The Post-Colonial Method versus the Sociological Method in the Study of Religion: Top-down or Bottom-up?

In the current study of “religion,” two different methods have developed that are often in tension with each other.  The first is the Post-Colonial Method (PCM)[1] with scholars like Talal Asad, Edward Said, Timothy Fitzgerald, and Gayatri Spivak, and the second is the Sociological Method (SM) with scholars like Steve Bruce, Phil Zuckerman, and Barry A. Kosmin.  Each of these methods has their own histories, assumptions, and trajectories for the study of religion.  The tensions between the two ar … [Read more...]

Give Me a Racist Over A Racist System Anyday by Randy Woodley

"Now brother Woodley, Rev. _______ will share his apology with you and then you can apologize to him." These are last words I needed to hear to understand the jist of  "platform reconciliation" about twelve years ago. "Why in hell would I want to apologize?," I asked myself. I then left the event and vowed never to enable this type of trite confession offering cheap reconciliation again. Over the years the movement has become more sophisticated but the core is still sick, missing key components … [Read more...]

Either “Is Homosexuality A Sin?” OR “Is Homophobia A Sin?”

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The modern Church’s overall inability to properly engage the culture in which it exists is none the more evident than in the issue of homosexuality. There is nothing more appalling (except perhaps our treatment of African Americans and women), than the pure hatred that the church has shown to the homosexual community.This will be my attempt at helping to add something meaningful to this conversation by addressing the question: how should a Christian in today's western culture understand the i … [Read more...]

Doug Pagitt Radio – May 16, 2013 – Interview With Matt Litton

This week on Doug Pagitt we checked in with Matt Litton (friend of Bono) to discuss his book Holy Nomad: The Rugged Road to Joy. Matt speaks to the the things we hold onto that weigh us down and bring us into dead spaces: Fulfillment vs. Heaven & Hell. This was Matt's second appearance on the show.Listen Here:Watch here: … [Read more...]

It’s Time to Let Go…

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I have been developing a metaphor to bring insight into how spiritual development happens.  That being, the spiritual journey is one of re-learning of what it means to walk with God in His garden today.  I contend that this learning, when fully embraced, leads us to a place of acceptance of what actually is in our lives and world, with the realization and recognition that God is in all of it.  I have also reflected on the key mental, emotional and spiritual posture needed to allow this truth of G … [Read more...]

Doug Pagitt Radio: Interview with Jim Wallis

Broadcasting from Solomon's Porch meeting space, we busted out of the studio this week. We spoke with Jim Wallis while he was visiting the Twin Cities as part of his current book tour.  His latest book is titled, On God's Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn't Learned about Serving the Common Good. Jim is the CEO of Sojourners.Listen Here:Watch here: … [Read more...]

Can I Trust?

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Here’s a question I’ve been asked many times, by many different people. The words I am going to use are a paraphrase as each individual who shares their hearts with me uses their own language for their particular situations; yet the questions are often very similar when you break them down. The question is: how do I trust God when I don’t know what He is going to do? There are many expressions of church and theology that attempt to tell us definitely that God will make things better if we trust … [Read more...]

Transformation and Shadow Spotting

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“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do no notice the log that is in your own eye?” Matt 7:3 NASB. Most people have read this text as being about sin and our need not to judge. Which is very true, but there are other layers of truths to be found in this text as well. What if the speck we see in another's eye is actually our own log-sized issue? Let me explain. Jesus called it a speck for a reason. I think He was creating a contrast. When we notice some "sin" or “issue … [Read more...]

A Contradiction of Truths

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I am learning in my life to let go of the apparent contradictions; this I believe is the result of my ability to let go of theological paradoxes, which has in turn created a space where I can let go of paradoxes in my own life. Allow me to develop this a little further.So much rational effort has been put into the creation of systematic theologies that have attempted to explain the apparent paradoxes in our human experience with God, the Biblical accounts that seem to contradict each other … [Read more...]

When You Know Better, You Do Better?

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There is no question that ignorance can harm us; but I’m not sure knowing better is necessarily equated to doing better. When we are ignorant of something, we simply don’t know and we act in accordance. A great example is how in the first half of the 20th century doctors would recommend cigarettes to help ease their patients’ nerves. And it worked! But, it also gave people cancer. Ignorance. Knowing that smoking kills has no question motivated many people to stop, but you would think if we knew c … [Read more...]


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