Bob Newhart: Just Stop It

During the NCAA Championship football game last night, between Oregon and Ohio State, comedian Bob Newhart unexpectedly began trending on Twitter and Facebook.  Likely this was because of the games referee, who had an uncanny resemblance to Newhart – a much more buff Bob Newhart.  When I first noticed this resemblance I did not say anything, assuming the association was probably in my mind only.  Not long after another guy in the group shared his observation, and several others agreed.  Before long one of the guys checked Twitter, and lo and behold the trend.

As a kid I watched The Bob Newhart Show on many a Saturday night. In fact, it was because of that show I briefly thought  becoming a psychologist, and counseling for a living, might be an interesting career.  But that idea soon faded.  So it seems a little ironic that, as a pastor, a fair amount of my time is spent in counseling.

While  have posted this video before, several years ago, because Bob Newhart is back in vogue – at least for today – I thought I would post it again so that those who never had the opportunity to see The Bob Newhart Show, or those who have forgotten, can see the master at work.  Of course this video is not from the actual TV show, but rather is a comedy sketch. Nevertheless, it is Bob Newhart counseling a client.  His approach here in not one I would intentionally employ, but I do have to admit there have been times it would be tempting.

New City Catechism

Over the weekend I spent some time reviewing the relatively new New City Catechism.  While it has been around for a couple years now, and I had heard about it even prior to it’s original publication, I had not really given it much attention, until now.

I was impressed by the combination of depth and simplicty this catechism posesses.  Broken into just 52 questions, it is a fairly comprehensive introduction to the substance of the Christian Faith, and yet it manages to avoid being verbose in any of it’s questions and answers.  I am now giving thought to ways we might make use of this tool in our church.

The video above is an Introduction to the New City Catechism from Knox Seminary.  The New City Catechism web site not only has the Q&A’s, but for each of the 52 Questions there is a tab with accompanying scripture support, a short commentary, and even a brief video explanation by a variety of renouned pastors and theologians.

Check out: New City Catechism

New City Catechism

Three Times a Month

Abstract Trinity (Dumitru Verdianu)

Thom Rainer recently noted that there has been a marked change in the measure of comitment the average Christian had to his or her church. At least there has been a change in one measurable detail:

An active church member 15 years ago attended church three times a week. Now it’s three times a month

I do not know if this is an accurate assessment from some of Rainer’s research, or if this is more of an anecdotal hyberbole reflecting an evident trend. Regardless, I suspect that it is not far off base.

I also suspect there are some reasons. Among them would seem:

  • Baby Boomers Reaching Retirment Age
  • Rise of Churchless Christianity