My friend is in the middle of a shunning.   It is both imposed and self-imposed — I’ve seen it before. Her church is shiny and contemporary, and she was in a place of leadership (as much as a woman can be in a place of leadership in the Evangelical sphere). She is well known there, and beloved, and participated in some sort of indiscretion.  Broken, wounded and hurting, she is trying to piece her life back together — to figure… Read more

Last night, a family friend, my almost-twelve year old daughter, and I were sitting around the table after dinner, talking. My friend and I had purchased lottery tickets a few days before, and we’d yet to see if we’d won anything. We started day dreaming about what we’d do with our winnings.   It’s such a fun exercise. I know what I’d do. First, I’d donate a large amount to two nonprofits that I learned about when I met their… Read more

If America was sitting in church, and it was that time for communion, when your pastor says, essentially, “All believers are welcome, with an examined heart,” the U.S. would need to stay seated.  Our heart, it seems, remains unexplored — and not just its deep corners. The entire surface, right there in the open, lay dusty and ignored, covered in black and white headlines and the messy gore of the oppressed.   Philando Castile’s name has disappeared from headlines this Monday… Read more

For a long time, I thought the apostle Paul was a jerk.   I remember I said that to an Evangelical pastor once, and I thought his eyes were going to pop out of his head, right there in front of me. After all, Paul is pretty much like the Evangelical pope, albeit a dead one, and sometimes I confess to being a little uncomfortable with the way he seems to be elevated to a prominence that seems equal to… Read more

If you’ve been reading my work lately, you know I’m going through a thing. This thing involves a lot of being in love with Jesus, but not a whole lot of being in love with the institution of Christianity. This thing involves loving the people in my church like crazy, but for some reason not being able to go to church.   This thing involves missing going to church, and yes, I admit, a lot of anger and frustration. I’m… Read more

Lately, I’ve been pretty critical of all things institutionalized Christianity. Today was the day I was going to write some good stuff (because there’s a lot of good stuff) but then this happened. So the good stuff will have to wait a bit.   An 18 year old girl ready to graduate with a 4.0 from a Christian high school has been banned from walking with her class at her graduation ceremony because she is pregnant.   Here is an… Read more

I was instantly struck by the fact that somehow, from authoritative voices like Biblical scholarly commentaries, a narrative of women’s sexual sin will be constructed even when there is absolutely no evidence of it. Read more

I have longed to go to seminary, to study the scriptures, for quite some time. Partially because I am a person who likes to know what I’m talking about, but mostly because I understand that the Bible is a deep sea of meaning and wonder, rich with mineral-jewels of wisdom and understanding that a topical reading simply can not provide. Even more importantly, my Jesus is there, inside those pages. Every word points to him, every syllable is his spirit, poured… Read more

For those who prefer a straight theological bent or a social justice commentary, this will be neither. For those who eschew the woo-woo in life, the inexpiable spiritual stuff, the “weird feeling” kind of days, this post will not be your thing. But this is what happened to me. This is what I remember, and it’s what I’ve always remembered. This is about the day I met Jesus.     I was three, maybe four. It was a sunshiny day… Read more

Church started making me nervous when I was about five.     It was around that time that my mom had some sort of spiritual awakening. I don’t think I ever knew the details of her story — what got her reading the Bible, praying, believing in this crazy idea that God got wrapped up like a hard candy in a human body and started walking around down here on earth.   All I remember is watching her, with her… Read more

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