A Sabbatical…

About ten years ago, I completed 24 years in the pastorate to begin a new chapter in my life and ministry, working as an author, speaker, and activist. For these ten years, I’ve been on the road 80-100 days a year. That means I've had the great privilege of meeting and speaking to thousands of pastors and other faith leaders and hundreds of congregations, across a wide span of denominations and interfaith gatherings. I’ve met amazing people and had the chance to speak and write about matters I ca … [Read More...]

Gradye Parsons to Donald Trump

A wise letter worth reading, for Donald and all of us, from the elected spokesperson of the Presbyterian Church, USA here. Quotable: Presbyterians profess a faith in Christ, whose parents were forced to flee with him to Egypt when he was an infant to save him from King Herod. Knowing our Lord was once a refugee, faithful Presbyterians have been writing church policy urging the welcome of refugees and demanding higher annual admissions into the United States since the refugee crisis of World War … [Read More...]


The Pope in America: Three Steps Forward!

Editors' Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on the Pope in America: Implications, Collaborations, Challenges. Read other perspectives here. As a nonCatholic who was born in the Vatican II era, I feel like I've lived most of my life in the "two-steps back" phase of Catholicism.The pattern is common in religion as well as politics: progressive breakthroughs are often followed by traditionalist retrenchments. I think something similar has happened in Protestantism, where … [Read More...]

Coming Together in Faith On Climate: A Multi-Faith Response to the Pope’s Historic Visit to Congress

Friends - I'm thrilled to be part of a team organizing a multi-faith response to the Pope's historic visit to the US Congress, September 24. There will be a Press Event on Monday, September 21. (Details TBA) There will be a multi-faith gathering at the National Cathedral, Thursday evening, September 24, at 7:30 pm EDT - free, open to the public, and ticketed (space is limited). And then there will be a follow-up invitation-only gathering of faith-based climate leaders on Friday morning. Here … [Read More...]


A Sermon from a 9 Year Old

During my recent trip to New Zealand, a mom shared a fascinating story with me about her daughter, in response to a talk I gave about my most recent book, We Make the Road by Walking. She followed up with this note:Below is the sermon I mentioned that my daughter did when we did a service at home while we were still looking for a church after moving to [a new city]. She said she would word it differently now but she still agrees with its sentiment. She is now 10 so was probably 8 or 9 when … [Read More...]

Q&R: Church Futures?

Here's the Question: From your perspective professionally and your position (of great privilege!) as a grandparent, will the followers of Jesus meet in a place called "church" when your grandchildren are grown? I'm sitting with how much time and effort is focused on (to) "keep" in the church....families, young people...and I really think it's from an orientation towards self-preservation. I feel pretty solidly there is a need to prepare them to go! ‎I don't know what that looks like to those of … [Read More...]

The Uprising Begins: An Easter Sunday Reflection

This is an excerpt from We Make the Road by Walking, Chapter 33: The Uprising Begins (Easter Sunday)Ezekiel 37:1–14 Luke 24:1–32 Colossians 1:9–29Let’s imagine ourselves with the disciples on the first Easter Sunday.Here’s what we heard. At dawn, before the sun has risen, some women who are part of our movement went to the tomb to properly wash Jesus’ corpse and prepare it for burial. When they arrived, they had a vision involving angels. One of the women claimed that Jesus appeared … [Read More...]


In Honor of Marcus Borg

What a pleasure to have known Marcus Borg. What a kind and beautiful human being. What a loss to us all.I originally heard of Marcus through his association with the Jesus Seminar, which, in the Evangelical circles I hail from, was not a good thing. My first direct encounter with his writing came through a dialogue book he did with N. T. Wright. Again, my background predisposed me to disagree with him and dislike him, but he made it hard to do either, especially the latter. Hardly the … [Read More...]

An Open Letter to the New Congress: Care for the Earth

My friend Cameron Trimble and I have a letter in The Hill today. You can read it here, or it is included below. Please share it widely … +++++++ We are two Christian leaders, one a 50-something from an Evangelical background and the other a 30-something from a Mainline Protestant background. We have both served as local pastors and now national leaders who consult with multi-denominational Christian leadership around the United States. You have a majority in Congress now, and nearly all of yo … [Read More...]

Are You Saying the Entire Christian Faith Has Been Wrong?

Quite often when I'm speaking to conservative Christian groups, whether the subject is evolution, the meaning of John 14:6, equality for women or LGBT people, the doctrine of inerrancy (papal or biblical), or related topics, people will say it is arrogant of me to suggest that the mainstream of the Christian church has been so wrong for so long. Certainly that could be the case. I wish I were a greater stranger to arrogance than I am. But to refuse to acknowledge the possibility that a … [Read More...]