Was the Tree of Knowledge the First Baptism?

Author and Theologian Leonard Sweet says that everything in the bible ultimately points back to the Garden. I’m inclined to agree. Here’s an example. St. Justin Martyr, an early church father, says the following about baptism: …at our birth we were born without our own knowledge or choice…but may become the children of choice and [Read More…]

No More “Far Away” and Belly Button Death

This is a different Homebrewed CultureCast show this week. First of all, apologies for the delay in release, as Amy and I (Christian) had to make an emergency trip to be with Papa Russ while he died. You’ll hear more about it in the show, actually. It’s a somewhat shorter and differently structured episode this [Read More…]

Daddy, What Does a Dead Body Look Like?

We got the call Thursday night and were on a plane from Portland to New Mexico Friday morning. Papa was dying and we needed to come soon to help care for him and say our goodbyes. Cancer was everywhere: in his bones, his one remaining kidney and other organs throughout his frail body. My six-year-old [Read More…]

Dad, Why Can’t We Just Kill Them?

Read my follow-up piece written the next day about ISIS HERE. My twelve-year-old son posed this question to me over the long weekend after hearing, the public radio accounts Assad’s iron grip in Syria, Israeli-Palestinian intractability and ISIS reaching their tendrils across the Middle East. His solution: just kill the bad guys. This was, I [Read More…]

Does Religion Make Our Kids – and Us – Jerks?

There’s a well-known phenomenon in churches where young families, many of whom have not been involved in organized religion since before college, return to a community of faith once they have kids. If asked why, many of the parents say they come back because they want their children to learn the importance of the values [Read More…]

Does a Doctrine of Hell Justify Killing Children?

I’ve written a great deal about hell. I even debated a theology professor from Western Seminary about the existence of hell and whether we can reconcile such a concept with a loving and merciful God. Our understanding of God’s involvement in the world, as well as God’s so-called “plan” for us after we die, raises [Read More…]

No One is Pro-Abortion (and Few are Fully Pro-Life)

I’m not the only one who is frustrated with, and even a little bit exhausted by, the “Pro life” versus “Pro Choice” debate. I’ve spent a good deal of time trying to wade through all of the issues, and why I feel how I do about it. And I’ve arrived at three reasons I find [Read More…]

Five Reasons We Take Our Kids to Gay Pride

The Gay Pride parade in Portland, Oregon is not only a family-friendly event; it’s a community-wide celebration. From airlines, banks and restaurants to the SPCA and churches, lots of people get involved with floats, costumes and displays at the end of the parade route. There are kids there, both of straight couples and same-sex couples. [Read More…]