So, you’re a good guy with a gun. I get it. I’ve seen the bumper sticker, heard the slogan a million times, and I even used to be one of you. I’m retired military, was an expert marksman, and was even awarded the Bronze Schützenschnur by the German army. I was a bonafide good guy with a gun for most of my adult life thus far. But even in my most pro-gun days, the entire American motif of a good guy… Read more

I don’t endorse political candidates, and this piece is not an endorsement. However, as someone fascinated by culture (in less than 6 weeks I will *finally* be a Doctor of Intercultural Studies!), I can’t help but comment on the phenomenon of Bernie Sanders in American culture. Some people love him, and others appear outright frightened by his ideas. I think what most interests me however, is the misconception that Bernie Sanders and his ideas are somehow radical or extreme. Perhaps they were… Read more

Perhaps you’ve seen it in your newsfeed this year or in a year past. Regardless of who published it, the article is likely to have a shocking headline similar to: “Super Bowl is Largest Human Trafficking Event”, or something to that effect. However, that claim is completely untrue. During my last 4 years of doctoral research, I’ve split my time between studying a theology of shalom, social movement theory, and human trafficking in the United States– topics I blended together in my… Read more

For me growing up, hell was the center of gravity and perhaps my biggest motivation for the 872 times I asked Jesus into my heart. I was petrified of going to hell, and who wouldn’t be? All those bonfire camp services that invited us to look into the flames and imagine being sent to a place of fire to be tormented forever? Every time I sat in one of those services I wondered if I had really asked Jesus into… Read more

Every few years around election cycle the same discussions repeat themselves over and over again. While there are a few issues here and there that crop up because of new gaps in culture, the bulk of the issues debated are quite predictable. One of those issues is “big government.” One side of the political spectrum will typically advocate for social programs, while the other side will object and call that “big government.” On one hand, the idea of small government… Read more

A common question I’ve received over the years is, “I’ve left fundamentalism, but how do I re-program my kids? How do I raise them differently than how I was raised?” It’s a good question. For those of us who have moved beyond Christian fundamentalism but still desire to raise our children as Christians, we need to make some adjustments in how we raise our children in the faith. Thus, here’s my advice on raising kids when everyone is becoming Formerly Fundie:… Read more

(What Franklin Graham is Wrong About Today, Vol 3) Sometimes I see a comment or hear a clip of Franklin Graham, and while I typically disagree, many times they are dismissible comments that allow one to roll their eyes and move on. But then there are times where his comments are so damaging, so destructive, so heartbreaking, that they cannot be ignored by anyone with half a conscience. Such is the case with comments that were aired recently on the radio program of Dr. James… Read more

Every election cycle I find myself shocked at some of the core beliefs and suggested policies that are pushed forward by candidates who claim to be “pro-life.” At this point I probably shouldn’t be, but it is hard for me to let go of the hope that pro-life might actually mean “pro-life” one day. Perhaps one of the more heinous anti-life ideologies being floated this cycle is the blanket, mass deportation of undocumented immigrants. It’s not enough to build a giant… Read more

As one who teaches that Christians are under Christ’s command to love their enemies and refrain from violence against them (Luke 6:27-36, Matthew 5:38-48), I have heard every counter-argument in the book. The paradigm of nonviolent enemy love does not align with with the type of Christianity many of us are born into, and out of that tension we’re often forced to try to explain away what Jesus taught on the matter. It is impossible to justify violence against enemies… Read more

As a student of culture, I’ve seen politicians complain about a lot of things– especially during the Obama presidency. Never before have I seen someone get blamed for so many things. Gas prices are too high. Now gas prices are too low. Executive orders which were celebrated under Bush are all of a sudden “illegal” and “unconstitutional.” I’m almost surprised that Obama doesn’t get blamed for the weather– but who knows, maybe that’s happened and I didn’t hear about it…. Read more

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