I am a man

For Now, Young Black Males Matter…Until the Cameras Go Off

What most people don't understand about poor Black males on inner-city streets:Interesting how the story in Ferguson is shifting to talk about all of the young Black males showing up to protest on the streets day and night. I can tell you now, they will not stay off the streets tonight. But it's not just because they are angry and tired of mistreatment by police. It's because they are tired of being ignored.Because of this tragic shooting the media has shown up and cameras are rolling. … [Read More...]

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Jesus Died With His Hands Up, Too

Michael Brown should not have been shot dead by police in Ferguson, Missouri.  His hands were up.  He was unarmed.  It doesn't make any difference whether or not he had stolen earlier something that day.  If he had committed such a crime, he should have been given appropriate justice, not a volley of bullets.  At the time he was shot, there was simply no excuse for what happened to him.Somebody else had his life stolen from him, too:  a man named Jesus, killed for no good reason. … [Read More...]

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Stump a Bible Scholar: Is Jesus God?

Think you can stump a scholar? No question is too tough or too radical (this IS the Bible after all -- a tough, radical book) for our new Stump a Scholar series at Patheos Progressive Christian. Every week, we'll answer your questions about the Bible, Christian history, the Church, theology; and we're bringing in the experts to tackle your questions.This month, we're focusing on the Bible and have invited Jerry L. Sumney, professor of biblical studies at Lexington Theological Seminary, to be … [Read More...]

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PostChristian: Christian Piatt on the Church and the Future of Faith

"There is no question that Christianity as a religion has been in need of a refining fire for some time, and it's not surprising that the idea is met with some fear and self-preserving instinct. But if we truly trust that it is a fire of perfection and not consumption, what do we have to fear? " -- Christian Piatt, author, PostChristian: What's Left, Can We Fix It, Do We Care? One of the many things I love about Christian Piatt's new book, PostChristian, is that is has heart. This isn't a … [Read More...]

Coffee Hour: America’s True Religion

(Here's one from the vault!  from 1984... it ran in CoEvolution/Whole Earth Review, which was a journal of countercultural thought and technology produced by Stewart Brand and the folks at the Whole Earth Catalog.  Shortly after my article appeared, I went to worship at a Gnostic church in Palo A … [Read More...]

Why I Don’t Care if You Use Prayer Beads

I don’t care if you use prayer beads.I know that seems strange to say. After all, I’m the woman who is passionate about them. I’ve collected them for almost 25 years. I’ve built a living out of writing and teaching and speaking about prayer beads. I love praying with them and think they make a gr … [Read More...]

Practical Theology: Love-Fest

We got the authors of three recent books of practical theology together and asked them to bang their ideas around to see what interesting overlaps and contrasts emerged. Andrew Root of Luther Seminary recently wrote Christopraxis: A Practical Theology of the Cross. Mark Van Steenwyk, founder of the … [Read More...]

How to End Poverty? A Spiritual Question

 “Bread for me is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one," wrote Nikolai Berdyaev, a 19th-20th c. Russian philosopher and theologian.  Is there a more important spiritual question than this one?  Today may be a particularly good time to ask it in America. I took a recent USC g … [Read More...]

Practical Theology: What We Would Steal

We got the authors of three recent books of practical theology together and asked them to bang their ideas around to see what interesting overlaps and contrasts emerged. Andrew Root of Luther Seminary recently wrote Christopraxis: A Practical Theology of the Cross. Mark Van Steenwyk, founder of the … [Read More...]

Religious Faith and the Crisis at Our Border

Rev. Robert Jeffress, Pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas told Fox News recently that he thinks that the most compassionate thing we could do is secure the border. He thinks Jesus would build a fence around the border to keep all these children from coming in. He said, "If you’re a homeowner w … [Read More...]

Prayer Beads: Yes, It’s OK for Protestants

“Is it okay for Protestants to use prayer beads?”In the five years I’ve been writing and teaching about prayer beads, this is, by far, the number one question I hear.The subtext of the question seems to be, “Are we going to get struck by lightning if we use beads in prayer?” There is fear, or … [Read More...]

Practical Theology: The Buried Mystericism of Childhood

We got the authors of three recent books of practical theology together and asked them to bang their ideas around to see what interesting overlaps and contrasts emerged. Andrew Root of Luther Seminary recently wrote Christopraxis: A Practical Theology of the Cross. Mark Van Steenwyk, founder of the … [Read More...]

Practical Theology: Seeing the Flaws

We got the authors of three recent books of practical theology together and asked them to bang their ideas around to see what interesting overlaps and contrasts emerged. Andrew Root of Luther Seminary recently wrote Christopraxis: A Practical Theology of the Cross. Mark Van Steenwyk, founder of the … [Read More...]

When the Battle Is Hard: On Restoration and Renewal of Faith

By Lisa AndersonOn June 23, 2014, 79-year-old retired United Methodist pastor, the Rev. Charles Moore, set himself on fire in a shopping mall parking lot. Distraught and dispirited by the persistent and intractable nature of the racism, poverty and homophobia he had been battling against his … [Read More...]


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