(De)Constructing Hell [The End of Metaphysics Series]

Žižek, “See you in hell or in communism!”                                        According to Carl Gustav Jung, hell represents, among every culture, the disturbing aspect of the collective unconscious. Imagine if there was a place where all the evil people would go to get what they deserved? Imagine this place was filled with pain, torture, hatred and all the things these evil people stood for and imposed on the world. Imagine that there was this leader who embodied all of  the things we hate … [Read more...]

Miss Jane

Hello, friends.I'm going to level with you: My thesis is due in less than a month and I am nowhere near done. As I tried to come up with something of substance to write about this month, I found myself completely at a loss. After several failed attempts at something more easily identifiable as an actual blog post, I've decided that, this week, story counts as a post, and so I've written the following snippet of fiction. Bonus, this also fulfills an assignment for one of my classes. So, I'm s … [Read more...]

Emergence Faith

One of my favorite things to do when I'm housesitting for someone happens on the first morning as I'm stumbling through their utterly unfamiliar home. No, I don't rifle through their drawers, but after I've figured out how the heck their coffee maker works, I start my search. The search for a coffee mug.Now I know where to find a coffee mug, of course. They are usually in a glass-front cabinet or display case of some kind, prominently featured and impeccably appointed. They are a part of a … [Read more...]

The Visibility and Invisibility of Confederate Ghosts

Earlier this week, students from the Muslim Students Association, the Black Student Movement, Radical Asians, The Real Silent Sam Coalition, and other student groups from the University of North Carolina gathered in protest outside of Saunders Hall as part of an ongoing dialogue to change this building's name. Saunders Hall is the home of the Religion and Geography departments at UNC. The building honors William L. Saunders (1835-1891), a UNC graduate, university trustee, former Confederate Army … [Read more...]

A Changed Life

 Dreaming is surely a way of seeing, of seeing with the mind’s eye. More than that, it is the soul’s perception of the world, it is an exposure made by the imagination, an involuntary record, a spiritual index, if you will. Do you know, I have been dreaming of the river that runs below.YAHWEH to URSET (In the Bear’s House by N. Scott Momaday) In 2012, I stood before pictures of dead bodies, and walked through stories of entire villages gone from genocide that ravaged the tiny count … [Read more...]

Something Of God

“Look for God, suggests my Guru. Look for God like a man with his head on fire looks for water.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat. Pray. Love. A friend of mine recently told me that he has decided to become a mystic.Yeah, just like that.Knowing him to be a deeply spiritual person, I was nevertheless surprised by this decisive announcement. One does not generally expect 24-year-old punk rockers from upper New York to embrace a life of austerity and contemplation. He’s pretty sure he can pull it … [Read more...]

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

     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...]