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 the way to … [Read more...]

Strange Christianity Made in America: Part II by Randy Woodley

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The customs of the Nacirema, a still very poorly understood tribal group, came to the attention of anthropologists about forty years ago. They are a North American group living in the territory roughly between the Cree and the Tarahumare tribal groups. Little is known of their origin, although tradition states that they came from the east.In the mid-seventies a group of anthropologists formalized the studies of this very strange and powerful culture. I’ve dusted off an old copy of their s … [Read more...]

Why We Can’t Win In Afghanistan by Randy Woodley

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(Note: I am interrupting my own series on Strange Religion: American Dualism because of the urgency of this situation. Life interrupts perceived reality. A recent ABC News - Washington Post poll (http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Americans-Believe-Afghan-War-Not-Worth-Costs-New-Poll-Finds--142296305.html) shows that 60 percent of U.S. citizens believe the war in Afghanistan is not worth its costs. These cost are both monetary and counted in the loss of human life. Although the slaying of … [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 Birth of the Emerging Church & a Missing Voice

There is one important person who helped start the entire discussion about "Progressive Christianity" or the "Emerging Church" who has been silenced. He is speaking again, and I'd suggest we all welcome him back. Let me explain:Somewhere around 1996 an organization called Leadership Network pulled together about 10-20 young leaders in the church to begin a discussion about ministry for Generation X. Within a few months, the conversation morphed into a more academic one about post-modernism … [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...]

It Was A Night Around Christmas

Since the first Christmas was likely in April it won’t be too inappropriate for this to be a few days late. After all, it is called a night “around” Christmas. (Spoken to the cadence of "T'was The Night Before Christmas" duh!)It was a night around Christmas, in a crowded old caveWith camels and horses and cattle she laidKnocked up by the Spirit, baby daddy besidePsycho girl in some trouble, or maybe she lied No time for a cleaning, no time for midwifeThe stable wa … [Read more...]

Why I Am Emergent, Part 3: Theologically Counter-Cultural

 Continuing in the series of processing through the reasons of why I resonate with the Emergent Movement (See week 1 and week 2), I’m left pondering being theologically countercultural.One of the first things I noticed as I began reading emergent books and blogs, visiting emergent churches and events, and meeting emergent people, was that there seemed to be a uniqueness about them and the way they were.  I have heard of a church that jokingly refers to themselves as “the island of mi … [Read more...]

Emerging Church Still Making Headlines

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The reports of the emerging church's death are greatly exaggerated. The existence of the new Emergent Village Voice blog is one example of a new chapter that's being written. My experience with the Charlotte Emergent cohort over the past eight years reminds me over and over as I meet and talk with new people joining the conversation every month. Then there's the ongoing media attention that this movement continues to receive, 10+ years on.Brian McLaren, Phyllis Tickle, and I were … [Read more...]


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