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 can b … [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?

dowd-integrity

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 n … [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 liv … [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...]

The Church Doesn’t Know How To Have Sex

Sex has become something bourgeois. Not that the proletariat ever experience sex mind you, but the real act is saved for those who can afford to talk about it. In high school sex is a sort of perverse social currency whereby someone's acceptance is measure and defined by the quantity of partners they have experienced intercourse with. To talk about sex in this context is not only anticipated but is also encouraged. But, what happens when sex becomes nothing more than a transgression? As in, … [Read more...]

Quoting God by Randy Woodley

Ok, I first need to admit to you, this is not my first time at the rodeo. I’ve been around unorganized Christianity for a while. I was involved in some of the early Jesus people movements, several Christian communities and some wildly charismatic churches and “non-denominational denominations.” I was even a student, and later a chauffer, at Jim Bakker’s PTL Club (pre-prison conviction days). Believe me, I have heard some pretty crazy things attributed to God in the past.For example, once I wa … [Read more...]

New Years Resolutions

With the New Year upon us, it is the time for New Years resolutions.  These have become sort of a joke in our society for the propensity for being dropped in a few months or weeks or days.However this does not stop the marketing machine in America.  You can expect to get an assortment of opportunities for gym memberships or dietary supplements in the next week (I have already gotten several) with specials such as waived entrance fees and discounts for signing up for a whole year, etc.  We la … [Read more...]

World Religions and Ecumenicism

Coexist - Nick Baumgartner via Wylio

For the past year, I've been teaching courses in Humanities at a local community college. In my professional role, I have to maintain a certain degree of detachment from the various topics from lecture to lecture. This includes the major world religious traditions. While maintaining my personal Christian faith, I have learned to appreciate the other traditions for their contributions to global faith and to personal enrichment. There is a measure of humanity that needs and longs for rites and … [Read more...]

Churches, Take Up Your Mats and Walk

There’s an old joke that speaks directly to one of the biggest issues holding back Churches these days:How many Christians does it take to screw in a light bulb?Change? Who said anything about change?!?!I get asked to come in and help struggling churches all over the county. Most of them are aging and see the proverbial writing on the wall if something about their future doesn’t look different soon. Pretty often, I’m asked to unlock the secret to getting young people into the pews, th … [Read more...]


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