Embracing Life and Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris

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Midnight in Paris has been called Woody Allen's best film in a long time, and I agree.  This year, the romantic comedy won both the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay; and it was nominated for three other Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Direction, and Best Art Direction.  Woody is one of the great creative minds of the last 100 years, with all of the quirkiness and controversy we expect to accompany this kind of platitude. The … [Read more...]

Is Violent Racism Making a Comeback or Has it Ever Gone Away? by Randy Woodley

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Many White people thought we had racism almost licked in America. We would all at the least, like to believe racism has become more subtle than it was in former days. I don’t see it.  It was shameful to hear how the entire stock of “Trayvon Martin Targets” sold out in just two days. The targets did not have Trayvon's face but were of a young man in a hoodie holding Skittles and an Arizona Ice Tea. The target was on the heart, where Trayvon was shot. What is especially frightening about … [Read more...]

Faith and Politics: ‘What’s Fair is Fair’ is not Fair Anymore by Randy S. Woodley

Ok, I have to admit I'm a history nerd. I read it, I watch it and I teach it professionally. Given the constant intersection of history and politics, I'm also quite interested in socio-political movements, trends and events. And I should say right up front, politically, I'm "all of the above"  on different issues, having voted on both sides and also for independents. But, in full disclosure, and this is a big 'ol "but" for some of you; because of my experiences and my faith, at this time in my … [Read more...]

Strange Christianity Made in America: Part III by Randy Woodley

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I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ! -Gandhi Christians in America are infamous for being so unlike Jesus. I like the bumper sticker that says, “When Jesus said love your enemies I think he probably meant don’t kill them.” Ever wonder how Christians went from loving their enemies to killing them? We love to blame it all on Constantine, and true enough, he contributed to the problem, but I think the problem goes deeper and farther back—all … [Read more...]

Outside the Walls, But Not the Tradition

Several years ago I had the opportunity to attend a meeting of the American Society of Missiology (a gathering of smart folks who try to study and name the mission that God is up to in the world.) The Society had asked me to bring a report about the new monastic movement that I and others are part of. While I was there, I also got to hear several other good reports on the Emergent church conversation and the “missional church” movement. For the latter, Al Hirsh was the presenter. He was, as … [Read more...]

My Response to Kony 2012 aka #StopKony

I try not to simply re-post thoughts from my blog here, but I wanted to share today's thoughts with this community as well... If you've been on Facebook or Twitter over the last 24 hours, you have probably seen people talking about the efforts to stop Joseph Kony from the organization called Invisible Children. Here's my response after watching the 30-minute film. Let me start as a filmmaker. It's an amazing piece of art. Propaganda maybe...but the best kind of propaganda there … [Read more...]

Wisdom From Kierkegaard

This Quote by Kierkegaard is rocking my world the last few weeks. The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we as Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my life will be ruined. How would I ever … [Read more...]

An Evangelical Pentecostal Naturalist?

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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 … [Read more...]

I Like the Bible but I’m Not Sure I Know All the Words by Randy Woodley

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I had been learning to play bass guitar for two years when I was finally asked to be in a real band. The fact that I had a new Fender Jazz bass and an Acoustic 360 watt amp that I had worked and saved for the summer prior didn’t hurt my chances of being asked to be in the band. At 15 years old, I was anxious to show all the stuff that I knew, and as a singer I could remember an incredible number of words of various songs. There I was, for the first time with the band, in one of the member’s … [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...]


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