Do You Have a Gaudy God?

GaudyIceBar

Raining brimstone, epic deluges, trumpets from heaven...is your God showing off? We have all heard of insecure people who act out by throwing fits.  The kid who bullies others on recess, the child who screams when he doesn't get his way, the buff guy in the military who wants to fight at the bar.  We call these people "show-offs" and "assholes."  But what happens when you find your divinity throwing a hissy-fit? One of the first things you can do is exempt your God from these tantrums. … [Read more...]

Atheists and Christians Working Together: Me and Ryan Bell’s Online Course

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For many here on Emergent Village and Patheos Progressive Christian, working with Christians is second-nature.  But there are many of us atheists, humanists, skeptics, and non-believers, who have little to no idea about how to work with Christians.  Some of us (atheists and Christians) cannot get beyond the trivial Facebook debates, the subtle intellectual jabs at each other, and the unsophisticated, meme-based, generalizations of Christians and atheists. This is a great opportunity for … [Read more...]

The Worst of Your Tradition: Own It!

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I remember having a back-and-forth with a Christian about the violence historically committed by Christians: the early persecution of heretics, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the European "Wars of Religion," slavery in the Americas, up to the bombings of abortion clinics and the killing of doctors who perform abortions.  His response, which has stuck with me to this day, was "don't compare the best of your tradition with the worst of mine."  This comment really made me think.  He was … [Read more...]

An Interview with Brian McLaren on Faith, Doubt, and Atheism

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I met Brian a few years back when I picked him up from the airport for a conference I was coordinating at Claremont School of Theology.  During our ride back, we chatted about atheism, progressive Christianity, and ways we thought they could work together.  And as much as I wanted to find fault with him, his insipid kindness won me over. Since that time, I have been working with Churches, trying to find ways in which we can work together.  So I thought I would ask Brian some questions … [Read more...]

An Epistle from Saul of Tarsus

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Some chose to leave. Some chose to stay and fight. I became lost, and chose to write.   Saul sends his greeting To Evangelicals spread throughout Christendom: Saul of Tarsus, along with the brothers Franklin and James, bring you greetings from outside of prison. I have been thanking God for your incredible faith during the difficulties you have faced under the Obama administration. I have been told that this “persecutor of conservatives” has forced believers everywhere to … [Read more...]

Do Not Fix Others as You Would Not Want to be Fixed

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The internet, one might think, was invented as a place for angry, excessively confident people to try to fix others. But I think Glennon Melton has it right when she offers this contemporary parable about fixing: "Imagine that you have a new friend that you just love, and she’s coming to your house, and you finally liberate yourself enough to skip the panic-clean before she arrives. You decide that you trust her enough to walk in and see your messy house and you just KNOW that she will … [Read more...]

Homosexuality in Western culture: a cultural/theological perspective (Part 1 of 2)

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  I know, I know. I said last time that I was finished publishing on here. However, this series is for my critics. Enjoy!   PART ONE: The Cultural Perspective In general I try to keep my articles much shorter than this, however because this topic is so convoluted it required much more. In one sense this article is a result of a personal journey through my study of homosexuality within our culture. The article is divided as such: Part One: The Cultural Perspective This … [Read more...]

Emergent Village Is NOT Dead. It’s Just Different Now …

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From Mike Clawson, curator of Emergent Village cohorts: Over 15 years ago, a small group of young Christian leaders began talking about the ways in which postmodernism was transforming their approach to faith and ministry. That conversation soon expanded and evolved into what eventually became known as Emergent Village, “a growing, generative friendship among missional Christians seeking to love our world in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” Over the past decade and more, EV has been a key … [Read more...]

emergent is dead (to me)

To be honest, I had completely forgotten that I was a contributor to this blog. Back in April of last year I had started a post called, "farewell emergent?" Up until that time, I was really interested in the whole "conversation," and I wanted to be part of it. I was reading as much as I could, listening to as many podcasts as I could, and I even started a group that was sort of an emergent "cohort" of skeptics and progressive Christians here in Raleigh. I really thought that I had found a niche, … [Read more...]

POSTSCRIPT: The Bible is NOT the Word of God (Part 2)

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A brief note on the form of things: Last April I wrote a post titled The Bible is NOT the WORD OF GOD: a polemic against Christendom. The article was meant to be a provocation towards rethinking the way we speak about the bible. The reaction it received was very interesting as it seemed to indicate a sharp divide between those who agreed and disagreed with the premise. In general, I make it a point to avoid apologetic type argumentation when it comes to what I write. This method of discourse … [Read more...]

Gungor: The Postmodern Anthem Band

It took me a long time to write this. I thought I should try to be objective since I was supposed to be reviewing Michael Gungor's book.  And that was a book I had to think about. A lot. As it became clear that I was far from impartial, my responsibility to write about this band still loomed. Plus, along the way I decided that Gungor is the perfect anthem band for the Postmodern Church/Movement.  And yes, I confess, I also became a fan.  So here are my top ten reasons to my claim wrapped in … [Read more...]

Religion and Hip-Hop in my Youth

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“What do you believe in heaven or hell?  We don’t believe in heaven cuz’ we’re livin’ in hell.”—Raekwon Lately I have been thinking a lot about religion and hip-hop.  I recently came across Dr. Monica Miller’s interview in the Washington Post about religion and hip-hop, which prompted me to write a piece of my own.  From the age of 13, when I was first introduced to hip-hop culture, to 18, when I finally opened up to other music, all I listened to were lyrics over beats.  … [Read more...]

Earth Interrupted: by Bill Dahl … November 1st

Human imagination has always been captured by great mythic stories filled with mysterious wisdom. This is one of those stories that engages, draws you in, and takes you to a liminal space where you have to wrestle with the earthly experience humanity finds itself. "Earth Interrupted" is that story, where you are interrupted to think deeply about earth. Bill Dahl is a story teller who senses the urgency of our time. The following is an interview Bill completed regarding the upcoming release of … [Read more...]

The Death of a Beautiful Woman

"The death, then, of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world."--Edgar Allen Poe-- I have always been a fan of the gloomy Mr. Poe.  I remember the first time I purchased his Complete Works and spent a summer reading through it.  I was infatuated in the aesthetics of his vocabulary, how we painted the world dark with words, and how the confidence of his prose contrasted with his emotional instability.  I was also interested in how he viewed religion and … [Read more...]


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