God Stories

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God is active in every story, and as such, He is often the invisible Character. Part of being a follower of Christ is becoming more and more acutely aware that God is a part of every aspect of our lives. That God is moving, crafting us, showing us grace and mercy; that God is with us in joy and sorrows, in victories and defeats.  People may doubt the claims of the Gospel, but the one thing they can’t doubt and can’t deny is its affects on your life. That’s why your story is so important. Your st … [Read more...]

Keeping the “Cool” Out of Lent

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For those of us coming out of the conservative Evangelical background, the rediscovery of the Christian calendar has inspired many of us to participate in the sacred rhythm that the calendar affords. Two seasons in particular seem to show a resurgence: one being Advent, the other being Lent.As a kid growing up I had no idea what Mardi Gras (or Carnival) was all about. I would see the pictures on TV and wonder what would inspire such revelry? It seemed to always have an intensity that … [Read more...]

Learning How to Walk Again

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Learning to walk again… I have found this word picture to be a very helpful metaphor that creates in me an openness, a desire and a longing to embrace my personal spiritual recovery.  This metaphor is rooted in the Christ story, particularly in the second Adam image found in Romans 5.  By “second Adam”, I am referring to the Genesis narrative that tells the story of the original intention of God for humanity which was an intimate, seamless and a creative relationship with God.  This image also re … [Read more...]

Our Needs are Holy

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For those of you who have children, particularly young children, you know that one of the primary responsibilities of a parent is to ensure that the needs of your child are being met. That includes all of Maslow’s hierarchy. As a child matures, it becomes less and less our responsibility to meet the needs of that child. In fact, it is our responsibility to teach our children how to meet their own needs. I would go so far as to say when parents fail to teach their children how to meet their own n … [Read more...]

#SKEPTIMERGENT: the afterlife is for lovers

If you've never come across it, you might find Nietzsche's theory of eternal recurrence to be really helpful like I have. There is debate about whether Nietzsche actually believed it. I highly doubt that he did, but, nevertheless, I think it's an interesting thought experiment.The basic idea is that you should live your life as if you would have to repeat it exactly the way you have lived it, over and over, forever. For me, this has helped me to rethink many of the things that I have chosen … [Read more...]

#SKEPTIMERGENT: truth or love?

I have a theory: those so-called "liberal" or "progressive" people who are trying to understand what the Bible means today are doing so primarily because of love.Here's what I mean... I think a huge part of my own personal conflict within evangelicalism was a conflict between "truth" - or what was "right" - and love. The more I attempted to make sense of the Bible in light of my actual relationships with real people, the less concerned I was with being truthful or being right.What if thi … [Read more...]

Invited to Question

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I love the Bible. For some of you reading this that might seem strange; for others, you might know what I mean. But I do want to clarify. I love the Bible today for different reasons than I did even 10 years ago. Back then, I would have said I love the Bible because it reveals God’s love and direction for those who follow Christ. Today, however, I love it for a different reason. And the best way I know how to express that, is that it now confirms my experience of God and invites me into the h … [Read more...]

#SKEPTIMERGENT: a review of @jaybakker’s new book

With Jay's new book coming out tomorrow, I thought I would repost my review here...When I was a “leader” in the church, I always assumed it was supposed to be about people. I thought crazy things like: a pastor (shepherd) was supposed to actually know the sheep. And, that the shepherd was primarily a sheep, receiving love from the Great Shepherd, before anything else. When it became something other than that, I had a real problem doing it anymore. When my “billable hours” shifted toward w … [Read more...]

SKEPTIMERGENT

Welcome to the beginning of a collaboration between various people called “SKEPTIMERGENT.”  This dialogue began as a chat between myself, Rob Davis (who coined the title), Jeff Straka, Doug Pagitt, Victoria Peterson-Hilleque, and Chris Hill, and ended up as a Patheos blog.  I have long been interested in building bridges between those in the unbelieving community (atheists, agnostics, humanists, skeptics, naturalists, etc.) and liberal religious persons, and as such, I jumped at the chance to be … [Read more...]

I AM A TAKER

Hands Applauding

In AA’s big book on page 61, a question is asked, “What is his basic trouble? Is he not really a self-seeker even when trying to be kind? Is he not a victim of the delusion that he can wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if he only manages well? Is it not evident to all the rest of the players that these are the things he wants? Is he not even in his best moments a producer of confusion rather than harmony? Our actor is self-centered---ego-centric…”In my life, there has been in … [Read more...]


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