Resisting Condemnation to Save America

Strange as it may seem, I believe that one bold new movie, a new interfaith festival and a soon to be published book by a young gay atheist point the way to a better future. [Read more…]

Learning Deeply

“Contemplative Pedagogy” – a high-falutin’ term, no?  In low-falutin’ language, it’s about using meditation to help people learn. I just spent a week learning about it (contemplatively) at a conference at Smith College in Massachusetts, held by the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.  The main speaker was Arthur Zajonc (pronounced Zi-ence), formerly professor of [Read More…]

An Entirely Different Critique of “Liberal” Christianity

In theological terms, we are tasked with affirming life in this moment of planetary exhaustion and pervasive social death. Ours are the works of resistance and restoration, of resurrection and reconciliation. [Read more…]

Fearfully, Wonderfully: The Olympics and the Hunger Games

It is 3pm on Friday, and I can’t wait to get home and watch the Hunger Games. I mean, the Olympics. It isn’t my fault. I never planned to spend my sabbatical reading teen lit books; and I certainly would not have intentionally finished Mockingjay just as the Olympics kicked off. Except that I would, and I [Read More…]

Pub Theology: Beer, Conversation, and God

A minister, an atheist, and a few other people walk into a bar… The minister says, “Drinking is against God’s will for your life.” The atheist responds: “He forgot to tell that to Jesus.” The others say, “This sounds like a great conversation – can we join?” And so it begins… Inspired by a church [Read More…]

Nadia Bolz-Weber: This is the God We’re Dealing With

Favorite Patheos blogger and Lutheran Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber recently spoke to 34,000 teenagers at the annual youth gathering of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) in New Orleans.  Her selection as a conference speaker had been widely contested (Nadia has a tendency to drop the F bomb and is heavily tatooed), but ultimately she [Read More…]

How Capitalism is Killing Liberal Christianity

By Colin Kerr, author and campus missionary Is liberal Christianity committing suicide? New York Times columnist Roth Douthat thinks so.  Yet by forecasting the inevitable demise of mainline churches that move in the direction of affirming women in church leadership and genuinely welcoming gays and lesbians, he provided a rare opportunity for some healthy soul-searching [Read More…]

Blinded by the Lite

Reflections on BRIGHT-SIDED – How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich (2009) In the 19th century, the legacy of Calvinism led to an epidemic of ill-defined emotional and physical ailments. Wretched sinners’ fear falling into the hands of an angry God drove the members of the rising middle class [Read More…]

The Myth of Redemptive Violence

I had a veteran friend once tell me, “The biggest lie I have ever been told is that violence is evil, except in war.”  He went on, “My government told me that.  My Church told me that.  My family told me that… I came back from war and told them the truth – ‘Violence is [Read More…]

The Uncertainty-Driven Life

The Uncertainty-Driven Life Wandering, I stumbled upon my purpose, Adrift, I made port, Unbidden, love arrived, Asleep, I learned my lesson, In silence, notes danced across my score, Dreaming, my problems solved themselves. 4th of July Insistently a dot spirals upwards, Penetrating light into the dark. Spent, it booms into a bright bloom of popping [Read More…]

Listening for the Light

(after worshipping last Sunday at Willistown Friends Meeting, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania) A big stone house on a country road, Keeping silence since 1798, Filled with Friends on First Day morning. Some took places on pews Where their great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers Once sat in the heavy summer air Letting the rasping of cicadas in the trees [Read More…]

Brian McLaren’s Message to the Church on the Fourth of July

As part of our conversation on the new book Reborn on the Fourth of July: The Challenge of Faith, Patriotism and Conscience by Logan Mehl-Laituri, we invited several prominent Christian thought-leaders to offer a message to the church on the Fourth of July.  They considered: how should our faith inform our patriotism? Here, author and emerging [Read More…]