Keep Government Out of Worship Planning for 9/11 or Anytime

CNN reports that, "Progressive Christians Join Controversy over Excluding Clergy at 9/11 Event." In contrast, while I consider myself a Progressive Christian, I applaud Mayor Bloomberg's courageous stance for the separation of church and state. According to Sojourners, one of the Progressive Christian organizations interviewed for the article, Mayor Bloomberg made an understandable but regrettable decision. Religion, and religious leaders, have caused a lot of unnecessary conflict and … [Read more...]

BOOK REVIEW: "The Betrayal of Charity"

(Matthew Levering, The Betrayal of Charity: The Sins that Sabotage Divine Love, 2011, 219 pages.) As a lifelong Protestant, it is often a refreshing change of pace to step into the world of Roman Catholicism. Sociologist Andrew Greeley, in his book The Catholic Imagination, beautifully describes some of the differences between the religious worlds of Catholicism and Protestantism. Many Protestants grow up worshipping in brightly-lit sanctuaries with stark, blank white walls. In contrast, … [Read more...]

BOOK REVIEW: "Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics"

(Alisa Harris, Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics, 2011, 230 pages.) In the 2007 teen film Juno, the title character, after finding out she is pregnant, nonchalantly phones Planned Parenthood and announces, "Hi, I'm calling to procure a hasty abortion." When she arrives for her appointment, she unexpectedly encounters Su-Chin, one of her classmates, protesting in front of the clinic: "All babies want to get borned! All babies want to get borned!" Her classmate is, in turn, … [Read more...]

Letter to the Editor: "God Does Change"

(The following letter to the editor was published on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 in the Calvert Recorder.) I am writing in response to Gloria Hawkins’ Aug. 17 letter, “Homosexuals choose not to follow God’s word.” Ms. Hawkins says that, “God doesn’t change,” and she implies that the Judeo-Christian conception of sexual ethics hasn’t changed “for more than 2,000 years and always will be until the end of time.” Both points are highly dubious. Limiting myself to the … [Read more...]

“Costly Truth, Costly Forgiveness” (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary on Matt 18 for Sept 4, 2011)

I. Anne Taylor’s Saint Maybe, part one Christian ethicist Stanley Hauerwas has made the important connection that we can learn a lot about the Christian practice of forgiveness from the character Ian Bedloe in Anne Taylor’s novel Saint Maybe. As the story goes, one day a plate glass window attracts Ian’s attention as he walks down the street. The window reads, “The Church of the Second Chance.” He can hear a hymn being sung by inside. He almost keeps walking, but instead … [Read more...]

There Was No Historical Adam and Eve (Part 2)

(Read Part 1 of my post, "There Was No Historical Adam and Eve" here. See also my sermon, "Narnia and Other Stories Christians Tell.") Al Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has written a blog in response to the NPR story on which I based part one of this series. In that post, I noted that one reason the controversy over Adam and Eve remains significant is that polls have shown that forty percent of people in the United States believe that there was a historical Adam … [Read more...]


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