are the Pharisees

It is not a difficult statement to make that we tend to see ourselves as the ones in the right, those who already champion others, or what-have-you. What is difficult, however, is to course correct and humbly ask if we have been in the wrong, misunderstand the faith, or what-have-you. It is possible to be [...]

Carpe Noctem

Have you heard this phrase before? Perhaps you know the more common phrase, "carpe diem," which translates as "seize the day." Well, "carpe noctem" is the opposite, "seize the night." Now, before you run off thinking that I am encouraging sleep deprivation, becoming nocturnal, or just all around having a different daily schedule than everyone [...]