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...]

#KellyOnMyMind but Is Manuel On My Mind, Too? Problems of our Death Penalty Activism


A saint’s scheduled execution was widely protested and decried in Georgia. A sinner’s scheduled execution in Texas was largely ignored. And history repeats itself.  On Sept. 21, 2011, two men were killed by the state. One man, Troy Davis, was innocent. His execution sparked a massive outcry. The other, Lawrence Russell Brewer, was not at [Read More...]

BREAKING NEWS: Protests Turn Violent in Jerusalem

Flickr Copyright by Gonzale

Temple Protests Turn Violent Angry Rioters Smash, Loot Local Businesses Jerusalem — Authorities are searching for the leaders of an anti-government protests that turned violent yesterday, disrupting Jerusalem’s annual Passover observance. The leader of the unauthorized and anarchist demonstration, Jesus bar Joseph of Nazareth, is wanted on suspicion of vandalism, looting, disturbing the peace, and [Read More...]

Vinyl Church: 5 Things Christians Can Learn from Vinyl Records

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Vinyl. It’s not just for hipsters any more. And Christians ought to listen up, because the future of the church might just be reflected in the resurgence of vinyl records. In many ways, the music industry reminds me of the modern church. Like the church, its leaders fret about its future in the midst of dramatic cultural [Read More...]

From ‘I Do’ to Disfellowship: Why the Southern Baptists Kicked this Church Out Over a Same-Sex Wedding


Today, it is my honor to host the Rev. Dr. Ellin Jimmerson, the first Southern Baptist minister (and perhaps only) to perform a legal same-sex wedding. And in Alabama no less! Having grown up in the Huntsville metro area, I was thrilled to see her standing for justice and equality in my hometown. Unfortunately, the [Read More...]

Imposing Hashtags: The Problem with #AshTag on Ash Wednesday

The New, Improved Imposition of Ashes!

Let’s just go all the way this Ash Wednesday and stop imposing ashen crosses on foreheads all together. Instead, let’s simply impose hashtags made of ash. Because, if we are honest, that’s largely what this day has become about. The #AshTag, not the ashes. The virtual, not the real. The immortal digital, not the mortal flesh. Ash Wednesday [Read More...]

A Lent Where #BlackLivesMatter: 10 Ideas for Black History Month and the White Church

Dear White Christians, It’s February, and I know you’re probably very busy with your Lenten preparations. Especially if you work at a church like I do. Ash Wednesday is right around the corner. Dry, brittle palms from last year have to be collected and burned, returned to dust. Supplies for the Shrove Tuesday pancake supper [Read More...]

The Christian Response to the Measles Outbreak: Love Your Neighbor, Check Your Privilege, and Vaccinate Your Children

Look, I get that nostalgia is big right now. We’ve got more 19th century beards, vinyl records, backyard gardens, and banjo music in the United States than at any other time in probably the past 50 years. It’s a throwback to those halcyon days of previous generations. But do you know what I’m not nostalgic for? Measles. Like [Read More...]

Vanishing Jesus and the Christ of the Deserted Place (A Lectionary Reflection for Mark 1:29-39)

Epiphany 5B — Mark 1:29-39 When the people most sought him, Jesus ran away. When the people finally got an inkling, a glimpse of who he was, Jesus disappeared. When people at last realized that there was something different about this teacher and healer, Jesus vanished, eager almost in his need to be absent and alone. Unwilling to be [Read More...]

We Had This Treasure in an Earthen Vessel: Marcus Borg, a modern-day divine


Like many, I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Marcus Borg, a scholar of the New Testament, a brilliant writer, and a gentle, courageous Christian. Like many, I never knew him personally, but his work nevertheless had deep and formational effect on me as a Christian. As I remembered him in my prayers this [Read More...]