Biblical Add-Ons, Edits & Agendas: A Challenge to Literalism?

After reading my post about Randy Wolford, the snake-handling pastor, died from a venomous snakebite, blogger Tim Suttle sent me a link to his own post on the subject. Suttle’s angle was different, and I found it fascinating. Basically, he contends that the verses in Mark that Wolford and others use to justify handling snakes [Read More…]

Snake Handling, Stigmata and Testing God

A recent piece on the Huffington Post Religion site described the death of Pastor Mark Wolford, a Christian minister known for handling venomous snakes during his worship services to demonstrate the power of his faith. The stunt went south, however, after he was bitten on the thigh during worship and died sat a local hospital [Read More…]

Anti-Gay Worship, Pastor Worley and the Limits of Religious Free Speech

Words have gravity, and in certain contexts, the words we choose and employ have more weight than in others. I’m definitely sensitive to that when I see the traffic numbers on my blog. It’s a public forum, and literally anyone can see what I’ve said. The church pulpit is an equally heavy responsibility when it [Read More…]

PregMANcy: A Publishers Weekly Review (Shameless Plug)

I realized that I never actually posted the review from Publishers Weekly of PregMANcy. For those unfamiliar, PW is kind of the industry standard for distributors, bookstore owners and other buyers to decide what is worth picking up. It’s kind of like Variety for film or Billboard for music. Anyhoo, I was plenty nervous about [Read More…]

Did Pastor Charles Worley Break the Law?

Most people with some sense of universal human dignity have found the screed Pastor Charles Worley issued against the GLBT community from the pulpit recently repugnant. As a Christian who tires of being lumped together with such hateful, violent voices cloaking themselves within the protection of their faith, I can say with confidence that there [Read More…]

African-Americans, MLK and the Inevitability of Marriage Equality

When I worked in a residential facility for people with HIV/AIDS in Texas, I’ll admit I developed a little bit of a grudge against the “historically black” Christian church. Though I adored the more expressive gospel worship style and embraced liberation theology as truly central to Jesus “good news,” there was an undercurrent of intolerance [Read More…]

Church Sign Epic Fails: Volume Fifteen

Three hands worth of bad church sign posts and they just seem to keep on coming…     Church Sign Epic Fails, Volume Fourteen Church Sign Epic Fails, Volume Thirteen (Apparently either I can’t count or I have an unconscious resentment toward the number twelve.) Church Sign Epic Fails, Part Eleven Church Sign Epic Fails, [Read More…]

I’m a Fraud (And So Are You)

I’m coming to terms with the realization that I’m a big, fat fake. But at least I’m in good company. Amy’s birthday was last Sunday. We had just arrived in Portland, so we went to a fancy-pants restaurant, situated several hundred feet above the skyline, with a view of the entire surrounding city, the Willamette [Read More…]

A Walk Through the Redwoods

One of the holiest moments on our weeks-long journey from Colorado to Portland was when we stopped off in the Redwood National Forest. It’s really hard to explain what is so sacred about that space if you haven’t been there; I can only hope that the photos communicate at least a little bit of the [Read More…]

Church Sign Epic Fails, Volume Fourteen

Yes, kids, it’s that time again already. Seems it was only seven days ago when we posted our last batch of weekly church sign epic fails, and here we are again. So let’s get to it: your weekly infusion of bad church signs. (Oh, and if you’ve missed previous posts, links to all are at [Read More…]