March 8, 2018

It’s fascinating how many Christians argue for a violent Jesus. In spite of the fact that all throughout his ministry, Jesus told his listeners to do things like love their enemies, bless those who persecute them, turn the other cheek, and so on, some Jesus-followers still insist that Jesus was, in so many ways, okay with violence. One place they generally turn to as proof is the so-called “cleansing of the Temple” (cf. Mark 11:15–19, 27–33; Matt 21:12–17, 23–27; Luke… Read more

March 2, 2018

I’ve noticed an odd phenomenon among some Christians when it comes to violence and the Scriptures. On the one hand, they will vehemently denounce both the violence that some Muslims do in the name of Allah, as well as the violence espoused in the Qur’an, but on the other, they will refuse to acknowledge that Christians have a storied history of engaging in just as much violence—all justified by Scripture. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but I have,… Read more

February 21, 2018

I apologize for it taking me so long to comment on the most recent school shooting. Frankly, I didn’t even know what the hell to say. But, after some reflection, what became clear to me was, instead of just talking about the shooting directly, I needed to first say something about what it means to be a follower of Jesus, what it means to be “in the world, not of the world.” Hopefully by the end of this piece, it… Read more

February 12, 2018

I’m a Universalist and I affirm hell. I’m a Universalist and I affirm justice. I’m a Universalist and I affirm the wrath of God. I’m a Universalist and I affirm . . . well, you get the picture. If what I just said makes perfect sense to you, then the following will be nothing new. If, however, it doesn’t make any sense to you—how can one believe both clauses in each sentence?—then the following is for you. Hopefully by the… Read more

February 6, 2018

I used to believe that the Bible was the inerrant Word of God. I believed this because I was told to believe it, and to question such things was to question God. And if I questioned God too much, or too often, then perhaps he was going to someday get tired of me and throw me into a lake of fire. The Bible was clear. Well, that may have been what I was told, but that doesn’t mean it’s true…. Read more

February 2, 2018

The topic of cannabis can be a contentious one for Christians. Unlike alcohol, caffeine, and other mind-altering substances, cannabis indeed carries with it a special kind of stigma, both morally and socially. For folks such as myself, this is especially unfortunate, given how much of a positive impact this herb has had on my life. Allow me to explain. A number of years ago, I was diagnosed with a rare form of Celiac disease called Refractory Celiac Sprue. What happens… Read more

January 31, 2018

*Note, this is part II of my series on atonement. Part I can be found here. Please take a few minutes to read that first. Also, some of the content will be included in my forthcoming book entitled Heretic! An LGBTQ-Affirming, Divine-Violence Denying Christian Universalist’s Replies to Some of Evangelical Christianity’s Most Pressing Concerns.   If atonement theology is not best understood in penal substitutionary ways—as I contend it’s not—then what are some healthier, more orthodox ways of understanding the… Read more

January 29, 2018

*Note: this is part I of a two-part series I am doing on atonement theology. Some of the content will be included in my forthcoming book entitled Heretic! An LGBTQ-Affirming, Divine-Violence Denying Christian Universalist’s Replies to Some of Evangelical Christianity’s Most Pressing Concerns.   “We are saved from God! And more precisely, we are sparred [sic] the wrath of God . .  . Without your trusting in Christ, the wrath of God that was placed on Jesus will then be… Read more

January 25, 2018

“Both Jesus and Paul quote the Old Testament, therefore they affirm all of it,” or so says a whole host of Christians. But is this true? Not likely. Sure, both men had a high view of Scripture, were adept students of it, and, on numerous occasions, taught directly from it. Indeed, much of what they had to say came from the Jewish Scriptures. But, that doesn’t mean that every theological claim made in the Old Testament is something either affirmed…. Read more

January 23, 2018

*Note, this is a guest piece by Mark Karris. He is an ordained pastor, licensed marriage and family therapist, speaker, musician, adjunct professor, and all around biophilic. He is the author of Season of Heartbreak: Healing for the Heart, Brain, and Soul (Kregel, 2017). He and his family live in San Diego, California. Visit him at ConspiringPrayer.com.   Many of you won’t know me, so let me introduce myself. I am a therapist, ordained pastor, husband, father, adjunct professor, and the… Read more

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