Jewish Superheroes: A look at an oppressed people

The Jewish people (in and outside of biblical record) were an oppressed people. If you put this in terms of highschool. They were the ‘nerds’ of the world. They were the essential outsider, the geeks who never got the girl. Their story (in the Torah, Gemara, Mishnah, Tanya and others) out of that oppression seems to be quite document in their literature. During their development as a people, one man stood apart in the eyes of their deity. He was chosen to be the progenitor, or the first Jewish Superhero of the race of this ‘holy nation’. [Read more...]

13 Things I Like About Protestant Christians

Over at the Pagan Portal, the very funny Starr Foster just posted a list of 13 things she likes about Protestants, from the Tudors on Showtime to tithing … [Read more...]

Illustrating the Divine

Lost in the never-ending debates about biblical inerrancy and infalibility is the recognition of the Bible’s worth as a great work of literature. Lost is the focus on how it has inspired countless translations and interpretations, both written and visual. One of the more recent examples of this is Sanjay Patel’s latest book, Ramayana: Divine Loophole, a visually stunning re-telling of one of the most famous sacred stories of all time. [Read more...]

Post-Denominational Christianity

With any luck the mainline church will be dead shortly. As a person who came to faith in the Non-denominational evangelical church and continued in faith in the Mainline Protestant/Liberal Theological tradition this is not an easy thing for me to say. But the truth is that across the board numbers are dropping… [Read more...]

Responding to the Oil Spill: A Spiritual Practice

I awoke this morning to the news that BP’s ‘top kill’ strategy has failed: “In the six weeks since the spill began, the company has failed in each attempt to stop the gusher, as estimates of how much is leaking grow more dire. It’s the worst spill in U.S. history — exceeding even the Exxon [Read More...]

Leaving the the gardens of our own making: a different view on the adam and eve story

desire longs for a less mediated reality. – anna smith Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. — David I have this old pair of shoes. The other day as it was pouring down with rain (as it does in England!) I found out the hard way [Read More...]

Memorial Day Meditation: Finding the Sacred in a Secular Holiday

“Regardless of our feelings about a particular war or military service in general, Memorial Day invites us to remember the sacrifices of others and the intricate interdependence of life. Our freedoms and lifestyle are not accidental, but the result of the sacrifices of others. None of us is self-made. We all need one another to achieve the most important things in life, whether in relationships, personal well-being, spiritual growth, and business success.” Bruce Epperly reflects on the spirituality of a secular holiday. [Read more...]

Creation is Dying – What Can We Do?

This week I have read several articles about the impact of the oil spill that is now hitting the Louisiana coast. Looking at some of these photos this morning filled me with despair and left me feeling helpless. But the impact of this catastrophe goes far beyond what is happening on the Gulf coast and the solutions we need should go far beyond the endeavours to still the flow and clean up the coastline. [Read more...]

Have Christians Sinned Against the Gospel?

The ancient Greek word for sin, hamartia, is an archery term that refers to missing the mark. It evokes an image of someone who tries to hit the bull’s eye, who has the intention of hitting it dead on, but who fails. As pure as our intentions may have been, what if our past interpretations [Read More...]

A Trinity-Shaped Life

I wonder if, on Trinity Sunday, many people feel like the sermon is answering a question they aren’t asking. (What does the Trinity have to do with my daily life?) And many preachers may think to themselves, “Here is another occasion when my job is to try to convince people that an abstract concept they never give much thought to is foundational to their lives.” A better approach is to paint the broad brushstrokes of the doctrine and ask, what’s at stake? So what? What’s at stake in claiming that there are three persons and one essence, not just God being called different things at different times? [Read more...]

James Bond at Blockbusters

In my book Novel Preaching I tell of having lunch with the chair of the English Department at SMU. C.W. Smith. Dr. Smith is the award winning author of several novels and short stories, most recently the novel Purple Hearts, a story set in a small Texas town during W.W. II. Dr. Smith commented to me, “The most difficult thing in teaching 18 year olds creative writing is getting them to notice what they see. The second thing is to get them to have the confidence that what they notice has some significance.” [Read more...]

Feast of the Lamb

I win most “my childhood was so fundamentalist’” debates. In these conversations I usually just have to bring up one name, and the latest round of “Crazy Christian upbringing” goes to me. That name is Jerry Falwell. For most mainline and progressive Christians the name itself is enough to bring weeping and gnashing of teeth. [Read More...]