USA and Cuba: A New Day?!

CNN: Washington (CNN) – U.S. contractor Alan Gross, held by the Cuban government since 2009, was freed Wednesday as part of a landmark deal with Cuba that paves the way for a major overhaul in U.S. policy toward the island, senior administration officials tell CNN. President Barack Obama is expected to announce Gross’ release at noon in Washington. At around the [Read More...]

The Honey of Hope (Josh Graves)

I’m in my eighth year of leading a local church through the Advent Season. It has become–both communally and personally–the most meaningful part of the spiritual calendar. There’s something piercing about the cold, the candles, and repetition of The Magnificat. My new-found love for the Advent season is also the result of being the father [Read More...]

Does the Bible Contain Science?

The question — Does the Bible contain science? — is one of the more penetrating question one can ask when the debate about creation vs. evolution arises. The irony is that many of the most conservative of Christians absolutely know and fight for the Bible containing science while the most naturalists of scientists contend the very [Read More...]

Christmas as Propaganda

In a series I am doing with others at Patheos, I thought I’d share the insight of Billy Kangas on the Christmas narrative in Luke 2 as “political propaganda.” Don’t let the word “propaganda” distract you. Here’s his set of ideas: 3. The Story of Jesus Birth was Propaganda (and that’s awesome) Luke opens his [Read More...]

Gay-Lesbian and Celibate

WaPo: Any post about homosexual persons and homosexuality as a problematic theological issue invites harsh, destructive, judgmental comments. This post is about the rise of many in the church who self-identify as gay, as celibate and as Christian. Some are not happy that some want to modify “Christian” with “gay” (since it makes sexuality part [Read More...]

Luke’s Counter-Cultural Christmas Story (Paul Penley)

Luke’s Counter-Cultural Christmas Story: Jesus’ path to peace and joy By Paul T. Penley Was Jesus born to save us from this world or bring peace to the earth? Luke’s counter-cultural Christmas story answers this question. What a Birth Means to a Mom For many of us the story of our birth doesn’t answer questions about [Read More...]

Advent at The High Calling

Please click through right here to read my Advent article at The High Calling. At that site I ask what a church would look like if it permitted Advent to being the church’s story. I ask, What does an Advent-shaped church look like? What are Advent church-shaped spiritual disciplines? Advent is the beginning of the church [Read More...]

Lord’s Supper: Who is Unworthy? (Jeff Cook)

Who is Unworthy to Celebrate in Church? (by Jeff Cook) I went to a large wedding a few years back in which the clergy invited only those who had jumped through the right hoops to come forward and receive the body and blood of Jesus. The leader then asked those of us who had not [Read More...]

“God is on a mission to get the hell out of earth”

I have been reading Joshua Ryan Butler’s The Skeletons in God’s Closet, the first major section in which is a study of hell – and how it fits into the Bible’s narrative. Hell without a story becomes a torture chamber. Butler begins by clarifying the all too common view of hell: We get hell wrong because we [Read More...]

Generosity Illustrated

Source: Don’t you love these kinds of stories?! There exists, somewhere within the general vicinity of Bellingham, Mass., a layaway hero. This was proven earlier this week, when customers at a Toys R Us learned that a woman — whose identity is not yet known — walked in and paid off the entire layaway balance [Read More...]