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“As-salamu alaykum, What’s up, Bro?” — The Many Graces of Allah

I have been in many mosques, including four of the most “amazing mosques from around the world.” Then there’s the retired imperial mosque of Hagia Sophiain Istanbul -- which made a decent Christian basilica, or so I’m told -- wherein I once ‘stowed away’ after hours and spent part of an evening by myself marveling under its magnificent Byzantine domes. On several occasions, I have been awoken from slumber by the morning cry of the muezzin atop minarets in such exotic locales as Petra and Ephesus. … [Read More...]

All Together © Tucker Nichols 2014

Pando Populus: When Words Aren’t Enough to Save the Planet

As promised in my first Pando Populus post, over the next few weeks I’ll highlight some of the incredible people involved in our June 4-7 global conference for the planet: Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization. For this post, however, words are not enough.That’s because today I’m introducing you to John Bielenberg and Tucker Nichols.One of the leaders in the “Design for Good” movement, John Bielenberg sees design in terms of how it impacts the world. He has always felt … [Read More...]

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Genesis: The First Messy, Tangled Act in God’s Long Story of Becoming Humane

For the last couple of months, I've been studying the book of Genesis with a group of very bright young University of Southern California (USC) students. I'm the adviser for our "Church of the Broken Bread" progressive Christian student fellowship here. Our weekly gatherings are simple. First, each of us takes a piece and says their piece around the circle: you tear off a piece of communion bread, dip it in grape juice, eat it, and then say what's on your heart and mind. Then we read the Bible … [Read More...]

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#Whoselivesmatter and #racism, Matthew and Luke, You and Me

by Brandon GilvinIn August of 2014, not long after Mike Brown was shot in Ferguson, MO, and much of that town erupted in protest, I noticed a clear division among my social media contacts. It wasn’t so much a “Pro-Brown/Pro-Wilson” divide, though I did see the debate manifesting in that way. What I was finally able to articulate was this:“Two deep divisions I’m noticing in conversations on Ferguson, MO: disagreement on whether the criminal justice system is truly, consistently just, and a … [Read More...]

Pando Populus: New Paradigms for Saving the Earth

Modern applied science and our current economic systems have failed us. They are responsible for the environmental crisis that is putting our future and that of our fragile, interconnected biosphere at risk. Equally, the world’s religious leaders have also failed us with their all-too-quick a … [Read More...]

“I, Too, Sing America”: On Walter Scott and Racial Wounds in America

Recently, I talked to a young African American man, Andrew Roby, about the prevalence of racism in America. I argued that America needed to heal its racial wounds before it could move forward and reconcile its past with its present, to which he responded: “How can America’s racial wounds be healed if … [Read More...]

Resurrection for the Rest of Us

By John HolbertI was not raised in the church—no Sunday School, no youth camps, no sermons, no Easter trumpeting. Yet, I went to seminary anyway. I will not tell you just why in detail, but it was 1968, and some will remember a very long and terrible war that was raging then, and for us liberal a … [Read More...]

Easter is About Seeing Those at the Margins

For many Christians, Easter is a high holy holiday—it’s the religious bedrock that not only anchors them in their faith, but it also shapes and governs their view of the world.I’m one of them.My passion for Easter is like that of author and Christian C.S. Lewis. In his 1945 essay “Is Theolog … [Read More...]

Holy Week in an Unholy World

"God understands our pain. That is good theology for Good Friday. And that kind of theology only happens when we connect the Bible to the world we live in. It happens when worship and activism meet. We don’t have to choose between faith and action. In fact we cannot have one without the other." We c … [Read More...]

A Whisper and a Crash: Blindsided by God in a White Pickup Truck

By Bonnie HalfordIt was the morning of Good Friday, 1995. I was driving towards downtown Mill Valley, coming up to a 4-way stop that I have passed through hundreds of times. My mind was elsewhere. I had been laid off from IBM several months before, and had gone through most of my severance. My … [Read More...]

Stale Crackers and Fruit Juice: The Battle over the Body and Blood of Christ

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth and final in a weekly Lenten series on the body and blood of Christ by Church History Professor Kelly Pigott.Even though the Reformation became an era when people were killing each other over, among other things, Eucharistic theology, at least the reformers made i … [Read More...]

Did God Kill Jesus? Tony Jones on the Crucifixion, Love, and Resurrection

"The way we view the crucifixion of Jesus and the posture of God when that happened affects everything we think about God. It affects how we pray, how we worship, even how we raise our children. We can’t afford to get it wrong." -- Tony Jones, author of Did God Kill Jesus? Tony Jones, popular t … [Read More...]

Easter and the Imperfect Jesus (What We Gain and Lose in the Deification of Jesus)

 "Because of Easter and consequently Jesus’ exalted divine status, we are left in the Gospels with the best of Jesus’ humanity, but we lose the worst of his humanity. And yet there are strands of a fallible, imperfect Jesus that remarkably did not get completely edited/redacted out." Every … [Read More...]

Connecting the Q in LGBTQ to the Bible’s ‘Q’ Source

Several times over the past few weeks, people have asked me, "What does the 'Q' in LGBTQ stand for?" One of them, oddly enough, segued into asking, "What is the 'Q' source in biblical studies?" I am by no means an expert, but this is how I understand things.The answer to each question is rou … [Read More...]


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