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…]

Questioning Prayer: Why Should I Keep Praying After Yet Another Shooting?

I have asked and I have asked. I have begged, and I have pleaded. And yet my requests have gone unanswered. I have offered constant intercession to you — a plea to stop the violence, a plea for some kind of intervention to end the killing, the tragedy, and the senseless deaths. But the resounding silence in response is [Read More…]

This is REAL Christian Persecution: Augusta Church Hit with anti-LGBT Hate Crime

Christian persecution in the United States is real. It’s just not what you think. Christian persecution isn’t about having to offer birth control to women. It’s not about having to serve wedding cakes to gay and lesbian couples. Christian persecution isn’t even having people call you out when you spout homophobic, sexist, or racist opinions, veiled blasphemously as biblical. Real [Read More…]

God Bless America. Are you sure about that?

You might want to think twice this Fourth of July weekend before singing “God Bless America.” Since 9/11, this sentimental bit of civil religion has become a national anthem of its own and almost every politician loves to end their speeches with this benediction. But it has always struck me as an odd thing to [Read More…]

Is Patriotism a Christian Value?

  Many churches this Sunday will be transformed into sanctuaries for nationalism and worship of a nation. There will be patriotic hymns sung. There will be sermons about the greatness of the country. But there will also be churches where flags will be conspicuously absent, where the faithful will be called upon to worship something [Read More…]

Why I Hate The Most Popular Verse on Twitter (Philippians 4:13)

  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 That, folks, is the worst verse in all of Holy Scripture. Many Christians, though, love it. I hate it. It grates on my last nerve. And since the rise of social media, my loathing of this verse — even just the citation itself [Read More…]

Dear Graduate: Do Not Follow Your Dreams

Dear Graduate, If memory serves, this month, as you are nearing graduation, you will be getting a lot of advice from a lot of well-meaning friends, family, and advisers. Unfortunately, it’s often a fair amount of bad advice. For example, they will tell you  to follow your dreams. And you will be tempted to do just that, [Read More…]

The Descent: Short, Short fiction for Holy Week

He knew he’d find his friend here, in this place of the forgotten dead, among the lost souls no one remembered any longer. It was these places where he always went first, where he always felt most at home.  It was a place without the pretense of religiosity and perfection, a place where failure was [Read More…]

Unholey Donuts, John 3:16, and the Condemnation of God (Homily for Lent 4B)

Lent 4B + John 3:14-21 Note: An earlier version of this opened with a story about my son. I had his permission to use it, but as he heard me practicing the sermon, he said he felt embarrassed. In order to respect his privacy, I changed the sermon and used a similar story from my own childhood. [Read More…]

Imposing Hashtags: The Problem with #AshTag on Ash Wednesday

  UPDATE: While I won’t be posting a selfie this year (2016), I am not going to worry or criticize this expression of the day any more. While AshTags aren’t for everyone, the post below, a year later, now seems remarkably petty. Let’s just go all the way this Ash Wednesday and stop imposing ashen crosses [Read More…]


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