(G)od With(Out) Religion OR The God Who BeCame an Atheist

  There is this moment of intrinsic subversion to exclusivity in the Jesus Narrative. But what is moment, if not something captured in and by time. An idea bound and contingent in space, a dependent object that relies upon its own ontological teleology. Meaning that the moment itself finds its purpose in being that very moment, and the events that transpire are then transcendentalized by their very innate placement within the narrative. A few of Jesus friends encounter people who dont … [Read more...]

Authentic Jesus Generations: Woodstock to Wild Goose by Randy Woodley

WildGooseWest1

Although there is not much in general these days that one can say about the church, perhaps the clearest sign we have of change is the ever-widening gap between what I will dub the still too common, “Sunday morning church-building crowd” and all the new faith movements including, for example, Emergents, Neo-monastics, Evangelicals 4 Justice, NAIITS (North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies) and Jesus Radicals,* (with homage to this faith lineage including organizations like, Ev … [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 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

Old Geronimo

(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...]

Kickstarting the Emergent Conversation

For a long time, the emergent conversation has been labeled and criticized (to some degree, rightly) as a mostly white male phenomenon. Thankfully, that is not the reality on the ground any longer. Over the years, the conversation has become much more diverse — racially, ethnically, socio-politically, as well as theologically. But that story hasn't really been told, and so the movement (heck, let's call it a movement) still is seen by some as not relevant to them or not relevant at all … [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...]

Agree or Die. [Improvisational Christianity #4]

Improv is play – simple pretending. Think of what works best when kids are at play.Here are three examples of how little children tend to play together:Example 1:Girl: I’m a Princess!Boy: No, you’re a Wizard!Girl: No, I’m a Princess. You’re a Prince.Boy: You’re ugly and stupid!Girl leaves weeping.Example 2:Girl: I’m a Princess!Boy: Ok, I’m A Wizard.Girl: No. You’re a Prince. You have blonde hair and green eyes and you live in a castle and you have w … [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...]

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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