We Are Back! – Shauna Niequist, Michael Toy, and More!

After a few weeks away and few more miles on Doug's running shoes we are back! This week we checked in with author of Bread & Wine, Shauna Niequist and poet Michael Toy. We also tackled why preaching should be crowd sourced and why the declaration "I'm not homophobic" matters for evangelicals. Listen to the audio here: Watch here: … [Read more...]

Does Your God Need to Be Fired?

Donald Trump Speaks To GOP Women's Groups

What if the God that you have given your life to, trusted in, and believed would bless and take care of – what if that God didn’t exist? I remember in the early days of my experience in the Twelve Steps, I was asked by a long-time member what my God was like. In the Twelve Steps, they have this idea that you can have a higher power of your choosing which, of course as a minister, was marginally troubling before I understood what this belief was actually about. Anyways, this long-time … [Read more...]

When You Know Better, You Do Better?

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There is no question that ignorance can harm us; but I’m not sure knowing better is necessarily equated to doing better. When we are ignorant of something, we simply don’t know and we act in accordance. A great example is how in the first half of the 20th century doctors would recommend cigarettes to help ease their patients’ nerves. And it worked! But, it also gave people cancer. Ignorance. Knowing that smoking kills has no question motivated many people to stop, but you would think if … [Read more...]

Subvert the norm: remaining vigilant

It is finished! We just had an amazing time at the subvert the norm conference at drury university in Springfield Missouri. There were some well known voices and some new voices that were added to the conference for this second installment. However, this is not an update, I will leave that up to those who are much more detailed than I. But I do want to deal with an issue that was highlighted towards the end of the conference. I understand this might not be popular. But do want to say that the … [Read more...]

Thank God, Persecution Is Coming

It seems that almost no one thinks that "our side" has lost. It's only a matter of time until same sex marriage has become the new normal. But, many conservatives are making another argument in response to this impending change: "Christians" will be persecuted for their beliefs. Is this true? Well, one problem with this argument is that it assumes that all Christians are the same. Using a statement like "Christians think..." makes almost no sense. Christians have differing opinions … [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...]

Toward Collective Liberation: Building Successful Social Movements

TCLCover

It wasn't until recently I realized that I had somehow lost a bunch of digital files off my computer. It was mainly photos and newspaper articles from my activist work when I lived in the San Francisco/Bay Area from the late 90's to the mid 2000's. That loss left me feeling sick with the thought that a deeply formative part of my life was gone. My experience with Occupy Movement organizing left me longing to reconstruct what was good, strategic and expansive about our activism back in the day … [Read more...]

“Dad, I want to go to church”

This past weekend my wife and I fell into an interesting dilemma. Our 12-year-old son wanted to go with a friend to church. My initial response was, “Sure, no big deal.” I spoke with the friend’s mom on the phone about it, and she came by and picked him up on Sunday morning. He spent the morning and part of the afternoon with them and their church friends. Shortly after I said okay, I started looking around on the internet to see what kind of church this was. It looked “harmless.” … [Read more...]

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

A little over three years ago, I was part of the center of the New Reformed movement. One of the final straws for me was an event of which I was the Director: Advance09. We brought in heavyweight speakers like Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, John Piper, Ed Stetzer, and a few others. The event was held at the Durham Performing Arts Center, and approximately 2500 people showed up. Overall, as a business venture, the conference went really well. People seemed to really enjoy it. And, it … [Read more...]

Off the Cliff of Surrender

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For those of you who have been reading my writings for a while, you may have noticed that I am a proponent of the Twelve Steps. The more I surrender my life to God through them, the more I realise they are the essence of the message of Christ. March being the third month of the year, I am currently meditating on the third step quite a bit. The third step is, "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him." I have been a Christian of some kind or … [Read more...]