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...]

Missional Conversations with … Anthony Smith

I'm excited to be able to share my recent interview with Anthony Smith (a.k.a. Postmodern Negro). February is, after all, African American History Month, and, I must confess, Anthony was my first real African American friend, who has taught me much of what I now know about black history and my own white privilege. I'm deeply indebted to him for that!Anthony has been a great friend for the past seven years, and I've had the privilege of collaborating with him in several projects since that … [Read more...]

Recap: Emergent Village Theological Conversation 2012

The annual Emergent Village Theological Conversation has been going on this week at Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California (January 31-February 2, 2012). The theme of this year's conference was "The Living and Life-Giving God in a World of Transition." Claremont is the bastion of what is known as process theology, and the main speakers are prominent process theologians — Monica Coleman, Phillip Clayton, John Cobb, etc. — in conversation with emergent church … [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...]

I Like the Bible but I’m Not Sure I Know All the Words by Randy Woodley

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I had been learning to play bass guitar for two years when I was finally asked to be in a real band. The fact that I had a new Fender Jazz bass and an Acoustic 360 watt amp that I had worked and saved for the summer prior didn’t hurt my chances of being asked to be in the band. At 15 years old, I was anxious to show all the stuff that I knew, and as a singer I could remember an incredible number of words of various songs. There I was, for the first time with the band, in one of the member’s liv … [Read more...]

burning the church…

consciousness has been the topic of conversation for philosophers for centuries. as in, what does it mean to be conscious, aware or enlightened?that last word, for some, conjures up pictures of bald buddhist monks lavished in red and yellow robes contemplating in a temple somewhere, not to mention most likely Asian in descent. this description of enlightenment which is based on our cultural assumptions and experience limits our experience ultimately, not to mention that it does not … [Read more...]

Emergent Village Process Theology Conversation preview

On my radio show yesterday I talked with Phillip Clayton about Process Theology - the topic of the  Emergent Village Theological Conversation taking place next week at Claremont School of Theology.I think many of you will find this conversation interesting.If you are interested in attending the event click here to Register for the event. … [Read more...]

the parable of the Muslim…and the beaten gay man

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There once was a gay man, that everyone in the city knew, who was travelling from James Bay to Oak Bay. On the way he was attacked by thugs. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily a Pentecostal Pastor was on his way travelling down the same road, but when he saw him something popped into his head...and he quickly swerved to the other side of the road. Then a Baptist pastor showed up, he looked at the human wreckage on the street, and something crossed his … [Read more...]

Agree or Die. [Improvisational Christianity #4]

Improv is play – simple pretending. Think of what works best when kids are at play.Here are three examples of how little children tend to play together:Example 1:Girl: I’m a Princess!Boy: No, you’re a Wizard!Girl: No, I’m a Princess. You’re a Prince.Boy: You’re ugly and stupid!Girl leaves weeping.Example 2:Girl: I’m a Princess!Boy: Ok, I’m A Wizard.Girl: No. You’re a Prince. You have blonde hair and green eyes and you live in a castle and you have w … [Read more...]

A Seat at The Table: Keep it Wild

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Listening to a recent 'On Being' podcast with the venerable and feisty Walter Brueggemann, I was struck by what seems at first to be rank overstatement.  His contention is that the ancient Hebrew 'prophetic/poetic messengers' serve to critique everything:  all political, social, and religious systems. In Brueggemann's opinion, the worst thing we can do with these Biblical messages is to organize them, domesticate them, and to "create another 'ism'".Surely, part of the reason e … [Read more...]


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