Rock Prayers

I’ve floated the idea of doing a service of rock and roll prayers at my church. Here are the songs that I think would work for it. Can you suggest others? U2, “40″ Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes” Mr. Mister, “Kyrie” Styx, “Show Me The Way” Foreigner, “I Want to Know What Love Is” Mike [Read More...]

An Act of Love

Rev. Frank Schaefer has drawn to my attention that a movie is being made about his experience. Some of you may recall when Schaeffer faced censure by his denomination for officiating at his own son’s same-sex wedding. The movie will be called An Act of Love. If you are interested in supporting the project, there is [Read More...]

The Church of the Latter-Day Geeks

One of the disadvantages of not living in Australia is not being able to go to Rev. Avril Hannah-Jones’ church for their annual sci-fi and fantasy service. For a sense of the church’s outlook apart from their love of science fiction, take a look at this recent post from Avril’s blog.   [Read more...]

How To Grow A Church

I was struck by the headline that a man had “grown a church” – entirely from trees – in four years. Apparently he had some high-tech help. But I soon thought that it would be interesting to compare what is involved in growing what many people call a “church” today – i.e. a building – with [Read More...]

Why Didn’t God Stop the Church Shooting?

This cartoon should serve as a helpful reminder to fundamentalists. You must make sure to use the right implausible answer to the specific question asked. Otherwise, theological and ethical confusion might result (in other words, the problems with your worldview might be exposed to your conversation partner and, worse still, to you).   [Read more...]

Is Racism a Mental Illness? #CharlestonShooting

I had someone comment on a Facebook post about the Charleston shooting, suggesting that mental illness must be involved. I responded in a number of ways, including asking whether all the people in lynch mobs in the south some decades ago were mentally ill. On the one hand, to blame mental illness can be a reprehensible [Read More...]

The Church Needs a Revolution

Some years ago I blogged about Robin Meyers’ book, Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus. Recently Progressive Christianity shared an excerpt from his new book, Spiritual Defiance: Building a Beloved Community of Resistance. Below is a sample, from the larger section from which the quote above comes. Click through [Read More...]

From Jesus of Nazareth to Church of Jerusalem

A commenter asked a good question about the geographical shift in early Christianity, from Jesus of Nazareth active primarily in Galilee according to the Synoptic Gospels, to a church whose leaders are based in Jerusalem. One can certainly articulate reasons why a move of this sort would have made sense – Jerusalem was the hub of [Read More...]

Progressive Christianity in the Spotlight

The Fountains United Methodist Church recently had the experience of a number of conservative churches in its area banding together to preach against progressive Christianity. They promoted the sermon series with signs and news articles promising a series of sermons on conservative fundamentals: The Fountanins UMC church responded with a banner borrowed from another congregation: [Read More...]

Would Discovering Extraterrestrial Life Make us – and them – Platonists, Mormons, or Atheists?

The Week featured an article a while back which suggested that the discovery of alien life would turn us all into atheists or Mormons. Matthew Ferguson recently mentioned a number of issues which would, at the very least, raise issues for traditional Christian theology. In an article which quoted me (even if it gets my name and [Read More...]

Self-Defeating Religion

Hemant Mehta drew attention to the fact that what some conservative religious people in the United States today want – namely to obliterate the separation between church and state – is arguably the most self-defeating course of action they could pursue. In Europe, countries where Christianity is the national religion have seen Christianity decline significantly. Baptists, in [Read More...]