Mystical and Missional: A Spirit-Inspired Pentecost

A recent Pew Center Report notes that 50 percent of mainstream Protestants claim to have had mystical or self-transcendent experiences. [Read more...]

Taking Flight at Wild Goose

The wild goose reminds us that the Spirit of God cannot be tamed. Perhaps the Celts understood that when we attempt to control the Spirit, the Spirit breaks free and finds a home in groups and individuals – the same individuals who have launched historic movements, ultimately transforming the face of history and Christianity. [Read more...]

Going Up? Reflections on Ascension Sunday

The idea that Jesus ascended to a God “up there” is just as strange as Harold Camping’s image of corpses flying up to the sky along with today’s believers. Some Christians still live in a three-story universe—heaven above, earth between, hell below—but few people believe, as one pastor stated, that if you get into a space ship and fly far enough, you’ll find a place called “heaven.”

So what are we to make of Jesus’ Ascension? Of course, it’s not out of the question that Jesus defied gravity, but is that the real point? Is the Ascension about gravity or spirituality, geography or vocation? [Read more...]

Why I Am In Jail

As I write this note, it is 12:30PM and I’m sitting comfortably in my office at the NC Council of Churches. At 3PM, though, I will be in the gallery at the NC Legislature, and by late this afternoon I may find myself in jail. [Read more...]

Why Churches Need Kids

On Friday night, after pizza and cookies, I sat in a youth room with about twenty teenagers and asked them to tell me about their church, the larger community, and their experience in worship. When I asked them to talk more specifically about worship, they listed complaints that I often hear from young people in mainline, protestant, adult-oriented, worship services. [Read more...]

A Post-Apocalypse Party: Or What To Do Now That the Rapture has been Postponed

What are we going to do today, and in the future, now that we have a future, at least for awhile? You might say a new world dawns with each new day! And each new day can be an epiphany, a day of rapture and delight. [Read more...]

Leave Me Behind

Engaging in the messy work of the Spirit’s redemption of our world, waiting for the day when it will be made right, living with God day by day in the beauty and the muck of this planet earth. I’d rather be left behind. [Read more...]

Losing Jesus Again

I seem to have lost my Jesus again. I’ve lost Jesus enough times in my faith journey, however, to trust that he’ll show up again, if and when it’s time. This does not preclude the un-nerving sense of a free-fall, of course. [Read more...]

Christian Couple Funds World’s First Interreligious University

An extraordinary moment for purporters of inter-religious education and dialogue occurred yesterday at the the Claremont School of Theology, a seminary of the United Methodist Church. A Methodist couple and long-time trustees of the school gave $50 million to establish Claremont Lincoln University, the nation’s first interreligious university. [Read more...]

Nadia Bolz-Weber: My Response to Sojourners

As I thought about what to say or do in response to Sojourners I felt confronted by a terrible ambiguity. The ambiguity is this: Sojourners has, in my assessment, done more than any other organization to call Evangelical Christians to the reality that a central part of following Jesus is a concern for the poor, a truth largely absent from much of American Evangelicalism. [Read more...]

Changing Minds & Widening Hearts: Presbyterians to Ordain Gays & Lesbians

Last night, the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area passed Amendment 10-A (205-56-3), making it the 87th Presbytery to vote in favor of finally replacing G-6.0106b with language that allows for the ordination of gays and lesbians. As many others were saying on Twitter and Facebook last night, I was proud to be a Presbyterian last night. Not that I’m embarrassed the rest of the time, but it was good to see us “catch up” to the other mainline denominations that have made more progress in this area than we have. [Read more...]

Swinging to Inclusion

Yesterday was a historic day in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Yes, the Presbyterian Church will let gays in, not because some Bishop said so, but because a MAJORITY of Presbyterians have voted, through a series of careful processes, that it shall be so. [Read more...]


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