Orthodox Alexithymia

Richard Beck wrote recently about a condition which he calls “orthodox alexithymia.” Here is a sample: Orthodox alexithymia is produced when the intellectual facets of Christian theology, in the pursuit of correct and right belief, become decoupled from emotion, empathy, and fellow-feeling. Orthodox alexithymics are like patients with ventromedial prefrontal cortex brain damage. Their reasoning [Read More...]

No Adam, No Christ?

I was asked a question on Facebook, and thought I would share the answer I gave. Here’s the question: I was hoping for a little clarification on how one might reconcile a non literal first Adam with Paul’s gospel.  In Paul’s mind Christ is the “second Adam,” having succeeded where the “first Adam” failed. According [Read More...]

Science Fiction Theology

I am grateful to Baylor University Press for having sent me a complimentary copy of a book that I read prior to publication and provided a blurb for. The book is Science Fiction Theology: Beauty and the Transformation of the Sublime by Alan Gregory. Here is what I wrote, part of which became the blurb [Read More...]

Problems With Penal Substitution

DISAMBIGUATION: This blog post is not about penile substitution – for information on that topic, go here. Penal substitution is a phrase used to describe a particular view of the atonement, which says that Jesus took the place of the guilty in bearing God’s judgment due to them. Mike Bird (responding to William Walker) and Andrew Perriman (responding [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...]

Ultimate Concern

I had the privilege of sharing the song I wrote, “Ultimate Concern,” at Crooked Creek Baptist Church today. I am grateful to the musicians who participated in learning the song and performing it with me. The inspiration from the ideas of Paul Tillich will be obvious to those familiar with his writings. Here are the [Read More...]

The Very Condition of Humanity is to be Wrong about God

When Rachel Held Evans shared these words on Facebook, I was immediately struck by how well they encapsulated a crucial point, and thoughts they should become a meme. Here’s the context: It’s hard for me to admit when I’m wrong. It’s partly my personality, partly good-old-fashioned sinful pride, partly just what it means to be [Read More...]

A Slight Gust of Wind

  From Pictorial Theology. In case you can’t read the sheet that blew away, it says, “But, remember folks, these are just useful allegories until you figure it out for yourselves. The End.”   [Read more...]

Now It Controls the Entire Village

Yesterday’s Bizarro is actually pretty serious. Sometimes people have formulated an image of God – more often from words than from stone – in order to scare people into respecting rules. But it ends up controlling communities in ways that not only go beyond that original intent, but become quite toxic. There is implicit recognition [Read More...]

Jesus’ Thinking and Theology

While they may have genuinely thought they were being skeptical and critical, from our later vantage point, it seems that those who felt that we cannot say anything about Jesus’ own statements and views, but only those of the later church, were rather giving expression to their reverence for Jesus as a figure who still [Read More...]

Rabbit God, Duck God

I’ll let this New Yorker cartoon speak for itself… [Read more...]


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