6 Reasons Why Ben Carson’s Tax Plan is NOT Biblical (The Exploitative Politics of the Widow’s Mite)

Mark 12:18-34 — Proper 27 The widow’s mite is a symbol of economic exploitation, not of sacrificial giving. The widow is not an icon of generosity, but a victim of the wealthy. Long a favorite of religious professionals during stewardship season, the point of the story of the widow isn’t that she had faith enough to [Read More…]

Liberation is A Movement, Not a Moment: Why Every Christian Should Watch ROOM

Room isn’t just an enthralling and moving film that undeniably boasts two of the best performances of the year, if not the decade. It’s also an important movie. Without a doubt, much can be said about the performances of Brie Larson as Ma and of Jacob Tremblay as her son, Jack. Both deliver two of [Read More…]

Should Boys Dress as Female Characters for Halloween? What About Genocidal Maniacs?

For the past two Halloweens, both of my young sons have chosen to dress up as female characters instead of male ones. Last year, my youngest went as Sabine Wren, the artist provocateur from Star Wars Rebels, and this year my oldest is dressing up as Valka, the mother of Hiccup in How to Train Your Dragon [Read More…]

Why I Bless Halloween Costumes at Church

I love Halloween. Always have. I loved Halloween as a teenager so much that I continued to dress up and Trick or Treat throughout high school and drag my friends along with me.  As an adult, taking my kids out on Halloween night, it has become even more magical. There is something special to me, in [Read More…]

The Problem with Tipping a Pizza Delivery Person $1,050

This is really heartwarming. I love that this church did this. If someone handed me $1,050 it would make a massive difference and I’d probably have the same reaction. Honestly? I had the same reaction when a stranger anonymously paid for my new dress shoes recently. It really did send ripples of goodwill out into my life, and that [Read More…]

What Job and God Learn From Each Other: Prophetic Grief Meets Prophetic Beauty (A Homily)

Proper 24 — Job 38 — Year B Earlier this month, a gunman went on a shooting rampage at a community college in Oregon, millions of Syrian refugees fled a bloody civil war where thousands have been killed, and we were reminded again that there have been more gun deaths in the United States since [Read More…]

Lethal Ideology: Watching the New MALALA Film after Another School Shooting

  A movie about a school shooting hits theaters this week, a tragically timely release. The film documents the aftermath of a school bus shooting in which three girls were wounded and one of whom almost died. But this crime didn’t occur in the United States. It happened in Pakistan. The shooters were from the Taliban. And [Read More…]

Diana Butler Bass and A New Spiritual Awakening (A Review of ‘Grounded”)

Step 1: Buy Diana Butler Bass’ new book Grounded: Finding God in the World — A Spiritual Revolution. Step 2: Buy Kleenex. I’ll be honest: I’m having an unexpectedly emotional reaction to this book. I can’t seem to get more than a handful of pages without my eyes inexplicably leaking. One minute I’m reading this gorgeous and profound [Read More…]

Jesus Wasn’t A Radical

Jesus was a radical.  Christians love this idea, almost universally. It doesn’t really matter if you are conservative, progressive, anarchist or something else. All manner of Christians have laid claim to this notion of how radical Jesus was. As if being radical somehow makes Jesus and his teachings more worthwhile, revolutionary, or important. But what if they aren’t? [Read More…]

The Way of Cold Water: A Homily on the Hyperbole of Heaven and Hell (Mark 9:38-50)

Year B — Proper 21 — Mark 9:38-50 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. — Jesus Like many who grew up in the evangelical Protestant church, I lived out [Read More…]