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...]

Pakistan, Denying Them Answers, Job & God Overwhelmed

Pakistan is still reeling from the destruction of the floods. I have personal friends who are struggling through and offering their presence to these families. I think that’s the key, not offering them answers; answers can be destructive. Peace isn’t finding an answer to your problem, its knowing that you’re not alone. [Read more...]

Backward or Forward with God: A Response to Glenn Beck’s “Recovering Honor”

“Faithfulness to God today involves world loyalty and the willingness to sacrifice for the well-being of vulnerable persons and an equally vulnerable planet. Individual initiative, creativity, and freedom are important and essential to the good life, but they always exist in the context of caring for God by supporting the least of these and seeking to be God’s partners in healing the earth, economically, politically, and spiritually. The only gospel worth following is social, despite Beck’s revisionism: “let justice roll down like waters, righteousness like an everflowing stream.” (Amos 5:24)” Bruce Epperly on a different kind of Christian honor. [Read more...]

Counting the Cost: Lectionary Reflections on Luke 14:25-33

Says biblical scholar Earl Ellis, “Jesus’ purpose in telling these 2 parables is not to dissuade prospective disciples, but to awaken half hearted followers to the disastrous consequences of such a path”(195). They will be thrown out like worthless salt (Luke 14:18). [Read more...]

Religion, Politics and the Public Square

“I find good people of faith and conscience are reticent to speak up about controversial issues, whether in houses of worship or councils of government, because of the common misconception that expressing passionate views grounded in a religious or ethical belief system somehow violates the separation of religion and state.” Presbyterian minister and Director of the Marin Interfaith Council Carol Hovis appeals to people of faith to stand with Muslim Americans at this critical moment for all religions. [Read more...]

Ungrounding Ourselves into the Christ-Ethic

For Lacan, public law such as “No Photos” or “Do not go on the grass” implicitly attracts the subject of that law to commit the very thing it prohibits (exactly in the way that if we tell the child not to eat the freshly baked cakes, we are simultaneously pointing out the method with which [Read More...]

Is Morality Natural? Hitchens, God, and the Nature of Morality

Belief in God is not necessary for morality. But, I cannot disprove that an omniscient God created the universe in such a way that we would evolve oxytocin as the moral molecule. I have no way to test this so I must leave this in the “inconclusive” pile. Call it a matter of faith. [Read more...]

Guest of Honor? Lectionary Reflections for Aug. 29

Who was the guest of honor in the banquet Jesus attended? Who is the guest of honor in the banquets we attend? Who is the guest of honor in the banquets we are to host, a foretaste of the messianic banquet? Who is the guest of honor at the messianic banquet in the kingdom of God yet to come? [Read more...]

The Future Church: What does it mean to be an inclusive Church?

The condition of renewal means you cut your roots – Slavoj Zizek Once upon a time when we were peripatetic hunter-gatherers, all we knew was travel. Mobility was life. Life was mobility. We only took what we needed. We didn’t consume in excess. Then one day we discovered the art of farming and settling. This [Read More...]

Muslims, Ground Zero, Fear and Fairness

“I sympathize with all those who are afraid of Muslim terrorists. I do not join them in that fear–statistically speaking, Americans are as likely to die in their bathtubs as they are to be killed by terrorists–but I am cursed by empathy, the writer’s ability to see how other people think, live, and love. If I were a New Yorker, perhaps I would also be upset by the news that Sufi Muslims want to build a spiritual center in lower Manhattan, not far from the site of the World Trade Center attacks. Maybe. But I doubt it.” Guest blogger and Episcopal lay preacher Greg Garrett files a passionate response to the continuing debate over the proposed “Ground Zero Mosque.” [Read more...]