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...]

The Divine Protest of Pentecost

The God of Pentecost doesn’t have an official language. This is the shocking revelation of the day of Pentecost, but one often  lost amid the day’s more bombastic metaphors of rushing winds, descending doves and intoxicated disciples with tongues touched by fire. But in a country with a history of suppressing other languages in the [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...]

Transforming Film into Contemplative Prayer: A Review of Thom Stark’s ‘Who Art in Heaven’

Director Thom Stark summarizes his award-winning film Who Art in Heaven simply: “A Man Prays.” But don’t let Stark deceive you, because if you do, he will devastate you in the best possible way. There is so much more going on in this eloquent and compact film than its tagline would have you believe, and the [Read More...]

Unholy Laws: Establishing Religion in N.C., Starving Children in Tennessee

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  UPDATE: Sen. Stacey Campfield, who proposed the original welfare bill in Tennessee and responded to this post in the comments, has withdrawn the bill, asking it be studied over the summer. Clergy and activists in Tennessee and around the country put the pressure on and quashed the bill. I was profoundly saddened to hear [Read More...]

Easter for Doubters: The Unexpected Faith of Thomas (Lectionary Reflection for the Second Sunday in Easter)

  It’s Easter. Do not be afraid to doubt. Doubt boldly. Doubt joyfully. In fact, these are important, faithful and beautiful responses to the Paschal mystery, as author Rachel Held Evans demonstrated last week. Indeed, in the gospels, doubt and disbelief are important to the Easter experience, and Jesus does not condemn his disciples for [Read More...]

The Lost Shepherd and the Amoral Love of God (Proper 19C Lectionary Reflection)

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Lectionary Reflection – Proper 19 C – Luke 15:1-32 The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. So begins the most well-known and treasured Psalm of all time. At hospital beds, it is recited by patients and chaplains alike. In times of distress and discomfort, its soothing words are meant to bring succor and [Read More...]

God is a Gardener: A Homily for Lent 3C (Luke 13:1-9)

Lent 3C — Luke 13:1-9, 1 Cor. 10:1-13, Exodus 3:1-15 It doesn’t take much effort these days to bump into tragedy. You don’t have to look very far to see bad news. As a former journalist, I can attest that the old adage is true: if it bleeds, it leads. In our information age, we [Read More...]

Pharaohs in America: On Beyoncé and blindspots

I am a pharaoh. Or at least, I am one of his people. As a white heterosexual male living in a racist, sexist and heterosexist world, I am the beneficiary of privilege solely because of what I look like. White progressives often like to think of ourselves as participants in liberation of the “oppressed.” We [Read More...]


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