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...]

Aids, homosexuality…confronting the terminal illness of judgement

Last night, working in the emergency department we had a woman maybe in her seventy's come in with her forty year old son. To look at him you would never guess he was forty. He looked older than his mother, he was thin, gaunt and literally wasting away. He didn't have to say a word, you could see pain, suffering, shame and guilt written all over him. He was in the end stages of AIDS. Ravaged by the disease, he was severly dehydrated and dying of malnutrition...and his mom wasn't coping with it … [Read more...]

Evangelical 2.0: The Deception of Mark Driscoll’s Acts 29 Network

I've written quite a bit about churches like Mark Driscoll's Mars Hill and the concerns I have about a lack of accountability, given that they're not part of a denomination or other larger body of oversight. Churches led my ministers like Driscoll and John Piper seem to be independent, yet pressing a surprisingly consistent agenda in many ways, when you consider they're not connected.Well, maybe a little bit connected, it turns out.I have to give evangelicals due credit in one way at … [Read more...]

The Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God is ...a church where beauty is cherished. Where people are given the space to express their creative nature and make beautiful things. A space where candles come in all different kinds of colors, containers and arrangements. Where banners are made to fit a space and a people. Where lanterns light up the shadows in the ceiling and remind us that we are part of that kingdom.The Kingdom of God is...a pool in the middle of summer where people aren’t obsessed about what they a … [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...]

(continued ) a parable:the murder of the farm owner’s son

Continuing on from my recent post " a parable: the murder of the farm owner's son " investigating the crime scene. So the owner, ( God ), sends his son, ( Jesus ) into the midst of the vineyard, ( creation ) to confront the tenants ( humanity ) about the fruit ( the fullness of the Kingdom ) the tenants have produced.In the reality of what the Kingdom should be, where the fruit that is produced by the vineyard produces abundant life for " everyone ", Jesus heart is moved with compassion to th … [Read more...]

What is an Evangelical?

The “E Word” in Christianity is a funny thing. In one respect, Evangelicals are self-identified, and therefore, self-defined. On the other, popular culture (particularly media) lays its own meaning on what it means to be Evangelical. In the latter context, the word inevitably translates to “Conservative Christian.”But I think this definition isn’t fair. What’s more, it’s not accurate.I’m a self-proclaimed “word nerd,” so I tend to turn to etymology for help. The root meaning of “evangelic … [Read more...]

a parable: the murder of the owner’s son

 What is the Kingdom? we get our first glimpse in the garden…harmony, the reality of what communion really is, and should be…God, humanity and creation as one. We see the prophets continuously, like editors in the script of the human story popping up…to re-focus us to fix the injustice of broken communion. Not just make me better, me and God being soul mates...but this beautiful interconnectedness of the three, God, humanity and creation. It get’s to the point much like the parable wher … [Read more...]

A parable:prodigal faith…returning home

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For years she had cultivated her faith in her father's house. And for years she looked out the windows across the fences, the barriers at the other side...wondering about those people the " other." One evening, just as the curtains were falling on another day all here questions and wondering errupted like a volcano. It all came spewing out and filled the space around her. There was no way she could shove and poke it all back in. It finally would have to dealt with. In the morning she would … [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...]


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