Wow, not long ago I wrote on Why I’m Not Watching the Super Bowl. Today, the NFL finally admitted the link between football and CTE: Read this and ask yourself whether you would knowingly let your son play football: Dr. Ann McKee, a neuropathologist at Boston University, said this about the relationship between football and CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy): “I unequivocally think there’s a link between playing football and CTE. We’ve seen it in 90 out of 94 NFL players whose brains we’ve… Read more

The Seahawks Aren’t Playing. Okay, I like my Hawks, though even here, the reality of money, violence and the cynicism of the League are beginning to dim my loyalty to this team. Nonetheless, Pete Carroll’s sheer will to transform any negative into a positive is stunning. The Chris Borland Story. Read it and it will sober you too. Borland, a former Forty-Niner linebacker, is a physical and athletic specimen and watching him play was like watching Spiderman spring on people, breathtaking…. Read more

I’ve been thinking about this concept of bliss my whole life. What would it be like to be consciously filled with bliss? I had moments of this when I was young, sitting around my family table with my parents and four siblings. I was the youngest and I remember that they would take turns making me laugh, and often I would find myself so caught up that I couldn’t stop laughing, and everyone would join in. And I remember that… Read more

First, three confessions: 1. Elizabeth was my graduate student in the MA Comparative Religion Program at the University of Washington. I promised to read and review her book. I was worried, “Maybe I wouldn’t like it?” Well, NO WORRIES, this is a great book that parents of youth, whether girl or boy, should definitely read! 2. I am the father of two grown daughters, I worried I’d find out that I had done something wrong in talking with my daughters… Read more

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on the Future of Progressive Christianity in America. Read other perspective here. Since writing my book on Evangelical vs. Liberal I’ve taken a more skeptical view of what we now call the “Progressive Christian” movement in America. The book was to be a follow up to my study of Fourth Presbyterian Church, a robust liberal Protestant congregation in Chicago. Fourth Presbyterian had an unusual blend of prophetic preaching, pastoral… Read more

(This is a sermon I gave for Bill Harper’s retirement on April 24, 2015. Bill helped to found Grace Episcopal Church on Bainbridge Island. In twenty years of service, he helped to build an extraordinary, progressive Christian witness, which attracted not only hundreds of parishioners but a thriving youth ministry of more than fifty young people every Thursday night. Progressive Christian leaders should take note of Bill’s amazing legacy.) As some of you know, Bill and I have a few… Read more

This post was originally published in Christ and Cascadia, I am sharing it here by permission. I’ve been thinking that these ideas could be used to rethink, re-theologize our usual assumptions about the terror of “noneness,” perhaps, depending on our vision, we can see the present age as an age of abundance rather than scarcity. Among sociologists, it has become conventional wisdom to label the Pacific Northwest – or “Cascadia” – as a “secularized” region, a religious desert – a spiritual “none… Read more

I have always been suspicious of the concept of an Emerging Church Movement (ECM)—it always feels pretentious in a very unpretentious way—how ironic! So going into reading Marti and Ganiel’s The Deconstructed Church, I took a skeptical lens. And while I found myself questioning the long-term strength of the movement, I am convinced that Marti and Ganiel are on to something. And even if the movement may not last, it puts an interesting focus on the overall strength and condition of… Read more

Scripture text: Colossians 1: 15-23: Hymn to Christ’s work We spend most of our lives making distinctions, black/white, good/bad, high/low, clean/dirty, gay/straight, cool/uncool, day/night, fat/thin, orthodox/unorthodox, Christian/not Christian, Sunni/Shia, Buddhist/Muslim, Israeli/Palestinian, Canadian/American, white/ Hispanic,  Native American/white, dead/alive, old/ young, hip/unhip, Cougar/Husky … it goes on and on… fast/slow, dumb/smart, tall/short, Democrat/Republican, worthy/unworthy, rich/poor, North/South, slave/free, nice/mean, saved/unsaved, gun rights advocates/gun control advocates; it can go on and on…. In a sense our whole news cycle is based on distinctions between libertarians… Read more

June 15, 2014 FIRST READING JOB 38:1-11; 42:1-6 GOSPEL READING JOHN 1:29-34 You know I have to say that God definitely has a sense of irony. Last Monday in preparing for this Sunday’s service, I realized that today is my 29th wedding anniversary, and I then checked the lectionary text for this Sunday and it was the Book of Job. God wasn’t kidding around. Sort of like, “Hey, Jim, deal with your loss, now is the time.” And it’s been… Read more

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