TEDx: Are God & Reality Converging?

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I was recently engaged in a spirited conversation about "Convergence Christianity" with my friend and colleague, Eric Elnes, at his home in Omaha, Nebraska.Eric described how he sees things evolving in the post-evangelical, post-liberal Christian world, and I shared how I've been noticing a similar convergence occurring in a wide range of secular and religious contexts.What exactly is converging? You can see Eric's take on this question here.As I've traveled North America the past twe … [Read more...]

Do You Have a Gaudy God?

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Raining brimstone, epic deluges, trumpets from heaven...is your God showing off?We have all heard of insecure people who act out by throwing fits.  The kid who bullies others on recess, the child who screams when he doesn't get his way, the buff guy in the military who wants to fight at the bar.  We call these people "show-offs" and "assholes."  But what happens when you find your divinity throwing a hissy-fit?One of the first things you can do is exempt your God from these tantrums.  A … [Read more...]

Atheists and Christians Working Together: Me and Ryan Bell’s Online Course

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For many here on Emergent Village and Patheos Progressive Christian, working with Christians is second-nature.  But there are many of us atheists, humanists, skeptics, and non-believers, who have little to no idea about how to work with Christians.  Some of us (atheists and Christians) cannot get beyond the trivial Facebook debates, the subtle intellectual jabs at each other, and the unsophisticated, meme-based, generalizations of Christians and atheists.This is a great opportunity for l … [Read more...]

The Worst of Your Tradition: Own It!

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I remember having a back-and-forth with a Christian about the violence historically committed by Christians: the early persecution of heretics, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the European "Wars of Religion," slavery in the Americas, up to the bombings of abortion clinics and the killing of doctors who perform abortions.  His response, which has stuck with me to this day, was "don't compare the best of your tradition with the worst of mine."  This comment really made me think.  He was not … [Read more...]

POSTSCRIPT: The Bible is NOT the Word of God (Part 2)

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A brief note on the form of things: Last April I wrote a post titled The Bible is NOT the WORD OF GOD: a polemic against Christendom. The article was meant to be a provocation towards rethinking the way we speak about the bible. The reaction it received was very interesting as it seemed to indicate a sharp divide between those who agreed and disagreed with the premise.In general, I make it a point to avoid apologetic type argumentation when it comes to what I write. This method of discourse … [Read more...]

The Bible is NOT the WORD OF GOD: a polemic against Christendom

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The bible is not the WORD OF GOD. And if we believe it as such, then we have made the bible into an idol. The bible has become the Church’s idol. It is the Golden Calf of our day. The ancient Hebrews had taken the God of their forefathers and formed him into their image. They made him take on their identity because they could not grasp to what extent the WORD OF GOD was present with them. Yes, indeed it has been said for thousands of years that the ancient Hebrews were fools for doing so, but my … [Read more...]

What’s Wrong With the “New Reformed” Movement? Part 2

Soon after I left the New Reformed movement, I took an American Literature class. I was surprised to learn just how much Calvinism had influenced many of the early American classics. One author in particular drew me in: Nathaniel Hawthorne. I don't know much about Hawthorne, but after I read Young Goodman Brown, it felt like I knew exactly where he was coming from.The first negative experience I can remember coming from a New Calvinist preacher was when he described going to a baseball game, … [Read more...]

Is “Prodigal Christianity” Sustainable?

A couple of weeks ago, Tony Jones posted an introductory video to a new book by Geoff Holsclaw and David Fitch called Prodigal Christianity. I posted my initial thoughts, and then began a conversation with Geoff about the book via email. I told Geoff that I would read the rest of the book, and then try to write a review. But, once I got the book and starting reading it, it felt like I was being taken back in time three years. I hope that doesn’t sound condescending, so let me explain:When my … [Read more...]

#SKEPTIMERGENT: truth or love?

I have a theory: those so-called "liberal" or "progressive" people who are trying to understand what the Bible means today are doing so primarily because of love.Here's what I mean... I think a huge part of my own personal conflict within evangelicalism was a conflict between "truth" - or what was "right" - and love. The more I attempted to make sense of the Bible in light of my actual relationships with real people, the less concerned I was with being truthful or being right.What if thi … [Read more...]

SKEPTIMERGENT

Welcome to the beginning of a collaboration between various people called “SKEPTIMERGENT.”  This dialogue began as a chat between myself, Rob Davis (who coined the title), Jeff Straka, Doug Pagitt, Victoria Peterson-Hilleque, and Chris Hill, and ended up as a Patheos blog.  I have long been interested in building bridges between those in the unbelieving community (atheists, agnostics, humanists, skeptics, naturalists, etc.) and liberal religious persons, and as such, I jumped at the chance to be … [Read more...]


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