Ryan Bell’s Year Without God

We sat in the sunken courtyard of the United University Church at USC in Los Angeles yesterday, basking in the sun under a bough of carmine bougainvillea, noshing on a delicious lunch of kichari dosed with almond dressing served outdoors by our Good Karma Cafe. “Since giving up God, I enjoy things for themselves, in [Read More...]

Observing a Homespun Lent, Week 5: Beginning Again

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Beginning Again Well here I am. I am stuck in the middle. The middle of Lent. And I am waiting. And I am tired of it. And I am tired of thinking about it. And I am tired of writing about it. Lent schment. Is it Easter yet? Last week I tried to force Easter [Read More...]

Mimetic Monday: N.T. Wright and a Genuine Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theory

N.T. Wright, courtesy of the University of St. Andrews.

What is God like? What are humans like? When it comes to the Atonement, those two questions guide all of our other questions. They are the two implicit questions behind N.T. Wright’s comments about the Atonement in the video below. For example, Wright says: “Tragically, some Christians have said that on the cross God embraced [Read More...]

Stronger Together: Observing an Interfaith Lent

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By J. Dana Trent Author, Saffron Cross: The Unlikely Story of How a Christian Minister Married a Hindu Monk  Deep-Fried Faith Four years ago, I spent Shrove Tuesday eating my weight in sausage patties and golden pancakes. Then I became a vegetarian for Lent. My first vegetarian Ash Wednesday was met with nausea and a [Read More...]

The Cross, Part 4: The Views of Calvin, Arminius, and Aslan Described Somewhat Snarkily

Good-Friday-Cross-Wallpaper-300x225

One of the issues facing our understanding of the crucifixion event centers on who to blame for the wickedness on display.  One popular view is presented by people called “Calvinists” who tend to emphasize the sovereignty or power of God, and the depravity or wickedness of humanity.  Calvinists are followers of a famous 16th century reformer [Read More...]

If Jesus Gave a TED Talk (#4): Be Like Unto Katie

JesusTED-Katie

This is the fourth in a series of posts where I re-imagine Jesus’ five big sermons as TED Talks, in which he Educates people in God’s new Design for a world that runs on the Technology called love.  This post is an interpretive paraphrase of Matthew 18. ——————————————————————- I was recently asked: “In this new world God is building, who’s in charge?” To answer that, [Read More...]

A Gentle Fraying: Observing a Homespun Lent, Week 4

Window 3

Once upon a time I coveted a house and twenty acres. But it was no use. Both Jesus and I could see straight through the flimsy tissue-paper heart of my prayers. [Read more...]

The First Lie: Language’s Big Bang

The pillow that started it all!

“Once a person begins to desire what the model desires, he learns very quickly that disclosing the desire – naming it, speaking it – is the shortest route to making certain that he will never obtain the object. In this situation only dissimulation will succeed, and the best way to dissimulate is to say the [Read More...]

The Cross, Part 3: Was Job Right in Declaring God Unfair?

Good-Friday-Cross-Wallpaper-300x225

If Job was right in that he didn’t deserve all the horrible things that happened to him, then why did Job suffer? [Read more...]

Lent Is a Time to Follow the Highway to Zion

Janet High Res Photo

I became aware of my trust in God when I was thirteen, during an overnight with the daughter of our church’s minister. We weren’t in the same school, but that year her dad taught our confirmation class and we became friends. We had turned the lights out—her mother had asked us to—but, as usual, we [Read More...]

If Jesus Gave a TED Talk (#3): Jesus is Like a Crazy Farmer

TedTalkJesus

This is the third in a series of posts where I re-imagine Jesus’ five big sermons as TED Talks, in which he Educates people in God’s new Design for a world that runs on the Technology called love.  This post is an interpretive paraphrase of Matthew 13. ————————————— I often get asked:  Since parables are so easy to misunderstand, why do I use them so [Read More...]

A Gentle Fraying: Observing a Homespun Lent, Week 3

stiching bag edit

Mysteries and Mending Somewhere in the ancient, mystic trinity you get three as a magic number. -Three is a Magic Number, School House Rock I cannot explain the Trinity to my satisfaction. I try. I think I understand it, best as a finite human mind can, but I cannot explain it, out loud, in words. [Read More...]


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