John Piper Joins the #BlackLivesMatter movement!?

I mean, not really, but kind of...Piper's opening is predictably cringeworthy, but his conclusion is surprisingly refreshing.The better question: Is this something in which nonwhite evangelicals should be happy about? Is it a step forward, and can it be utilized by progressive Christians as a means to bridge the gap between our conservative brothers and sisters? "And as I was watching all of this happen, I wondered what to think about it, what to say about it, and I googled and found: … [Read more...]

The Implications Of Minimum Wage Laws On Youth Pastors And Youth Workers

Written by Mark OestreicherI AM NOT AN EMPLOYMENT LAW EXPERT OR AUTHORITY. And this post should NOT be taken as ‘legal advice.’BUT: the other day over lunch, a graduate of our Youth Ministry Coaching Program, who leads a wonderful nonprofit ministry not too dissimilar from the Cartel, but local and Catholic, asked me a question just as we were wrapping up:So, how do you think the new California minimum wage is going to impact youth ministry?My first response: huh (it was a deeply … [Read more...]

“How do we call people in even as we call them out?”

I recently lost yet another a white friend over “the issue of race.” It was after repeatedly confronting him in regards to his consistent use of the “n-word.” He wasn't the first close friend I've lost, but I'm determined for him to be one of the last, as after these repeated instances, I'm relearning who I should be surrounding myself with.But this situation, it makes me wonder if within our social media day and age, where each and everyone of us has a differing voice and inevitably differi … [Read more...]

Yellowface: Are Asians Being #WhiteWashedOut (A lesson on perspective)?

Media, it matters; it impacts the way we view and perceive life, the way in which we interact with others, and even how we view and perceive our own self. In fact I'd argue that a large portion of media marketing is geared towards making us (the consumers) feel worth less than others if we don't purchase their product. They create the problem and then sell you the solution (e.g. "You're ugly so buy this make up;" "you're not man enough, so buy this truck and drink this beer..."). The problem … [Read more...]

Please, Stop Inviting Your Friends to Church

Written by Stephen SchmidtWe’ve got some big problems in the Church these days. That’s no great revelation. Just ask anybody on the street what they think of Christianity, especially during election season, and you’ll get an earful.  We hear it so often, in fact, that we in the Church turn a deaf ear to it. We tune it out. We’re callous to criticism. And we just go on our merry way, carrying on as good soldiers of the Cross. Well, at least on Sundays.So when I drove by this sign stuck laz … [Read more...]

What is Liberation Theology?

What is Liberation Theology? Well, there are various differing versions of liberation theology; the most well known form of liberation theology was developed in the 1950’s in Latin American lead by Gustavo Gutierrez who is known as “the founding father” of this particular type of theology.[1]Liberation theology is meant to negate the oppressive reality in which mainstream theologies have inadvertently created by acknowledging and taking into account the humanity of the oppressed (e.g. the … [Read more...]

A Lack of “Minority” Church Leaders is Killing the Church

A Lack of "minority [1]" church leaders is killing our economy which includes the health and future existence of our Church.Zoe Henry for recently cited research from the center for Gloal Policy Solutions stating that "Discrimination--whether open or covert--could be leaving as many as 9 million jobs and $300 billion worth of income on the table."As a “minority” living in the US I was very intrigued by this statement. As a former pastor, I naturally, and almost immediately began t … [Read more...]

I Emailed NT Wright About the Parousia (here’s what he said)

The parousia is one of those theologically convoluted terms that is rarely discussed and when it is discussed it’s rarely acknowledged let alone discussed with seriousness, or at length. It’s always something in which those “other people” believe. Parousia (/pəˈruːziə/; Greek: παρουσία) is an ancient Greek word meaning presence, arrival, or official visit.[1] I honestly didn’t even know about it until I was about two years into seminary. I found it interesting and fun to discuss, but didn’t (a … [Read more...]


Written by Christena Cleveland(Note: Since many pastors, church leaders, and readers of this blog are married, these tips are written for that audience. The irony that I’m writing a blog post about singleness for married people is not lost on me. :)) 1. Admit that singleness is complex and that you know little to nothing about it. A lot of people seem to think that singleness is to marriage as junior varsity is to varsity. As a result, married people sometimes mistakenly believe that … [Read more...]