Process Theology and Creation Care: How Our Theology Impacts Our Environmental Policies

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Starting today, I’ll be at a conference at Pomona College called Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization, which will draw about 1,500 participants from around the world, including many from China. I got involved in it because, for my whole career as a pastor, I’ve been much influenced by the core subject matter of this event: [Read More...]

On the Pilgrim’s Journey: A Q&A with Christine Valters Paintner

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“Pilgrim:  Someone who makes an intentional journey courting holy disruption.” – Christine Valters Paintner One of my very favorite writers on the spiritual life is Christine Valters Paintner, an author, Benedictine Oblate, and Abbess of the online retreat center Abbey of the Arts. When one of her emails graces my inbox, I notice my pulse slowing, and I [Read More...]

Why Millennials Leave the Faith and How To Bring Us Back

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By Justino Valdez “I don’t believe millennials are hostile toward Christianity. I believe they just don’t quite understand it well enough.” Recently, the Pew Research Center released a study titled “America’s Changing Religious Landscape.” The study reported that America is changing — or more accurately, leaving — religious ways and organization. And while Christianity remains dominant as America’s [Read More...]

The Fruit of Soulful Love: Marvin Gaye, God and Us

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The late Marvin Gaye was my first proper crush. His chocolate buttery voice courted me. Like molasses, his lyrics seeped into my heart, mind, and soul. The “[p]leasant words” of his love songs to God were, and still are, “like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” (Proverbs 16:24*). When my ten-year-old [Read More...]

5 Things I Want My Youth To Know As They Graduate High School

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The end of a school year brings with it the whole gambit of emotions as those of us in youth ministry take the opportunity to reflect upon the journey of the past several months. It is in this time of reflection that we revisit the “highs” and “lows” of the year, give thanks for students [Read More...]

Michael Dowd: When Religion Fails, Economics Become Demonic

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For my fifth Pando Populus post, I’ve asked my good friend Michael Dowd to briefly highlight some of the ideas he will discuss during his 2p.m. Friday June 5 presentation on “The Sacred Side of Science: Evidence as Modern-Day Scripture, Ecology as Theology,” at the “Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization” conference (Section 4, [Read More...]

When Did ‘Just Showing Up’ Become Not Enough?

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As a kid I had a single bookshelf in my bedroom that served a two-fold purpose; the bottom shelves held books, while the top shelves housed a wide assortment of cheap, “golden” (yellow plastic) trophies. By the time I finished playing sports, there were easily fifteen or twenty trophies lining those shelves. The thing is though, [Read More...]

5 Big Reasons to Register for “Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization” before May 15

1. You can join the ever-so-awesome Brian McLaren and Tripp Fuller in Section VI, Track 8, “A New WAY for a New Day,” as they explore options for people who care about faith but are alienated from traditional institutions and doctrines. Tripp Fuller, self-described theo-nerd, is co-host of the famous Homebrewed Christianity podcasts. Brian McLaren [Read More...]

The Spiritual Dimensions of Climate Change: Seeking Environmental Harmony in China

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If you measure per person, Canada and the United States have long had the dubious distinction of leading the world in per capita climate-change-causing emissions. If you measure by country, however, China surpassed America as the world’s leading contributor to global warming in 2006.[i] By 2011, it was producing 10.6 billion metric tons of CO2e, [Read More...]

The Invisible Hand — of God

“When the happiness or misery of others depends in any respect upon our conduct, we dare not, as self-love might suggest to us, prefer the interest of one to the interest of many.”  Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Book 3, Sec. 1, Chapter 3. “(What) improves the circumstances of the greater part (of society) can [Read More...]

Happy Mother’s Day, Dad!

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By Dwight Wolter “Does it bother you” I ask my son, “that I won’t be able to come to your college to celebrate Mother’s Day with you?” “No, Dad. I have to study for two finals so it’s just as well.” It isn’t until I hang up the phone that I realize how strange our two sentence [Read More...]

What’s Going On: Resistance, Uprisings, and the Gospel According to Jesus and Marvin Gaye

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A beloved black sister shared that she could not get behind the protest slogan “Never Again” while law enforcement agents are continuing to kill unarmed black men and women. In her lament, I heard an echo of the brilliant and, dare I say it, prophetic song “What’s Going On” by the late Marvin Gaye. The [Read More...]


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