Songs of Faith and Doubt


"It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt.” —Fyodor DostoyevskiMusic has always played a huge part in expressing my faith and even questioning it. From my late teens where I discovered the underground Christian music culture to a song I just discovered recently. Here are a few songs that have meant something on my faith journey.Breathe Deep Lost Dogs Breath Deep by Lost Dogs on Grooveshark I didn’t fully understand what a su … [Read more...]

Marcus Borg: The Legacy of a Theological Mystic

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     Marcus Borg was a rare and beautiful paradox in a time of great social, political and religious polarities. He was a theological mystic--and of these there are far too few. I came to awareness of his body of work and this quality of spirit very late in the game. I am not much of a theologian and only slightly more coordinated in my clumsy crooked mysticism.For me he was inspirational and aspirational in his beautifully paradoxical way. I … [Read more...]

The Evidential Reformation: Facts as God’s Word


Religion is undergoing a massive shift in perspective. It is a shift at least as wrenching as the Copernican revolution, which required humanity to bid farewell to an Earth-centered understanding of our place in the cosmos. The religious revolution on the horizon today might well be called the “Evidential Reformation.” We humbly shift away from a human-centric, ethnocentric, and shortsighted view of what is important. At the same time, we expand our very identities to encompass the immense jou … [Read more...]

MLK Day Sermon: Paul and Martin’s Dream of Reconciliation through Nonviolent Direct Action

Both the civil rights movement and Paul's ministry to the Corinthians were catalyzed by a dream of reconciliation, forged through the tactics of nonviolent direct action.The Reverend Dr. Martin King Jr. spoke of “beloved community” as a way of evoking that ancient metaphor from Jesus: “the kingdom of God.” As King said, following a Supreme Court verdict that desegregated Montgomery buses: “The end is reconciliation. The end is redemption. The end is the creation of the Beloved Community.” The … [Read more...]

Ableist Metaphors In Worship: Why It Matters


Guide my feet while I run this race,Except I don't run. My feet don't work all that well. Where is my part in this?In the past few weeks, out of my regular routine, I have encountered ableism in worship in a way that I usually don't. Songs that lift up as exemplars of things that I will never do and casual uses of the words of disability to mark ways that people have problems or limitations weighed on me. I began to think about why it is that people who are building Beloved Community are … [Read more...]

I Am Tired: A Poem About Race

Ahnnalise Stevens-Jennings

To all the people who are tired of talking about race.I want you to know that I am tired too.I am tired of white people touching my hair like I am a sheep in a petting zoo.I am tired of being followed around stores by employeesI am tired of never being able to find foundation or pantyhoseI am tired of the looks I get from people when I walk down the street with my husband (who is White)I am tired of the spikes of fear that go through my body when a cop looks at me too … [Read more...]



50 years ago is a very short time.Fifty years ago there loomed a war over the mind's of Americans. In the south, preachers screamed vehemently and twisted the word of God to suggest that slavery and racism were God's truth.  Men and women found themselves beaten, raped, and tolerating all manners of abuse. Children walked down the street, and were gunned down just for being black.50 years ago is a very short time.Fifty years later, I think there is a war and an attack on the minds of … [Read more...]

Truth Without God (The End of Metaphysics Series)

At the fundamental level, quantum mechanics authoritatively and indisputably states that there exists no objective reality that would explain all subjective viewpoints as its reflections. - Landau  In a world where we recognize that God is not a sovereign being, is a world where we realize that freedom has no limits. Now, for many this is already an issue, because the general popularized view that is irresponsibly borrowed from a historical religious hangover, is that to be human is to … [Read more...]

Five Hopeful Things You Can Do in 2015

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By today, January 8th, everyone’s holidays are pretty much over. The Hanukkah candles are stored for another year. Kwanzaa on its way out on January 1st greeted the New Year, and the Christian Christmas season ended on the 6th with Epiphany. Relatives who traveled to be with you for the holidays have already returned to their jobs and lives at home.Now what? How do we keep the joy and hope alive as we face the wintry months and holiday bills ahead? How do we remember the love when we’re a … [Read more...]

(non)Corporate Best Practices: Preaching in the Age of Emergence


One of the hopes for this communal blog is for it to become a place where we can share what's working in our communities of faith.  To that end, I'd like to share some thoughts about the evolution of preaching in emergence communities.  These independent groups are not all alike but they do share many similarities, even if they are unaware of one another.  In the parlance of emergence, this is known as 'non-identical repetition'.  So these are notes from one particular person (me) about one par … [Read more...]