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

Carrying-a-Heavy-Load

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...]

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?

dowd-integrity

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...]

Loving Jesus, Hating Religion: A Well-Meaning False Dichotomy

The last two weeks has seen a new viral sensation take over our computer screens. A spoken word artist named Jefferson Bethke, who goes by the handle "Bball1989," released a video on Youtube that has, in less than two weeks, received more than fifteen million hits called "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus." So regardless of what any of us personally thinks about what he's saying, it's incumbent on us to listen up.For starters, there's some really good stuff in his message. He … [Read more...]

the parable of the Muslim…and the beaten gay man

bashing4-1

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...]


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