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…]

Favorite Moments from the Goose: Snapshots from the Wild Goose Festival 2012

This Denver girl is a brand new fan of the South. Specifically the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area in North Carolina, home to the second annual Wild Goose Festival 2012, a raucous, grace-filled celebration of music, justice, spirituality and art. Last week, I joined hundreds of other progressive Christians of all stripes, sizes and colors for five [Read More…]

Don’t Let Them Hijack Jesus

It really gets old, doesn’t it?  Every election cycle, the story is the same.  This Christian says that Christian is not really a Christian.  And why is that? Is it because they differ on critical issues relating to the content of the Christian faith?  Is it because of doctrinal or ecclesial disputes?  No, the reason for [Read More…]

Selfless Service

You know the difference. You go to a clothing store and visit the shoe department. The sales person greets you warmly and asks how she can help you. She brings you the shoes you want to try on, patiently shuttling between your seat and the back storage room as you go through several pairs, none [Read More…]

How to Read the Bible: A Progressive Christian Guide

Here I offer a set of assumptions and suggestions for reading, understanding, and making creative spiritual use of the Bible. 1) The Christian Bible includes the Jewish Torah and prophetic and other scriptures, along with a selection of Christian texts, assembled in roughly its present form in the 4th century AD by the emerging Catholic [Read More…]