Watermelon Rugby with the Shrewd Manager: Lectionary Reflection on Luke 16:1-13

When I was a youth pastor we used to play a game called “Watermelon Rugby.” You rubbed crisco over a watermelon and played touch football with it. You never caught it. You just grabbed at it while it slipped out of your grasp. That’s how I feel about this parable from Luke’s Gospel. [Read more...]

The Misplaced Value on A Church in Gainesville

“When the dust clears on the Qur’an burning controversy, neither the threat, nor the response, will have had as much effect on God’s people as those who have quietly preached and lived love without ever turning on their televisions.” Guest blogger Robert Hunt on the dangerous – and ultimately useless – power of the media to shape public religious dialogue. [Read more...]

Deconstituting Jesus, Christianity, & Burning the Koran

I think where we are now in terms of asking very hard questions and participating in such liberating events like Big Tent Christianity, is the part of this much needed psychotic break happening within the Church. We are beginning to break away from the vulgar act of exclusion and are participating in a new way of loving our neighbour. We are participating in a divine act when we love the other. [Read more...]

On Burning Another Faith’s Holy Book

“Theologically speaking, Pastor Terry Jones’ threat to burn copies of the Qur’an goes against the heart of Christian faith. The faith of Jesus welcomes rather than excludes. The author of John’s gospel proclaims that God’s light – the true light embodied in Jesus Christ – enlightens all creation and all human beings. (John 1:1-5, 9)” Theology Prof Bruce Epperly reflects on the call of the Gospel related to the proposed holy book-burning this weekend.
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A Nonviolent Protest: Read from the Qur’an this Sunday

My commitment to religious freedom means that I support the right of a pastor in Florida to burn Qur’ans.  But I strongly disagree with the wisdom of his proposed actions.  As Gandhi taught, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” Case in point, the AP reported this morning that, “Hundreds of angry [Read More...]

Nine Years After 9/11 – A Choice Between Hate and Love

“The anniversary of 9/11 would be sufficient reason for reflection; in my faith tradition we live by a liturgical calendar on which we mark feast days and remembrances of those who have come before and shaped the way we live and believe. But with all these political and geo-political events (and others) that seem to be linked to 9/11 in the news, it’s an especially meaningful anniversary, and a time to consider the political and spiritual arenas and see what we might learn.” Episcopal lay minister Greg Garrett offers this thoughtful reflection as we approach the anniversary of 9/11. [Read more...]

Sharing Favorite Scriptures, Interfaith-Style

One of our group bloggers, Jason Derr, recently emailed me a news release about the launch of an interfaith partnership for action and justice work called FaithsUnited. I was so moved by the initiative, and especially by the opening program called the Scripture Exchange Program, I thought it worth sharing here. [Read more...]

Tony, Tony, Turn Around: Reflections on Luke 5:1-10

Chapter fifteen is the heart of Luke’s Gospel. With its three parables of Lost and Found, sheep, coin, and sons in which Jesus uses images for God that are offensive: a shepherd, a woman and a Father who has no pride. Several of Luke’s parables emphasize repentance as a dramatic redirection of a main character’s mind and purpose: The Prodigal Son, The Rich Fool, the Rich man and Lazarus. This parable on the other hand… well, how does a lost coin or a lost sheep repent? [Read more...]

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When Rockstars Deny the Foundation of Religion

To David, there is power in the uknowning. In the unraveling. In the dismantling journey towards unbelief. Where unbelief is true belief. David takes it too far. By focusing outside the temple and outside of the mountain, the very foundation of the temple, David is basically condemning these things as useless. Much like Jesus did when he spoke to the institutional representatives and told them they were dead inside. David is challenging us to see that the foundation of the institutions are the issue. [Read more...]

CS Lewis and Big Tent Christianity: Church and Faith Formation as Intentional Community

Modern Christianity was a faith marked as much by conflict and issues of control/dominance as it was of revolution and reformation. While early Christianity was not with out its own issues it was dominated, mainly, by monolithic structures in it’s regional Catholic or Orthodox forms. Reformation Christianity was represented by argument and doctrinal dispute and [Read More...]

Inner Monks Unite: A Monk Manifesto

All of you “inner monks” dressed in Protestant clothing, here’s an invitation for you. One of my favorite bloggers and spiritual directors, Christine Valters Paintner, has posted a “Monk Manifesto” at her site, Abbey of the Arts. I share her invitation with those of you seeking an intentional way of living contemplatively in the world. She’s also offering a free e-course called Monk in the World. [Read more...]

Why Big Tent Christianity?

“Brian McLaren and I are organizing a major public conference on September 8-9 in Raleigh, North Carolina in order to make the call for a return to “Big Tent Christianity” (seeBigTentChristianity.com). Why is this call important?” Theology Professor Philip Clayton offers a background and vision for this new movement. [Read more...]