“You’re Only As Good As Your Friends”


Last night, Anthony Smith (aka Postmodern Negro) and I celebrated our 10-year friendiversary with an impromptu livestream conversation, recorded and shared here for posterity. During our hour-long conversation, we reminisce about the last decade of emerging church conversation, our local involvement in the Charlotte Emergent cohort group (which is still going, by the way!), and the power of friendship (among many other things, including the 15 books Anthony is reading right now!). As Anthony … [Read more...]

Apocalypse on all Our Houses… a guest post from Pamela Chaddock


From a 7 minute slideshow presentation given at Christianity 21 in Phoenix, 2015, by progressive religionist, Pamela Chaddock.The term ‘apocalypse’ makes me think of Tony Jones. Well, that’s because at last year’s Christianity 21 in Denver, Tony Jones inspired me with his talk about apocalypse. He dismissed the prevalent definition of “catastrophic destruction” for the original meaning – to “uncover, disclose, reveal”. Tony described the book of revelation as “a fulcrum or pivot-point between … [Read more...]

“Flipped” About Lent & Resurrection


Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time of lengthening, stretching ourselves, as we journey toward celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus.Lately I've been thinking about an idea that has stretched me further, lengthened me. And, luckily, it has a roundabout connection to the Resurrection. So I'll share it with you.Last night my friend, and pastor, Doug Pagitt, hosted a book release party for his fantastic new book, Flipped:The provocative truth that changes … [Read more...]

Compassion When We Disagree


I was listening the other day to someone talk vehemently about religious people who hold strong views with which he disagrees. This man was energized, describing those others in unequivocal terms. He was emphatic in making his points about how wrong those others are, using labels to describe them. In his passion, he had objectified the others.In the same meeting, a woman lamented the many years of struggle with folks at her congregation who had held the parish hostage with their recalcitrant … [Read more...]

Let’s Talk About Race


This week at my church, Solomon's Porch, while our usual master of ceremonies, Doug Pagitt, is out of town for the Christianity 21 Conference, I will be hosting the sermon time conversation. Actually I will be co-hosting the conversation with my friend Victor, who is one of the only black men in our community. And we're going to talk about race.Church continues to be one of the most segregated spaces in our culture. And my church is no exception. How does a predominantly white church go about … [Read more...]

Living Life on the Inhale


So which one are you?An I N H A L E R or an E X H A L E RI am an inhaler. I often desire what is not meant for me. I did not always know this about myself. It's the journey of a lifetime to really and truly know yourself fully isn't it? I had plenty of negative words bouncing around in my head to describe being an INHALER.Self-absorbed Selfish Stingy/frugal/cheap EgotisticalThese are ugly, horrid words that no one in their right mind would readily admit to. But here I am … [Read more...]

This Advent, Think Different. What Is GOD Waiting For?

be the change

It’s Advent again. This is the time, leading up to Christmas, when we reflect upon the thousand storylines of prophecy through the centuries that moved in solemn procession toward that One climactic event; the incarnation, the birth of Jesus. We reflect upon the convergence of those storylines culminating in this one Messianic babe. Every sacrifice, from Abel’s altar to the last Passover lamb before the Passion, paved the Messiah’s path. Often, during Advent we use this time to refle … [Read more...]

‘Tis the Season for Gift Giving


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 … [Read more...]

An Emergent Episcopalian Shares Some Thoughts about the Church


Many of us in the emergent conversation have left institutional Christianity. We do not trust institutions and are suspicious of hierarchies. Our personal histories and experiences of Christianity are filled with the frustration caused by the disconnect between the truth claims of our religious Christian institutions and their actual lived existence. We have seen how much energy and money is spent in the maintenance of our institutions, instead of the mission of Jesus. Some of us have been … [Read more...]

“Kill the Commentators” and if you have time the propositionalists too

soren kierkegaard

Soren Kierkegaard series PART THREE  The Soren Kierkegaard (SK) series has sought to present some of the major theological/cultural concerns associated with the philosopher/theologian in light of our current situation in protestant Christianity. Although SK lived more than 150 years ago his thought is just as relevant today, perhaps even more, than when he first wrote.In Part one I gave a brief introduction to SK as a Christian thinker who has been significantly misunderstood and … [Read more...]