Why Some Christians Are Universalists (Letting Go of Hell Series)

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Continuing the discussion on hell we started yesterday, I was asked to show the third option that exists beyond eternal conscious torment (the traditional hell), and annihilation. The third option that exists, of course, is universalism. Yes, there are Christian Universalists– and they’re not a new thing. Christian Universalists existed among the early church, contributed [Read More...]

Peace In The Middle East: Could Christians Be The Barrier?

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I appreciate the heart and intent of the pro-Israel movement; they’re simply trying to be faithful to the scriptures as they understand them. However, when our understanding of the scriptures causes us to reject the central mandates of peacemaking and enemy love taught by Jesus, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve misunderstood the scriptures. [Read more...]

Biggest Blogging Moments: The Untold Stories (#Patheos5Yrs)

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Fighting The Aerosmith Factor (using jaded to reform, not simply criticize)

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The other day my niece, Imani, looked at me and said: “Uncle Ben, your hair is turning white. You look like a little old man with earrings”, as she let out her classic giggle. While I’m only a few weeks shy of 38, it’s definitely true that I’ve got some gray going on. However, my [Read More...]

What Is The Gospel? (A Dialogue with Marcus Borg)

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Recently my Patheos colleague, Dr. Marcus Borg, wrote a piece entitled “What is the Gospel?“, which invited a much needed discussion in regards to the nature of the Gospel of Jesus.  The question of “why is the message of Jesus good news?” is perhaps one of the most worthy questions in theology to wrestle with, [Read More...]

Simple Life: why we need less stuff in our lives

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In February, I found myself spending time in the slums of Mumbai, India while on a research expedition for my dissertation on Human Trafficking in India. It had long been a dream of mine to spend time in the slums and make some friends. While many of my friends here in the west want to [Read More...]

Wrestling with God: (Why am I still convinced God hates me?)

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While I broke with fundamentalist religion somewhere around 2007, I still struggle. As any therapist will tell you, old mental habits take a long time to break. I’ve been reflecting on this lately during some sleepless hours, and have come to accept something: I still believe that God hates me. I don’t know why. Intellectually, [Read More...]

Learning How to Forgive God (when Jesus wrecks your life)

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Shane Claiborne once said: “Jesus wrecked my life”. Conversely, Ray Comfort tells people: “If you trust in God, he will never let you down.” As I look back at the last two years, Shane’s take on things pretty much sums up my life. I don’t know how it is that I’m not on in-patient status, [Read More...]

Why We Need to Stop Using the Term “Illegal Immigrant”

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As the Senate recently passed long awaited immigration overhaul and the bill now heads to the house, the long-standing national discourse on the issue of immigration will likely heat up again. As we participate in these discussions my hope is that we, especially Christians tasked with peacemaking and reconciling, will find ways to build bridges [Read More...]

Do you have Post Traumatic Church Syndrome?

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Do you suffer from church related trauma? This is a post for those who do, and those who don’t. Maybe the extent of your church trauma is having to sit through stuff like this: Or, maybe your church related trauma is a little more serious. When we were dating, one of the things my wife [Read More...]


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