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Ron Crawford

The 21st century is the age of hyperindividualism. We want what we want. Hyperindividualism is in the water we all drink, and its impact is pervasive in modern American life. Before we make a major purchase, we develop a list of features. We make extensive lists of the features we want on cars and homes, prospective mates, […] Read More

A new future began to emerge for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Fort Worth, Texas, in June. The retirement of long-time Coordinator Dan Vestal was front and center throughout the meeting. Add to this the return to the classroom of Rob Nash and the departure of still others throughout the summer. CBF is undergoing an […] Read More

Advent offers a busy beginning to the church’s year for most of us; we look forward to the parties and special church programs. Of course, there is another side to this saga. Advent can drain the life out of ministers in a few short weeks. While most ministers look forward to the celebrative atmosphere of […] Read More

I know people who, like my neighbor’s 5-inch-tall dog named Willy, think they are “big dogs” when they are not. And yes, I find them amusing. This column could be about barking church members, denominational leaders or political leaders, but I would rather focus on ministers. Training doesn’t make us big dogs. A master of divinity […] Read More

I sat in the congregation for a friend’s funeral and felt the weight of grief. I most certainly felt grief related to the loss of my friend, yet there was more. In the pew, I experienced cascading mental images of funerals past: Lloyd, Collette, Nathan, Marjorie, Sarah, Miss Bessie, Alice, John, Jill, Martha. It was […] Read More

What do you do when the swamp is on fire? The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in the southeasternmost part of Virginia is on fire. For many of us this probably sounds counterintuitive.  When water levels drop in swamps, the humid decomposing material in the swamp dries out and a lightning strike can create an […] Read More

Charitable giving to religious organizations was flat in 2010, equaling the amount given the previous year. By contrast, charitable giving to all causes was up 3.8 percent as reported by Giving USA Foundation. “If (all charitable) giving continues to grow at that rate, it will take five or six more years just to return to […] Read More

Harold Camping, the California preacher who predicted the world would begin coming to an end May 21, 2011, has offered a five-month reprieve. Now, the world will come to an end Oct. 21, 2011.    Camping’s original prediction fell flat; he predicted earthquakes for May 21 beginning at 6 p.m., culminating with the obliteration of the […] Read More

Who doesn’t like Stephen Hawking?   For 49 years he has “lived with the prospect of an early death” from Lou Gehrig’s disease, yet he has fought the disease with remarkable courage.    His “A Brief History of Time” has sold 9 million copies and almost makes astrophysics understandable to the rest of us.   […] Read More

“What is truth?”   Pilate did not seem to know. Jesus did.   I have been thinking a lot about truth these last few weeks. Reading quotes on websites and in newspapers and listening to people suggest the “sky is falling” have caused me to think about how truth is influenced by context and speaker bias. […] Read More