Thoughts on the Obama Presidency

As many readers know, I was actively involved in the 2008 presidential campaign – for the first time in my life. I was less involved in the 2012 campaign, but was still a vocal public supporter for Obama/Biden. Like everyone (including, I’m sure, President Obama himself), I’ve had my share of disappointments about the last [Read More...]

A Benediction for the Inauguration

I was invited to compose a 100-word benediction suitable for the US presidential inauguration, along with 25 others, all of which are available here. Here’s mine: Living God, whose glory surpasses every name and creed by which we seek to honor you, May our leaders become less concerned about the splinters in the eyes of their opponents [Read More...]

Courageous Words from Steve Chalke

The same day Kentucky sage Wendell Berry went public with a strongly worded statement about gay people and the Christian faith, my friend Steve Chalke went public with a similar statement in the UK. It was carried in Christianity Magazine (like Christianity Today in the US, an Evangelical publication). You can read the abridged version [Read More...]

What I Appreciate about Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, and Greens …

All parties have their weaknesses, to be sure, some quite glaring. But all have virtues too. Here are three for each. 1. Republicans, at their best, A. Emphasize individual responsibility B. Are sensitive to the dangers of unaccountable government C. Are concerned about the long-term consequences of growing debt 2. Democrats, at their best, A. [Read More...]

Why We’re Leaving Church: A Report from the Nones

The same day news outlets around the country carried a notable headline — “Protestants Lose Majority Status in US” — I was in a jam-packed church, speaking about my new book on Christian identity in a multi-faith world. The article explored recent Pew research about the rise of the “Nones”, religiously unaffiliated Millennials, and the corresponding decline [Read More...]

Responding to the Patheos Roundtable

Recently, Patheos hosted an interfaith roundtable on my new book, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? and invited a half dozen bloggers to respond from their own faith perspectives. The following are my responses to each of the contributors, and a link to each blogger’s full post from the roundtable. Brad [Read More...]

Joining the Resurrection

It’s not accidental, nor is it insignificant, that Easter occurred on a Sunday, the first day of a new week. Last week, the center of gravity was on the last day, set aside as a day of rest from all that had gone before. As the sun rises Easter morning, everything changes. The emphasis shifts [Read More...]

Lent: Maybe It’s About Adding, Not Subtracting

I sometimes envy people who follow tradition without asking questions. They gain benefits from their tradition that the rest of us will never know. (There are costs, of course, to their lack of questioning, as there are to everything, but that’s another story.) We questioners can’t help but smell some problems with Lent. We note [Read More...]

The President’s “Phony” Theology

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum accused President Obama of a “phony theology” over the weekend, a theology that takes seriously “serving the earth.” I agree with Paul Raushenbush: Rick Santorum was terribly unwise to make theological correctness an issue in a political campaign. But I think he was right about his differences with President Obama being [Read More...]

The Beloved Community Vs. The Beloved Economy

You know how synchronicities happen. It’s not just the song you’re listening to or the book you’re reading, but what you’re eating or who you’re with or where you are when you do so. So I was re-reading Adam Hamilton’s Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity recently, “synchronicitously” with a mistake and a holiday. The mistake [Read More...]