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Covering Worship: Special LP Deluxe Edition

The sample size might be too small for statistical validity, but I’ll go ahead and offer a data-influenced hypothesis nevertheless.Concept albums are on the rise.Or perhaps we should call them “cover” concept albums, since most of the ones I’m thinking of are a concept, but they are also “covering” an album from the past.Here are the ones I’m listening to right now. You might have heard others. The Bad Plus recently put out a jazz rendition of Stravinsky’s Rites of Spring. It’s kind o … [Read More...]


A Seminary Invites Silicon Valley to Play: The Launch of a New Center for Innovation in Ministry at SFTS

I've just recently returned from an exceptionally joyful jaunt to the San Francisco Bay Area, where I learned first-hand the transformative power of play for solving real-world problems such as hunger, violence, racism, and climate change.Late last week, on a beautiful fall day in the sleepy hills of Marin County, the San Franciso Theological Seminary (SFTS) launched its new Center for the Innovation in Ministry with an extraordinary event that brought together Silicon valley gamers and i … [Read More...]


Two Visions, One Book — That’s Just the Way It Is

Biblical scholar John Dominic Crossan argues in his book, God and Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then and Now, that in the biblical tradition, both Old and New Testaments, two incompatible and contradictory explanations of God’s final victory over the evil and injustice of the world run side by side, often in the same biblical books. One explanation is extermination. It is reflected in the Noachic solution to evil in the world, namely, the complete destruction of the wicked. Crossan writes, In t … [Read More...]


Invite a Corporation to Church

The Supreme Court has declared corporations to be people, according to its Citizens United decision. And, likewise, in its Hobby Lobby decision, it decided that a company can be exempted from obeying laws that contradict his/her personal religious beliefs.This opens up an exciting opportunity for Christian evangelism! If we are serious about spreading the gospel to everyone, we should invite corporations to church.To this end, let October 19, 2014, be INVITE-A-CORPORATION-TO-CHURCH … [Read More...]

Lucinda Williams: Our Greatest Living Preacher

Anticipation of Lucinda William’s new album has been growing for months. First there were blogs about it. Hints in the news. Then I heard about twenty minutes of it a few weeks back because NPR First Listen posted the whole two-disc set. I didn’t listen to the whole thing, because frankly, it’s a lon … [Read More...]

Francis of Assisi: God’s Holy Fool

by Susan R. PitchfordI lost my heart to Francis of Assisi for the same reason I lost it to Jesus: I’m a sucker for the combination of holiness and charm. It’s been said that Francis followed in the footsteps of Christ as closely as anyone ever has. And of all the saints, Francis is one of the mos … [Read More...]

Stump a Bible Scholar: Was Jesus Perfect?

It's Tuesday and that means it's time for another question and answer session in our Stump a Scholar series here at Patheos Progressive Christian. No question is too tough or too radical for our experts! This month, we’re answering your questions about the Bible with resident expert Professor Jerry … [Read More...]

Mark Driscoll and the Amazing Technicolor Evangelical Funhouse Mirror Sexual Worldview (Swedish Batteries Not Included)

Perhaps the recent tsunami wave of “Mark Driscoll Penis House” headlines has finally subsided to the point where one can write on the subject of the American Christian sexual worldview for a reason other than to gain an easy 10,000 views—and perhaps with a little substance in mind.Once Discr … [Read More...]

Incarceration or Redemption?

The weekend of Oct 3-5 is a time for congregations all over America to reflect in worship on the issue of mass incarceration:  for resources, see Justice Not Jails.Today, over 2,000,000 Americans are in jail or in prison.  We've got 5% of the world's population, but 25% of its prisoners.  More bl … [Read More...]

Preventing Suicide is Possible: A Q&A with Author Karen Mason

Throughout the developed world, self-harm is now the leading cause of death for people age fifteen to forty-nine, surpassing all cancers and heart disease. Even as you're reading this post, there will be one U.S. suicide every 16 minutes. And while these and other sobering statistics on s … [Read More...]

Stump a Bible Scholar: Wrestling with Zoroastrianism Influences

Tuesday is Stump a Scholar Day here at Patheos Progressive Christian — and no question is too tough or too radical for our experts! This month, we’re answering your questions about the Bible with resident expert Professor Jerry Sumney. Dr. Sumney is professor of biblical studies at Lexington Theolog … [Read More...]

Can You Handle the Truth? On Galileo, Biblical Inerrancy, and the Courage to Question

A wonderful thing happened some four hundred years ago. Renaissance man Galileo Galilei thought to himself, “I wonder what the stars would look like through my telescope?” And so, he took an instrument that most in Europe had viewed as a toy, and he pointed it toward the heavens. The viewed startled … [Read More...]

Is Scripture an OS?

Two books I’ve read recently have me thinking about Scripture as an operating system. All metaphors break-down at some point, so stretch this one as you will, but I find it helpful.The first work is out of Baylor University Press (a university press, by the way, that regularly publishes w … [Read More...]

Leading in Changing Times: A Q&A with Pastor Michael W. Foss

"The biggest challenge churches have is casting a vision for ministry that is compelling. And by compelling I mean one that can create enough energy and hope to overcome our addiction to the past." -- Rev. Michael W. Foss, author, Reviving the Congregation This month at the Patheos Book Club, we're … [Read More...]