Liberal Christians: STOP “Conceding” Readings that Victimize LGBT Christians

Adam Kotsko, professor, author, and blogger, has an provocative Twitter conversation going (@adamkotsko) in which he criticizes liberal Christians for making "half-assed" arguments along the lines of "Yes, God's inspired word is anti-gay, but...."He says, "It hurts my heart to see liberals so easily concede homophobic readings of the Bible."More importantly, he offers a potentially more constructive path of argumentation: The Paul stuff in particular is a case study in over-confident t … [Read more...]

“John 3:16 — The Rest of the Story” (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary for Sunday, March 18, 2012)

Note: I previously posted this lectionary commentary in 2011, when this same passage was the Gospel Lesson. I offer it again for those who may find it newly useful or who may have missed it the first time. Part I: Floating on the Surface: the immediate context of Nicodemus and John 3:14 One reason "born again" Christians made John 3:16 famous is its proximity to the story of Jesus telling Nicodemus that “no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again.” To complicate matters, many tr … [Read more...]

“God is Not a Republican…or a Democrat”

Our county's bi-weekly newspaper published my latest Letter to the Editor this morning (Friday, March 16). Here's a copy of what was printed:I am writing in response to Chester Seaborn’s letter, “Christians: Will you support Obama?” (March 7). Mr. Seaborn’s diatribe against the Democratic Party was missing an important counterbalance. He did not once mention the Republican Party. Given our two-party system I can only assume that Mr. Seaborn’s screed against Christians who vote for Democrats i … [Read more...]

Confronting the Unconscious: From Supernatural to Natural Spirituality

Note: This post is the first part in a Lenten series on Joyce Rockwood Hudson's book Natural Spirituality: Recovering the Wisdom Tradition in Christianity. 22 God created me Wisdom at the beginning of God’s work, the first of God’s acts of long ago. 23 Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. 24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought … [Read more...]

Confessions of a Western Universalist

(Rajiv Malhotra, Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism, HarperCollins, 2011, 474 pages) Rajiv Malhotra's latest book challenges many Western assumptions. He invites his Western readers to see their worldview through the eyes of India. Having read a fair amount of postmodern philosophy, I was sympathetically inclined to his general perspective, but I am willing to confess that at the end of the book I remain, for better or worse, a fairly unreconstructed Western Un … [Read more...]

Against TOMS Shoes: Ethics Are Messy!

Naomi Wilson, over at The Public Queue, has written an important critique of TOMS Shoes (h/t Tripp Fuller): The premise of TOMS shoes is that for every pair of TOMS shoes bought, the company will distribute a pair to a shoeless child somewhere in a developing country.... And TOMS does not just give children one pair of shoes and then abandon them — they work to supply each child to whom they give shoes with shoes throughout their childhood. Now comes the “But”: For...Shoe Drops, volunteers and … [Read more...]

“Death of God” Theologian Has Died

William Hamilton, a theologian made (in)famous in the April 8, 1966 “Is God Dead?” Time Magazine cover story, has died at age 87. You can perhaps guess that Easter Sunday was on April 10 that year, and Time was looking to move copies off the newsstand with a sensationalized cover. Although Hamilton eventually landed on his feet, the story resulted in him being essentially forced out of his tenured job at Colgate Rochester Divinity School, a ‘liberal’ Baptist theological school in New York. … [Read more...]

#OccupyChurch: Jesus Threw out the Moneylenders for a Reason (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary on John 2 for March 11)

Andy Lester was one of the most important professors I had in seminary. I took two classes from him: Introduction to Pastoral Care and Pastoral Care Confronts Anger and Conflict. As part of the latter class, we helped edit his book A Pastoral Theology of Anger, which cuts against the grain of the tradition that anger is always a sin. Perhaps the most important reading assignment in that class was an essay by Beverly Wildung Harrison titled, “The Power of Anger in the Work of Love.” She invites us … [Read more...]

Raise the Minimum Wage to $10/hour

In Chris Hedges’ most recent column, he reports Ralph Nader’s recommendation to the Occupy movement: forge a powerful alliance with millions of working men and women around a national call to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour.... Some 70 percent of the public supports raising the minimum wage.... Barack Obama promised during his 2008 election campaign to press to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2011, a promise that, like many others, he has ignored. But the ground is fertile.....The f … [Read more...]

Be Wary of Sensationalized “Jesus Tomb” News

Lent is not only the season of giving up bad habits or taking on new spiritual practices for 40 days. Lent is also the season of media outlets hawking sensationalized stories about the historical Jesus to sell copies or attract viewers during the built-up to Easter.Perhaps you have seen headlines in recent days such as, "Investigators may have discovered earliest evidence of Christian iconography in Jerusalem" or "'Jesus Discovery:' Jerusalem Archeology Reveals Birth Of … [Read more...]


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