Why We Can’t Win In Afghanistan by Randy Woodley

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(Note: I am interrupting my own series on Strange Religion: American Dualism because of the urgency of this situation. Life interrupts perceived reality. A recent ABC News - Washington Post poll (http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Americans-Believe-Afghan-War-Not-Worth-Costs-New-Poll-Finds--142296305.html) shows that 60 percent of U.S. citizens believe the war in Afghanistan is not worth its costs. These cost are both monetary and counted in the loss of human life. Although the slaying of … [Read more...]

Facebook is Helping Me Grieve

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By Jana RiessIn the news last week I read a story about a mother whose college-age daughter had died, but the mother kept her Facebook profile alive and active so that friends and family could continue to post their memories. Months passed, and then someone took it upon himself or herself to alert Facebook that this young woman was, in fact, dead -- a clear violation of Facebook's stated policies. Citing privacy concerns, Facebook "memorialized" the page, and the young woman's mother can no … [Read more...]

My Response to Kony 2012 aka #StopKony

I try not to simply re-post thoughts from my blog here, but I wanted to share today's thoughts with this community as well...If you've been on Facebook or Twitter over the last 24 hours, you have probably seen people talking about the efforts to stop Joseph Kony from the organization called Invisible Children.Here's my response after watching the 30-minute film.Let me start as a filmmaker. It's an amazing piece of art. Propaganda maybe...but the best kind of propaganda there can b … [Read more...]

Moving Church Past Contracts

Many of you have likely read Seth Godin's most recent manifesto, "Stop Stealing Dreams" where he tackles the question of education in his typical blog-thought style. The whole 33,000 words are free for download if you want to give it a read.In section 26, Godin talks about the contract of adhesion. Here's how he describes it: Friedrich Kessler, writing in 1943 in the Columbia Law Review, articulated a new kind of contract, one for the industrial age. Rather than being … [Read more...]

Strange Christianity Made in America: Part I by Randy Woodley

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What has been particularly harmful about American Christianity has not necessarily been the beliefs professed by American Christians but rather the worldview that makes professions of belief more real than living them out. Within this schism of reality exists classic American dualism.With just a reference to our nation’s fondness for war, our crime statistics, our rising poverty rates and an apparent increasing lack of concern for the most disenfranchised of society, we simply do not measure … [Read more...]

Black History – White Woman

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Thank you. I’m sorry.I need to say both. Thank you to everyone who has written, sung, or spoken the difficult truths of racism, discrimination, oppression and privilege. Thank you to my friends who have taken the time to tell me their stories so that I might understand my own historybetter, so that I might understand myself better. I’m sorry that you have these painful stories to tell. I regret that I didn’t already know them. I realize now that I’ve been callous about your experience a … [Read more...]

the boy who broke the law and lost his father…

 if there is anything revolutionary within christianity, it is everything that lies outside of it. meaning, that christianity at its best must be receptive to the 'trauma of the secular', rather than resist it (as it has historically).the anarchic kernel within christianity resides not in the creeds, not even in the bible itself, but rather in freud and lacan (or psychoanalysis). who, as people, resisted christianity (aka, conversion), however, in the present future their ghosts are … [Read more...]

For those who know: a modern parable

It may have occurred to you as strange my friend when the ravenous vultures began to circle and their constant heckle seemed to contradict their once ominous cry. Even then they cried with the same retched tone, without ever saying anything of substance, which could have provided an explanation for their dogma. I suppose if our great teacher had figured it all out as theirs did, we all would be one big happy family. However, when our teacher came he created instability through his nonsensical … [Read more...]

Jesus and American Exceptionalism by Randy Woodley

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It seems the concept of American Exceptionalism has made a comeback. This is especially notable if you listen for even just a few minutes to the Republican Primary debates. The term is kind of new, but the concept began many years ago. Basically, it translates to mean God favors America more than God favors (at least most) other nations.The early Puritans had a similar spiritual vision to build a "city upon a hill" as a sign for God’s will for all. They wanted to create a “New Jerusalem” and … [Read more...]

An Evangelical Pentecostal Naturalist?

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I'm often described in the mainstream media as an 'Evangelical minister' or ‘Pentecostal preacher', even though I speak far more often in moderate and liberal churches (and in secular settings) than I do in Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Emerging Church venues. Not surprisingly, I've been asked on a number of occasions, by both religious liberals and conservatives, "In what sense do you consider yourself a Pentecostal Evangelical? And how does that mesh with you being an outspoken religious n … [Read more...]


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