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Andy Gill
by Andy Gill

“But We Rejoice in Our Sufferings…”

Just keepin’ it real, but, the past two years, life has just completely and utterly beat shit out of me. It was like being trapped underneath a seemingly never ending set of waves; one bad thing after another; feeling a sense of panic from the uncertainty that you’re going to make it. But, in the [Read More...]

Brian McLaren
by Brian McLaren

The Conservative Evangelical Project: An Unexpected Grief

I just took my first sabbatical. Turning 60 seemed like a good time to get off the road, quiet down, take stock, recharge. It was all I had hoped for. I rested. Walked. Rode my bike. Fished. Played my guitar. Finished a book. Stayed out of airports. Binge-watched a couple TV series with my wife. [Read More...]

Capitol & Cathedral
by Jacob Lupfer

Is Callista Gingrich the next USA ambassador to the Holy See?

Callista Gingrich will almost certainly be the next American ambassador to the Holy See. This has been in the works for a while. Since the election, Mrs. Gingrich’s name is frequently floated and in January, it was confirmed that she is being considered. Plugged-in Vatican journalist Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register seems to [Read More...]

Christian Piatt
by Father, Son, and Holy Heretic

GENIUS’ Young Einstein, Johnny Flynn

He’s been a halfwit brother co-parenting his mute younger sibling (Comedy Central’s BROTHERHOOD)  to a ladies’ man on with an…umm…awkward medical secret (Netflix’s LOVESICK). He’s the lead singer in the alt-folk group JOHNNY FLYNN AND THE SUSSEX WIT, and now he’s young Einstein along with Geoffrey Rush as his elder counterpart in GENIUS, Brian Grazer [Read More...]

Christianity Is Changing
by Michael Hardin

Metaphysical Jesus. — by Rob Grayson

This guest post encourages us to be disciples, and not merely fans, of a down-to-earth Jesus. Rob Grayson is a freelance translator from Coventry, England. He is passionate about amateur theology and likes to write about the deconstruction and reconstruction of faith, theology and Christian culture. Rob blogs at Metaphysical Jesus.   By Rob [Read More...]

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
by CBF Writers

For such a time as this: Celebrating Earth Day 2017

April 22 will mark the 48th annual celebration of Earth Day — a day first set aside in 1970 to encourage support for environmental protection with events held in more than 190 countries around the world. That first celebration, now nearly a half-century ago, put environmental issues front and center in the U.S. society and politics. With more than 20 million Americans participating in this awareness and advocacy effort, the first-ever Earth Day displayed the grassroots popularity of concern for our planet.

Dry Bones
by Kathleen Mulhern

Hangs My Helpless Soul on Thee

It is a mystery, unsolved and unsolvable, why some people believe and others do not, why some hear an odd echo of a forgotten voice within and some do not, why some see Jesus and others do not. “Why do you reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” asked one of his disciples. [Read More...]

by Leah D. Schade

Is Earth Worth Dying For? A Reflection on the Earth Martyrs

The faithfulness of the Earth Martyrs shows us that because Earth is worth dying for, we now know what is worth living for.

Edges of Faith
by David R. Henson

The Appearance of Hope (An #Advent Poem)

The Appearance of Hope (An Advent Poem) Not long after John appeared in the wilderness with sweet locusts on his breath Not long after the expectant crowds churned muddy waves of confession into the Jordan Not long after he baptized Jesus in the cold river on a day overcast with love and thunder Not long [Read More...]

Emerging Voices
by Various

I’m Sorry: Reflection on Grief for Holy Saturday

  Easter is great, no question, but today, the day before, is a day to hold our grief. Maybe the day before, the best thing we can say to each other is, “I’m sorry.” I’m sorry that the kindest, gentlest teacher who didn’t take any nonsense, either, is dead. There had been this moment, when maybe [Read More...]

Everyday Black Matters
by Grace Sandra

The Sexually Pregnant Mind

I see the curves of my breast and they please. I see the round of my rump and it entices. I see the button of my belly & giggle at its cuteness. I rub the bulging bump that sustains my daughter it is tight but lovely. My legs are thick pillars supporting the whole of [Read More...]

Faithful Democrats
by Various Authors

The Refugee Crisis

True to our fears, the Trump administration is already inflicting whiplash on everyday Americans, as many of us flit from report to report in an effort to ascertain exactly what the new President is doing. Perhaps the most glaring example of this from the first several weeks of the new administration has been the travel [Read More...]

Faith Forward
by Voices from the Progressive Church

A PISTOL PACKING PASTOR, RABBI & IMAM (& Other Responses to Increasing Attacks Against Houses of Faith)

Although it has been happening for a long time, there are an increasing number of attacks on institutions, individuals, and houses of faith. Here are a few historic and current, general and personal examples: Fifty years ago, fifteen sticks of dynamite were detonated at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Four African American [Read More...]

Faith With Wisdom
by Paul Peter Jesep

During Lent sacrifice ‘time’ not chocolate: take action

Lent is social action and spiritual growth. Hence, rethink how you experience the season. Social Climate Southern Poverty Law Center reported since November’s election hate crimes increased dramatically. Jews, women, Muslims, immigrants, and LGBTQ individuals are facing threats. American-Jews are especially under attack. In March, every US Senator signed a letter to the Trump Administration. [Read More...]

by Caryn Riswold

Feminist, Interfaith, Public: My Luther Year

Five hundred years ago, an Augustinian monk drafted a disputation on indulgences wherein he detailed how corruption in human institutions threatened the heart of the gospel and the soul of the faithful. Martin Luther’s 95 Theses thus emerged as a pivotal point in the Protestant Reformation. The document wasn’t the first nor by any means [Read More...]

The Official Blog of Benjamin Corey
by Benjamin L. Corey

A Case For Christian Universalism (From A Non-Universalist)

Christian universalism is a solidly biblical and reasonable belief.

Freelance Christianity
by Vance Morgan

Wolf Hall

Christian Wiman writes that "every single expression of faith is provisional . . . because faith in God is, finally, faith in change." Rereading a great historical novel has confirmed this for me.

by Susan Cottrell

The Ultimate Question: What If You’re Wrong??

Are we so terrified of an angry God that we choose to err of the side of judging a person instead of loving them? Unfortunately, the answer is “yes” for much of the church. And it is destroying the lives of people and entire families – many of whom we call brothers and sisters in [Read More...]

God is Not a Republican
by Benjamin Dixon

There’s No Way In Hell Jesus Would Vote For Donald Trump

Trump has shown us he is depraved, prideful, unremorseful, and has the temperament of a petulant child. His enduring support from the Religious Right has laid bare the emptiness of their commitment to vote for Republicans out of a sense of morality. Let’s make this clear from the outset: this is not an endorsement–religious or otherwise– of Hillary Clinton. I’m sure [Read More...]

Good and Truth
by Coleman Glenn

In Defense of Religious Extremism

You can't have religious freedom without the freedom to be an extremist.

by Kevin Miller

You go ahead and keep feeling; I’ll do the thinking for both of us

It seems to me that when it comes to controversial topics like gun control, we tend to believe the other side is good at feeling their way through the issue but not so good at thinking their way through it. Meanwhile, we think we’re masters at dispassionate analysis, which is why we’re able to see things [Read More...]

Hippie Heretic
by Chuck McKnight

On Christians Talking Dirty (RTT)

For week four of Random Text Tuesday (RTT), my random-text selector gave me Ephesians 5:4. I’m pretty excited to tackle this one, as I think it is one of the most misused and misapplied verses out there. I’ll start by quoting a few different versions because the translations are all over the place for this [Read More...]

Hugh Hollowell
by Hugh Hollowell

We Must Testify

The election had me upset beyond belief. Not because my “team” lost, but because the man we elected has promised that a goal of his administration would be to effectively declare war on people I care about. People I pastor. People I love. People I am married to.

Interfaith Encounters
by Robert Hunt

Cross-Talk in the UMC

With the United Methodist Judicial Council meeting next week to consider several cases related to human sexuality the interwebs are abuzz with debate, particularly about Bishop Oliveto, who was an acting leader and was consecrated as bishop while married to another woman. As I read the various blogs and multiple responses one thing becomes clear. [Read More...]

by Erin Wathen

Your Church Does Not Need Volunteers

I was writing my weekly note to the congregation  (a few days late, because I took Monday off and it’s all downhill from there). Usually in this note, I share a few words about the message for Sunday so that we can all be reflecting on the same topic throughout the week. It makes the sermon [Read More...]

James Wellman on American Religion
by Dr. James Wellman

Everything Belongs and the End of Religion

Recently I’ve been thinking that in Evangelical culture in the Pacific Northwest there is a strain of a radical gospel that is post-religious, or even a-religious. It doesn’t bind people back to a doctrine, or scripture, or the ecclesia, but frees them into a radical kind of Christ-consciousness that I find myself saying, well, yes [Read More...]

Jeff Hood
by Jeff Hood

When White People Die

  Auburn University is the type of place that most people wouldn’t believe exists until they experience it. For four years, I was consistently surprised at the backward things I heard over and over again. Though much time has past since graduation, I still think about my alma mater from time to time. When I [Read More...]

Jerseygirl, JESUS
by Kerry Connelly

Church Orphan: On Desert Walking And Jesus

This year, Easter kind of sucked.   Or did it? Did I even notice? Honestly, I’m not sure. This is what happens when you’re a church orphan.   I am in that horrible place where I can’t seem to go to my church for a plethora of reasons and no reason at all; and yet [Read More...]

John Shore
by John Shore

The Women’s March is over. Now what?

A young woman, angry and depressed over our current political situation, asks what she can do, now that the Women's March is over.

Kermit Zarley Blog
by Kermit Zarley

Did Jesus Preexist as “the Angel of the LORD”?

The most mysterious and enigmatic figure in the Old Testament (OT) is “the angel of the LORD.” This expression occurs 56 times in the OT, and “the angel of God” occurs 10 times therein. This angel of the LORD appeared to Abraham, Hagar, Isaac, Jacob, Manoah and his wife, Moses, Joshua, and many others. There [Read More...]

Kimberly Knight
by Kimberly Knight

I was wrong, Trump is the right president for America.

Maybe for a minute America was the light held atop the state of liberty, graciously welcoming the tired and huddled masses of the world. Maybe for just a minute we were the land of the free and the home of the brave that help stomp out the horrors that lead up to and occurred during [Read More...]

Knack for Noticing
by Alyce McKenzie

The Green-Eyed Monster

I have a nice blend-in alto voice that makes a pleasant contribution to our church choir. A woman I’ll call Peggy has a gorgeous soprano voice and is often asked to sing solos. We don’t really look alike, except that we have the same color and length of hair. A few weeks ago as I [Read More...]

by Eric Smith

Shepherds and Crucified Kings: The Lectionary for Reign of Christ

Jeremiah 23:1-6 What It’s About: Shepherds. But also kings. When Christianity was young, and it was trying to piece together how to think about Jesus (was he God? was he a man? where did he fit in to Jewish texts and traditions?), Christians mined Jewish scriptures for models. They found many places, especially in prophetic texts, [Read More...]

Living A Holy Adventure
by Bruce Epperly

Winnie the Pooh, Thomas Friedman, and the Paws that Refresh

As I wait for my flight at Logan Airport, I am pondering Thomas Friedman’s recent book, “Thank You For Being Late.” Friedman notes that accelerations are accelerating, and faster is going faster, and that while we are adaptive creatures, changes are happening almost too quickly for thought and responsible action to catch up. Whether by [Read More...]

Mercy Not Sacrifice
by Morgan Guyton

The debate that’s older than Paul’s letter to the Galatians (#NoSuchLaw)

The United Methodist Church faces a major flashpoint next week when our Judicial Council meets to decide whether lesbian bishop Karen Oliveto can be summarily dismissed from her post without a clergy trial. It’s a fascinating test because a true judicial conservative in the mold of Neil Gorsuch would be constrained by the limits of [Read More...]

Modern Kinship
by David and Constantino Khalaf

The Problem with Gay Conversion Anecdotes

The gay conversion success story is a popular trope among evangelical church blogs and other conservative faith-based media. It usually takes the form of a profile of someone in a church or faith organization who has heroically overcome their sexual temptations with the help of their church community, prayer, and the divine touch of God. [Read More...]

by Brandan Robertson

Blinded By Bias: FOX News and Naming Our Prejudice

Yesterday, FOX News posted an article and interview about a Tweet that the progressive UCC Minister, Rev. Al Sharpton, tweeted out over the weekend that critiqued Trump’s refugee ban, saying: “Before you head to church today, remember to thank God for his son, Jesus a refugee who fled to Egypt.” Apparently, a number of conservative [Read More...]

Paperback Theology
by Tim Suttle

10 Stunning Facts About Davinci’s Last Supper for Maundy Thursday

Every year on Maundy Thursday our church does a short visio divina around Leonardo DaVinci’s famous mural, “The Last Supper.” This practice, and this painting, have both come a rich part of our Holy Week tradition. Here are a few fun facts about Davinci’s famous masterpiece: DaVinci didn’t choose the subject matter. The work was commissioned by [Read More...]

Post Traumatic Church Syndrome
by Reba Riley

These 3.5 Books Saved Me From Suicide

In early June 2016, I drove my car onto the tracks and waited. When the train rumbled in approach, I heard the whistle. Relief washed over me. Finally. Finally I will escape this deep, black Darkness. Finally I will wake up from my living nightmare. I would have said a prayer for forgiveness, but I believed in a [Read More...]

Progressive American
by James Ireland

Christianity at the White House Under Trump

With the celebration of Easter just past it might be a good time to assess how Donald Trump is working with and for Christians considering their overwhelming support for him. Trump is approaching three months in office and so it is not unreasonable to see where he has succeeded and failed. During the election we were told [Read More...]

Progressive Youth Ministry
by John Vest

Friends of Time: youth ministry and the clock

Youth workers come in all shapes and sizes, but they tend to have at least this one thing in common: they are busy! Youth workers are some of the busiest people on the planet, trying all the time to navigate the busy schedules of young people while also maintaining their regular scheduled programming and, in [Read More...]

Radical Christian Millennial
by Christian Chiakulas

How Jimmy Dore Became an Unlikely Hero to the Left

Jimmy Dore has proven himself an ally of the radical left, even without placing himself firmly among us.

Religion Prof
by James F. McGrath

Complicated Theories

Do you agree? Why or why not? [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Rhetoric Race and Religion
by Andre E. Johnson

White Silence and the Making of #WhiteChurchQuiet

On Monday Night April 3, 2017, the Center for Community Service and Justice at Loyola University-Maryland, invited me to give the Messina Lecture. I talked about white silence and the creation of #WhiteChurchQuiet. I like to thank Dr. Jean Lee Cole for offering the invitation to speak and everyone associated with the wonderful Loyola University-Maryland [Read More...]

Sarcastic Lutheran
by Nadia Bolz-Weber

Wounds and Wells; A Sermon on The Samaritan Woman

This is one to listen to if you really want to get the meaning – and also a bonus joke from Stuart  which made everyone crack up during what was otherwise a serious sermon! Click below. Last week I was talking with a friend about the practice of keeping a diary –and I said that, to [Read More...]

by Fred Clark

Trump requests extension for tax reform plan

The Trump administration today released a slap-dash, vague, one-page document on the subject of "Tax Reform." It offers little in the way of details, just a series of somewhat-connected bullet-points relating to this general theme. This is not a plan or a proposal, but a wish-list of the various -- and often contradictory -- ingredients that Trump's various advisers might want to see should such a plan or proposal ever get written. But, hey, if a loosely related series of bullet points is good enough for the White House, then it's good enough for me.

Slow Church
by John Pattison & Chris Smith

Conversational Bodies.

To be created in the image of the triune God is to exist as a conversation. God, as trinity, exists as three “persons” in an eternal conversation with one another: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, listening and responding, giving and receiving with one another.

Spiritual Direction 101
by Teresa Blythe

Spiritual Direction for the Resistance

A young minister colleague came to me last week and said, “we really need spiritual direction for the resistance–time to reflect on what we are so passionate about.” The resistance of which my friend speaks is made up of humanists, interfaith religious leaders and progressive Christians all fighting the creeping authoritarianism of the Trump administration. [Read More...]

by Jack Levison

The Detritus of Dreams

I saw this photograph today from Parsons School of Design in a New York Times article. It contains the backpacks left behind by migrants coming across our border. Of course, it is a powerful image of loss and naivete. Of dreams shattered. Of panic. Of giving up–both things and hope. That is where the photo [Read More...]

Storied Theology
by J.R. Daniel Kirk

A Man Attested by God: Response to Hurtado

Larry Hurtado has posted to his blog the review he read of my book, A Man Attested by God, at the Society of Biblical Literature meeting in November. A number of people have asked for my response. What follows is not my response from the session, but a newly written response for my blog. Appreciation I want to [Read More...]

Surprising Faith
by Alicia de los Reyes

Something like a socialist dream

Olivia Smith, Associate Minister Intern at a social justice-oriented church in South Seattle, tackles displacement in spiritual terms.

Talk with the Preacher
by Amy Butler

Signs of Life

John 21:1-19 What are you supposed to do after resurrection? I mean, really. What are you supposed to do after everything you know about life changes? We’re one week away from resurrection, so it’s natural to ask the same question the disciples were asking each other. Now what? Well, they didn’t know.  They didn’t know [Read More...]

Teaching Nonviolent Atonement
by Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen

Why Donald Trump Is Like the Grinch. And That’s a Good Thing.

Donald Trump might be growing a heart. In an Associate Press interview last weekend, Trump reflected on his heart and the responsibilities of the presidency. He told the AP that his new job is very different from his previous jobs. As the president, Trump is discovering that you have to have a heart. A presidential [Read More...]

The Everyday Awakening
by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Arrests Resume As Moral Movement Continues

Two years ago this week, seventeen people were arrested on the first “Moral Monday,” sparking a summer of protests in which tens of thousands came to register their objection to immoral policies backed by dark money and extremist legislators. More than 1,000 people were arrested in the largest civil disobedience campaign since the 1960s sit-in [Read More...]

The Bite in the Apple
by Nancy Rockwell

The Skeptic

Buncha malarkey. Snake oil. Quack, quack, quack. Christmas, yes. Easter, no. These are common human answers. Much more skeptical than Doubting Thomas, who, after all, was a part of the group around... {This is a content summary only. Click on the blog title above to continue reading this post, share your comments and browse the other areas of my blog.}

The Holy Kiss
by Roger Wolsey

O We of Little Faith.

Christians in America are no longer people of faith, we’re people of fear. Instead of truly putting our trust, faith, and reliance upon the Way, teachings, and example of Jesus, we put our actual faith in guns, our obscenely over-funded military, and in strong-man  & authoritarian leaders. …You’re saying, that doesn’t apply to me! Okay, [Read More...]

The Naked Jesus
by Dr. John O'Keefe

Why I Fear A Christian Nation

I fear the idea of a Christian Nation. Why? Because, at no point in history, has making Christianity the Official Religion of any place, shown positive results.

The Pangea Blog
by Kurt Willems

A Hatred of Science is Killing the Church: Why Young Adults Leave or Never Show Up

Both on The Paulcast: A Podcast All About the Apostle Paul and at Pangea Church (Seattle), I have been walking through series on science and scripture. How I go about that now is quite different than I imagine my methods if I were 19. Back then, evolution was off the table. In fact, it wasn’t [Read More...] [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

The Peripatetic Preacher
by John C Holbert

The Bible as Mirror: Trump and Peter

As we once again exit the events at Easter, I was reminded of the craven lying that the Great Fisherman, Peter, engaged in around that Jerusalem courtyard fire nearly two millennia ago. This is, of course, the same Peter to whom Jesus earlier in Matthew’s Gospel handed the keys to the kingdom, metaphorical keys that [Read More...]

The Thoughtful Pastor
by Christy Thomas

It’s time. Blow up the UMC. My own breaking point.

These responses may be the breaking point for me. A church based on a theology of grace operates with the same nastiness of our current political discourse. I had planned a gentle, thoughtful post here. I have, after all, billed myself as the Thoughtful Pastor, although some certainly question the appropriateness of my claim. My proposed [Read More...]

The View from Dixon Hall
by Maria Dixon

To Bind the Wounds: 3 Millennials write the Trump Inaugural Address

One of the things I love about my day job is the joy of watching my students surprise themselves with their own gifts and talents. I also adore the fact that our Corporate Communication and Public Affairs program is the home to some of the most successful political, corporate and non-profit strategic communicators in America. [Read More...]

To Do Justice
by Rebecca Todd Peters

How to Reject Xenophobia – Have Lunch Instead!

There many things - large and small - that Christians can do to fight the xenophobia that threatens our country. One simple thing to do is have lunch!

Unfundamentalist Christians
by Dan Wilkinson

We Agree: We Can’t Agree to Disagree on Anti-Gay Bigotry

When bigotry uses the tools of my trade -- in this case Greek philology -- I feel duty-bound to set the record straight.

Unfundamentalist Parenting
by Cindy Brandt

Dear Children’s Ministry: Please Stop Using “Black” and “White” to Describe Sin and Forgiveness

Image: Unsplash Dear Children’s Ministry, First, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all you do for our children…and for us, their parents. The millions of unseen and unappreciated ways that you pour into the next generation is astonishing to me. Your patience, commitment, passion, and creativity seem to have no [Read More...]The post Dear Children’s Ministry: Please Stop Using “Black” and “White” to Describe Sin and Forgiveness appeared first on Unfundamentalist Parenting.

Unsystematic Theology
by Kyle Roberts

Believe it or Not, People Still Go to Church for the Preaching

The primary reason people give for going to church may surprise you: Good preaching and teaching. At least, that’s what Gallup found in a recent poll (March 2017). The poll listed common activities of church, asking respondents whether they rank as a major factor, a minor factor, or not a factor, in their reason for [Read More...]

What God Wants For Your Life
by Fred Schmidt

Recovering Confirmation

Our conversations about the church’s pastoral prayers led to a conversation this week with my students about the sacrament of confirmation. One astute member of the class observed that his efforts to prepare adolescents for confirmation seemed rather futile. “I’m not convinced that at age fourteen they know what they are promising to do, and [Read More...]

Why I Still Talk to Jesus — In Spite of Everything
by Frank Schaeffer

Trump Voters Were Fact-Free and Now It Looks As If They Are Also Willingly Even Proudly Stupid: A New Poll Shows They’d Elect Trump– Again!

Trump voters have changed the old saying “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me,” to “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice– just fine by me!” A new ABC News/Washington Post poll taken as Trump approaches his 100th day in office (with the lowest approval rating at this [Read More...]

Writing Life
by Marilyn McEntyre

The harrowing of hell

The harrowing of hell A harrow is a spiked implement that is drawn over ploughed land to break up clods, tear up weeds, and level the ground for planting. Knowing that bit of agricultural history gives the common figurative use of the word harrowing an important layer of meaning. We speak of a harrowing experience—one [Read More...]