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

When playing dress-up, my kids go from light saber-wielding Jedis to Julian of Norwich, patron saint of cats. If only I could get them to stop torturing the cat now ...

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

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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...]

Questions Not Answers: My Journey from Journalism to the Priesthood

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In college, I thought that by the time I was 32, I would be working at a large daily newspaper, not a month away from ordination in the Episcopal church.* As a journalism student and a greenhorn reporter in Alabama and Northern California, I assumed I would spend the majority of my adult life in [Read More...]

Keeping Silence in Tragedy: In the Aftermath of Explosions

Violence and tragedy has again struck. And it is hard to know what to say, what to do, particularly now that mass and social media have made us all witnesses to carnage and horror. And it is even harder to remember, in moments like these, that the kind of violence our nation has experienced only [Read More...]

Where God Weeps: Sandy Hook and the Myth of Redemptive Violence

Toys of Mass Destruction.

God weeps. That, if anything, has been the primary theological response of Americans in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre where 20 young boys and girls were murdered. Indeed, in the wake of such incomprehensible tragedy, perhaps this is the only theological response that makes much sense. It’s not that God is absent, whether [Read More...]

When the Second Amendment Enables Terrorism: Why Killing Children Isn’t a Well-Regulated Militia

A lot of people today are asking questions. “Why?” “Where is God?” “How could this happen?” Today, though, I’m not in the mood to ask questions. Because I know why mass shootings happen in America, and it hasn’t got a damned thing to do with God But everything to do with us. Do you want [Read More...]

Born to Die?: Why the Cross Doesn’t Belong at Christmas

Yesterday, I passed a church sign that proclaimed Christmas was the story of a baby born to die. It seemed a macabre, odd way to wish passersby a merry Christmas. Apparently, though, quite a few Christians root the story of Jesus’ birth in his death, as if they are determined to nestle the cross into [Read More...]

When Resurrection Happens: Scenes from a Protested Holy Week

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Last week, I posted an essay on Protesting Holy Week. A lot of people read it. A lot more than usual. Some folks loved it. Some folks hated it. Some folks were in-between. Some folks lived it. And are living it today. So, I thought I’d take a moment, first to say thanks to everyone [Read More...]


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