Fear Will Be the Big Winner on Super Tuesday

It’s Super Tuesday. Lots of people are voting today. And if I had to put money on it, I’d bet a large number of people aren’t voting for someone they love, but someone who best reflects their greatest fears back to them. Now, I know some folks will protest such a characterization. Ardent followers of Bernie [Read More…]

Expansive Love in the Church: On Being a Dad and a Father, a Priest and a Parishioner

  Peanut butter smudges against the screen of my smartphone, and I simultaneously mumble a curse and a prayer of thanks that I had the commonsense to get a sturdy case for my phone. Maybe it’s not the best way to handle the stress of my morning, but it’s 6:45 a.m., and I’m wiping peanut butter [Read More…]

Not Dead Yet: Saving Sunday School By Returning to its Justice Roots

For many churches, Sunday School programs are in a tailspin. Bloggers have argued that we are at the end of the Sunday School. They’ve written about how Sunday School is responsible for the decline in overall church attendance. And some, sitting in mostly empty Sunday School rooms week after week, have fretted that this is [Read More…]

Inconsistent Scripture: Why the Bible’s Errors Are Actually Good News for Christians

I still remember the first time I realized that not only were there two creation stories in Genesis, but also that they unequivocally contradicted each other. Part of my shock at discovering this was that I had read and re-read those stories so much but had never noticed the difference. The cognitive dissonance was so great that [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…]

Making Room at Christ’s Table: The Gift of Progressive Christianity

You might underestimate how large the Christian umbrella is. This simple sentence appeared in red ink in the margins of a reflection essay I had written for an interreligious dialogue course in graduate school. It changed my life. The professor, a kindly and soft-spoken Jesuit, had written it as the gentlest of rebukes to my [Read More…]

How to Have a Tea Party: The Shutdown, Blame, and Legislative Arson

There is not enough blame to go around. Usually, there is. But not this time. So stop saying. Stop believing it. When people suggest it, remind them of the reality of the situation: The Republicans — and Republicans alone — shut down the government. And the Republicans are attempting to push our country into default. [Read More…]

Stories, Not Sterilized Facts: How We Pass on Faith

As part of the Patheos Passing on the Faith conversation, I decided to invite my friend Stephen Ingram to share his thoughts. Stephen is a seasoned youth minister, an author, and a really thoughtful person. I was lucky enough to attend college with him and am honored to offer his thoughts on how we pass [Read More…]

The Patron Saint of Poop: How My Kids Fell in Love with the Saints

Like most of my good ideas, this one happened by accident. Four days into the Lenten season, I had nothing — no fast, no practice, no structure for the 40 days — even though I had spent most of January talking up the season to my two sons. We had gone to our Ash Wednesday [Read More…]

Sleeping Through Storms: Rethinking Theodicy, Natural Disasters and God’s Omnipotence

God is not all-powerful. At least, not in the ways we tend to define power. For us, power means that we get our way, that we can impose our will upon the world around us, that we can conform others into our images in order to achieve unity and security. In our minds, we equate [Read More…]