‘Tis the Season for Gift Giving

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Whether it’s Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanzaa that you observe, the season of gift giving is upon us. The joy of giving and receiving gifts is often in conflict with the stress of gift giving – the financial stress and consumerism of buying gifts, the emotional stress of choosing gifts, and the time stress of making gifts or creating gift experiences. We preach that it’s the thought that counts and not the gift itself, but the culture via advertising makes us unsure of that truism. A famous stor … [Read more...]

Sleeping outside. Veterans and Homelessness

Veterans and Homelessness A scraggly beard covered his face. His brown eyes gleamed with a thousand sentiments and thoughts. He smiled at the children who walked past him. A Church bus pulled up south of trinity on Peachtree Street. 15 Korean Presbyterians ministers hit the pavement with tables, an audio system, and hot chili. The young worship leader grabbed his guitar and did a mike check. Jamie sat up from his reclined position against the small Maple tree that adorned the concrete. He said, … [Read more...]

Walk Towards the Light

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A week ago Sunday I led an Adult Christian forum between services at a Denver church with a real heart for social justice. My topic was “The Gospel Imperative to Do Social Justice: Living into God’s Vision of Shalom.”I chose two Bible verses to highlight:ISAIAH 1:17 (NRSV)                         learn to do good;                    seek justice,                         rescue the oppressed,                    defend the orphan,                         plead for the wi … [Read more...]

What do Pee Wee Herman and Non-Attachment have in common?

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Two days ago I purchased my monthly copy of Mantra Yoga+Health magazine. I was anticipating my "highlight" as I had submitted an answer to the question 'What's the craziest thing you've ever done forL O V E?'. I had answered in an honest way that is uniquely me; expressing my voice and hoping to marry my emergent Christian faith with my yogic sensibilities.No sign of my Joe Longo pic I submitted, no talk of foot washing humility....hmmmm?The mind begins its judging. First, aimed … [Read more...]

Not That Kind of…Person?

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My friend Dylan first introduced me to the show "Girls" during a brief stint I had living in Brooklyn.  I fell in love with it.  The writing was quirky and intelligent, Lena Dunham's character didn't look like someone from Sex and The City, and the strange manner in which it dealt with millennial life was refreshing.  And even though it was wrought with Long-Island-white-girl issues ("first-world problems"), it had a flair and contemporary élan worthy of praise and notoriety.But is the sh … [Read more...]

You can’t give it up, can you?

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Several years ago, after what I thought was a horrible ordination process, I decided to leave the church.  It was a weekday when I decided that I would never step back into the church.  The only problem was that I was serving as a chaplain in a level II trauma center outside of Chicago, IL, so I had to be confronted with normative Christian discourse and theologies that I found to be hugely problematic.  But, nonetheless, I decided to leave.  I had completed my undergraduate degree in rel … [Read more...]

Why Evangelize Evolution?

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I’m often asked, “Why do you evangelize evolution? What ‘good news’ does science offer?” The following is my typical response...I used to be confused by many aspects of the world, including my inner world. Thanks to an embrace of big history as my creation story, I no longer am. I now have a depth of understanding that saints and sages down through the ages, including the biblical writers themselves, never imagined possible.I used to struggle with temptations and what I considered “sinful … [Read more...]

Learning to Love Gordon College [my Homophobic Alma Mater]

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Three weeks ago, during Gordon College’s homecoming, I stepped foot on my alma mater’s campus after nearly ten years. Sleuthing for a parking space, my friend Andrew dropped me off at the curb with three traffic cones and an armful of signs that read, “We love LGBTQ students #OneGordon.” I carted the subversive gear across the soccer field, past brick dorms and staring, possibly glaring, parents and alumni. A couple other people affiliated with OneGordon, an LGBTQ and allied organization for the … [Read more...]

Announcing Transform 2015: Conference on Urban Transformation

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In the Spring of 2010, Transform Network held its first gathering — hosted by Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. We were graced by amazing keynote speakers Kathy Escobar (who has a new book out this month!), Peter Rollins, Anthony Smith, and Brian McLaren. As I reflect on the evolving mission and purpose of Transform, Brian's words to us on the closing night still resonate with me today. Watch this clip:Five years later, we're doing it again! We're going back to D.C. … [Read more...]

A Muslim and Atheist Team up to Promote Freedom of Conscience

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I was born in Pakistan, completed my medical school there and then moved to the United States for specialized medical training. I also moved to escape the horrid persecution my Islamic sect – the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community - faces back home. In America, I could enjoy all the freedoms I was denied under Pakistan’s law, most importantly the freedom of speech. I therefore set out to use social media to raise my voice for freedom of conscience world over – and specifically in the ‘Muslim world.’ … [Read more...]


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