This sentiment, whether the exact words or not, was reportedly conveyed to journalist Peter Arnett by an Army officer after the now infamous bombing of a city during the Vietnam War.  They decided to bomb, “…the town regardless of civilian casualties, to rout the Vietcong.”  Perhaps many readers are too young to remember, but the quote has for many years now stood as a reminder of this sentiment: the road to hell is paved with good intentions. This sentiment, that… Read more

We celebrated our independence.  Well, that was the idea anyway.  I think most of us celebrated a day off, fireworks, watermelon, hamburgers, ice cream, soothing adult beverages, and the gathering of families and friends.  Whether or not most connected their revelries with our revolution against England and declaration of independence, is another matter. This celebration and other instances of national ritual, habit, or liturgy if you will, brings to mind the founding myths of this republic.  One of those myths… Read more

In 1 John 4 we are told God is love.  Not that God is loving, or loves to love, or is nice, caring and so on, but that God is love.  Love is not so much a characteristic, quality, or aspect of God, as it is God’s ontological nature—the very core of God’s being/existence. We are also told in chapter 4 that “those who say, ‘I love God’ and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars.”  And there are many… Read more

We have cakes.  Evangelical Christians have been wringing their hands about whether or not they might have to bake cakes for the weddings of gay couples.  Even after the recent SCOTUS decision, they are still wringing their hands thinking the decision didn’t go far enough or settle the matter for good. And they’ve been wringing their hands about laws making conversion “therapies” illegal—these are attempts to get a gay person to “convert” back to (or for the first time—have) opposite… Read more

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) just held their annual meeting, and many see it as a Rubicon of sorts or watershed moment.  As has been written about extensively, the “MeToo” moment has come to the country’s largest Protestant denomination. The reason many think it a watershed moment is because a younger person was elected president, Paige Patterson was fired, resolutions supporting women were passed, and many moderate voices have risen in support of all these events. While I’m generally supportive… Read more

When this post was published on Patheos last June, it clearly hit some nerves.  The reason I wrote that post was because I wondered if what upsets us, makes us angry, was possibly a truer and more accurate gauge of who we are, than what we might formally articulate if asked.  We don’t all laugh at the same things or find the same things funny and it is the same with things that upset or make us angry.  Is this… Read more

I don’t believe we can truly understand the Bible until we are able to “hear” the Bible.  And we cannot “hear” the Bible until we are willing to find ourselves in the Biblical narrative honestly.  When I am willing to see myself as Pharaoh (and not Moses), Saul (and not David), the Philistine (and not the Israelite), Judas (and not Peter or Paul), and the thief who did not confess, then I am able to truly receive a message of… Read more

Most evangelicals headed toward pastoral ministry, at some point, are asked to sit for what is called an ordination council.  Normally this happens after graduating from seminary or Bible college.  The purpose is ordination.  If the council grants their “amen” there is usually a follow-up ordination service and this person is then “ordained” to the gospel ministry. In the tradition I grew up in (Southern Baptist), and was ordained, the council was made up of our Associational Leader (an SBC… Read more

What are we to make of the US moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?  While members of the Trump administration, in their nice clothes and bright smiles (see here), stood with Israeli officials, just across the way over 50 Palestinians, including children, were killed. But what are their lives worth, when “biblical prophecy” is being fulfilled?  Yes, you read correctly (see here).  I know, crazy, but this is where we are as a nation.  This is what happens… Read more

Michael Martin (see here) is the editor/creator of a new journal entitled “Jesus the Imagination.”  Two volumes have been published so far.  It is a wonderful journal. Dr. Martin explains its purpose: “Our intention is not altogether modest: the regeneration of Christian art and culture.” Dr. Martin was kind enough to accept one of my essays in the newest volume (see here).  The essay is entitled: Marriage as Transfiguration and Enchantment If you are so inclined, I would encourage you… Read more

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