Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Ed Friedman, the brilliant congregational systems thinker and author of Generation to Generation and Failure of Nerve, is one of my primary mentors.  I never knew Ed personally, but I have devoured his writing over the years, and listened to many of his lectures.  His thinking is deeply influential in the way that I approach congregational consultation.

Monday, December 7, 2015


Cognitive dissonance is the human capacity (indeed penchant) for holding simultaneously contradictory values, beliefs or practices.  We see it in individual people, and we see it in faith communities.  Among conservative Christians, it might be love of guns or participation in the military alongside worship of a character who was practically a pacifist.  Among liberal Christians, it might be belief in the theory of evolution alongside a belief in divine creation  - that somehow both are true.  Or for all Christians, cognitive dissonance occurs when we claim to believe in an all powerful God of love, but we also live with problems of evil and suffering that seem to have no redemptive value.