Q&R: Should a Pastor Marry a Non-Religious Couple?

Here’s the Question: Should a Christian pastor conduct a secular wedding? The bride was an active youth in our progressive ELCA Lutheran congregation and her family is still active. She is now getting married and her groom has requested no scripture, no mention of God, no prayers or blessings. This isn’t the first time one [Read More…]

The Afraid People

My friend Darren Freeman-Coppadge wrote a poem that expresses what a lot of us have been feeling lately. You’ll enjoy reading it here: Quotable: I. Am afraid. I am afraid to go to the movie theater. Out to dinner. To school. To work. Anywhere. I am afraid when I see white vans parked by the [Read More…]

David Gushee gets it right on Wheaton College

Quotable: “Conservative evangelical institutions such as Wheaton are governed and supported, overwhelmingly, by people who are not just theologically conservative but also politically conservative. I would wager that the boards, top administrators, and biggest donors of most self-identified evangelical schools would vote Republican at around 95 percent. Recall that in every recent presidential election, 75 [Read More…]

An Open Letter to Jerry Falwell Jr., Students, and Faculty of Liberty University

Dear Mr. Falwell, In the tradition of your father, you made some reckless and inflammatory statements to your students the other day. Just as I appreciate it when peace-loving Muslims, Hindus and others repudiate hostile and reckless statements made by prominent members of their religions, I feel impelled by conscience to repudiate your words as not [Read More…]

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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [Read More…]