When I was part-way through doctoral work that included conducting extensive field-based research in the world of human trafficking, I had a small crisis: What I was learning and discovering did not line up with what I believed going into the study. I had a few experiences previously that initially triggered me to reconsider the trafficking narrative I began with. The first one was while riding in a taxi down the streets of Mumbai when a colleague told me she was… Read more

I grew up in the United States, which means I grew up in an individualistic culture. Human cultures are oriented on certain frameworks, and one of them is a balance between collectivism (focusing on what’s good for the group) versus individualism (placing a higher value on the individual). This individualistic approach to seeing the world and one’s self becomes deeply ingrained within us, often going unnoticed until we see culture express itself in a different way. I was recently traveling… Read more

Franklin Graham, in his never-ending quest to define one of the largest religions in the world by minority extremists, is wondering why Bella Abzug is refusing to denounce “Islam’s treatment of women.” Yesterday he posted on Facebook in response to what I agree, is an outrageous proposal in Pakistan to allow wife-beating. The proposal was submitted by a leader of a Pakistani Islamic council, and while hardly indicative of Islam as a whole, it’s a disgusting proposal that the world should… Read more

I hear the claim, “Jesus wasn’t a pacifist!” a lot. But is it true? Was Jesus a pacifist, or not? What we know about Jesus comes to us from the four New Testament Gospel accounts, so that is where we must look for our answer—especially to those of us who would affirm the inspiration and authority of the Christian Scriptures. However, first the word pacifism: it’s a deceptive word, for sure. On the surface, many assume the word refers to… Read more

About 10 years ago, I met Trey Pearson at a concert where his band, Everyday Sunday, was touring with Skillet. All these years later, Trey has now sold hundreds of thousands of albums, had multiple number one singles, and toured all around the world as part of the Christian music scene. And today, Trey publicly came out as gay. In an interview with 614 magazine that releases today (you can find the full interview, here), Trey tells his story of slowly… Read more

If one follows the news they’d see that many major Christian denominations are split over LGBTQ inclusion. As I have followed these developments, one observation that has stood out in my mind is that the division over LGBTQ inclusion is a recent development, historically speaking. This means one thing: the movement to include and affirm our LGBTQ brothers and sisters in the church is growing. I believe we are seeing the early stages of what will be, within a generation, a seismic… Read more

In the world of trafficking, porn is just a low hanging fruit that becomes an easy scapegoat for the bigger issue at play—and is an easy scapegoat at that, because most people will never question whether or not it’s true. Read more

Before my 14 year old daughter left for school this morning she came out of her room and asked, “Do you think I’ll get dress coded for this?” My response to her was far different than I had once imagined it would be. I remember the old me saying things like, “If I have a daughter, she’ll never go out of the house wearing ____” (insert whatever I thought was immodest at the time). But that’s not how I see… Read more

Lately I’ve been thinking about life. A lot. I’ve also been thinking about the the line we tell people when they’re going through sad chapters in life: “Well, this is all part of God’s plan.” But is it, really? Is all this part of God’s plan? Looking back at the times people have said this to me in the midst of suffering, I find myself shaking my head that we’d believe such a thing. Not only does that line fail… Read more

It’s true– I’ve publicly and strongly disagreed with some well-known Christian leaders. It’s also true that some of them have very publicly disagreed with me. In those exchanges however, I will frequently find some voices on the internet posing this question: “Did you go and talk to them privately first as instructed by Matthew 18, before writing this?” It’s a fair question– and one worthy of its own post. Matthew 18 does in fact offer an appropriate method for holding individuals… Read more

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