Hip-Hop as Theological Exploration

"If it weren’t for hip-hop, I wouldn’t be in the church, period. What I later heard from some great pastors, I first heard from some dope emcees and gifted songwriters whose songs are described by church folk as “indecent” and “improper” and “unorthodox”. They are, and I thank God for them, because those were my burning bushes." -- Julian DeShazier, Senior Pastor, University Church in Chicago Over the next 12 months, the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) is spotlighting 12 leaders, their s … [Read More...]

GOD: The First Artist

The first words of the first book of the Bible are, “In the beginning, God created…” God’s first act was to create. He created many wonders: heaven, earth, light, night, and all creatures that roam earth and sky ~ but that wasn’t enough creating ~ so God created humankind. And the first thing that God said after creating humankind was, “Be fruitful and multiply.” So God wanted those that he created to go and create! Ours is a creative God, and we are a very creative people.But we need to be v … [Read More...]

The Rev. William Barber, NAACP President, Removed from Plane in D.C.

News has been circulating of a troubling incident last Saturday evening in which the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President of North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP and architect of the nationally acclaimed Moral Monday Movement, was removed from a plane at the Washington, DC airport after an encounter with another passenger. The Rev. Barber recently released this statement about the event: Statement On Airline’s Decision to Remove Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II from Plane Last Night D … [Read More...]

Tax Day Spirituality

Today is tax day and the IRS wants our money. Many of us would “give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s” (Luke 20:25) if we only had it to give. Maybe we can spin straw into gold like what happens in the tale of Rumplestiltskin. Do you remember? The king shuts a young woman in a tower with a pile of straw and demands she transform it into gold, which she does with the help of a creepy creature named Rumpelstilskin.A similar thing happens with alchemy. Practitioners of the ancient art of alchemy … [Read More...]

Women’s Faith and Power

By Harriett Jane OlsonI meet empowered and empowering women every day. Women who are learning and teaching the skills to improve their own lives, the lives of their families and the lives of people all around them. Women who find themselves by standing up for others. Women who offer leadership … [Read More...]

Impending Trump Visit Creates Clear & Present Danger

Donald Trump has been invited to Patchogue, Long Island, on Thursday, April 14th, for a “fundraiser reception” sponsored by The Suffolk County Republican Committee at the Emporium nightclub, which is the site of numerous previously reported acts of violence, including a performer, “Stew Deez”, who wa … [Read More...]

The Power Of Bluegrass Music In Coping with the Death of 29 Coal Miners

Donald Blankenship, owner of Massey Energy Company and one of the wealthiest men in Appalachia, was convicted yesterday of conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards in the case of an explosion that killed 29 miners. He conspired to force employees to ignore safety standards that threatened … [Read More...]

Trump “Outs” Anti-Abortion Hypocrisy

The people who want to make abortion illegal have just been "outed" for a profound inconsistency. Donald Trump, shooting from the hip, suggested that since abortion is murder, women who have abortions should be punished accordingly. The outcry from conservative culture warriors was immediate. Almost … [Read More...]

Building the New City: Church-Planting for Social and Environmental Justice

By Tyler Sit, Church planter of New City Church Over the next 12 months, the Forum for Theological Education is spotlighting 12 leaders, their stories, and how their passion and call to shape a more hopeful future through Christian ministry guides the impact they are making in their communities, … [Read More...]

Trump: The Time for “No” Is Now

On Monday, March 21, students at Emory University in Atlanta found “Trump 2016” and similar campaign messages written in chalk on the sidewalk. A group of students organized a protest, and went to the university president to express their feelings of fear and intimidation.It is silly to protest t … [Read More...]

Disciples of Fear: Is It Easier to Believe in Crucifixions?

We currently live in a world where countless books have been written and read by countless believers about “declared dead on the operating table” or similar experiences with predictable tales of a white light at the end of a tunnel and angels telling the newly dead, “It is not your time yet… Go back! … [Read More...]

Patheos 10+1: A Q&A with Activist-Minister Amanda Henderson

The Rev. Amanda Henderson was up at the crack of dawn on a cold Tuesday morning earlier this month, her white cleric collar showing from under her winter jacket. She stood with a small group of other clergy on a gritty downtown street corner on the morning the "sweep" was to begin. Over the past we … [Read More...]

7 Ways to Make World Water Day Your First Step to a Better World

By Faiths for Safe WaterWater, our shared symbol, is a most fitting place for people of all faiths and moral courage to unite and lead. Here are 7 steps that will make a difference, near and far:Step 1: Remember this acronym:  WASH.  WASH is WAter/Sanitation/Hygiene. Access to WASH is the so … [Read More...]

Practicing Mindfulness This Passion Week

(This was the sermon I preached on Palm Sunday at First Congregational Church, Long Beach CA.)Today we take a donkey ride into Jerusalem with Jesus.  We’re bumping along the rocky road into Passion Week, with a rabble roused by Rabbi Jesus cheering us on.  Life’s going to deal with death, and dea … [Read More...]


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