Tragedy in Tucson: An All-Too-Real Parable Unfolding

The tragedy in Tucson this week has brought us once again to the brink of asking all the right questions. What is it going to take for us to wake up to the truth that hateful and violent speech leads to hateful and violent actions? A parable has unfolded before our eyes this week. The question is whether will heed its message. [Read more...]

Demon-Possessed Politics

In the wake of yesterday’s tragic shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords no small number of commentators were quick to lay blame for the climate in which this kind of thing could happen at the doorstep of millions who differ with Ms. Giffords’s views. I find that troubling — not because I share those views — but because it points to a general decline in thoughtful, judicious political conversation. [Read more...]

God, The Holy Adventurer

On this first day of your holy adventure, we begin with the basics – our relationship with God, the Holy Adventurer. How you imagine the ultimate reality will shape what you expect from yourself and the world. What kind of world do we live in? Is God on our side or against us? Does God want us to have abundant life or does God want us to remain passive and subservient, living by scarcity? [Read more...]

Why Isn’t It Cool To Be A Christian?

Why is Christianity so un-cool? To be sure, there are dozens of reasons. Christianity has done a pathetic job of recasting a beautifully graceful image of God into the modern world. And let’s face it, Christianity has had an unhealthy relationship to power. [Read more...]

The Perversion of ‘Them’

Once we ask the ominous question “Who are they?” by inherent contradiction we are then led to the question “Who am I without a ‘They’?’ That question is laced with enough trepidation that it keeps the bravest of people out of the light and deeper into the dark.
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A New Year of Violence Against Christians

On January 1, 2011, the Dallas Morning News carried three different stories about attacks on Christian churches or Christians carried out by Muslim terrorists; one in Egypt, one in Iraq, and one in Afghanistan. These are not isolated incidents. Beyond individual and strictly local motivations these attacks on Christians have two things in common. [Read more...]

The Placebo Effect of Faith

For a long time, I and other progressive Christians have been saying that you can be a faithful Christian without believing that the Bible is literally true, that God is a supernatural being violating the processes of nature, or that our religion is superior to others. In the churches I have served, I have made this point of view explicit in my sermons. I have been surprised at how few people have objected. [Read more...]

Level With Me: A Christmas Eve Meditation

Haven’t you ever wondered “What was God thinking? To take such a terrible risk? To become that vulnerable baby? Alyce McKenzie delivers a Christmas message to the Bell Ringers with the Salvation Army in Arlington, TX; a message that is for all of us, too. [Read more...]

Is Jesus Just a Good Guy? Why The Incarnation Matters 2

“If Jesus is just a good guy, then the world has one more hero — but nothing more — and we are stuck with no way out. You can stack up martyrs like firewood (and many have), but the world will remain broken.” Spiritual Director & Episcopal Priest Fred Schmidt on “Why The Incarnation Matters…” [Read more...]

Why The Incarnation Matters 1

What does it mean for us that God chose to enter the world in flesh and blood — incarnate — through a poor baby in Bethlehem? We invited a dozen theobloggers to consider the question: “Why Does the Incarnation Matter?” And we asked them to do it in 100 words or less. [Read more...]

In the Bleak Midwinter: Advent Waiting

What a time of darkness in the world! Whether I am tracking politics, worlds conflicts, religious strife or life journeys with those l love, it is bleak and fraught and painful. And so we light the candle for Advent Four, the last one before the Christ candle is lit at Christmas. [Read more...]

Advent Practices: Considering our Earthiness

The story of Advent and Christmas is essentially about God becoming enfleshed in the earthiness of the world. God enters creation and blesses our embodied lives. We are called this fourth week to consider the element of earth as an invitation to greater intimacy with nature and to remember our own earthiness. Spiritual Director Christine Valters Paintner continues her series on Advent Practices tied into the elements of Creation. [Read more...]