When It Became My Duty Not to Stand for the National Anthem

The gift that Trump has given to American Christians is to reveal what is at stake in our nationalist idolatry. Read more

40 Bible Verses for 40 Years of Life

Since I’m forty today, I wanted to share forty Bible verses that are meaningful to me and some reflections on them. 1. “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good.” Genesis 1:31 God has never stopped creating and everything God creates is good. Original sin does not mean that Genesis 1 stopped happening after Eve bit into the apple. God keeps creating beautiful creatures; we keep falling into sin; and God keeps redeeming and restoring… Read more

An interview with Jeff Hood, author of The Execution of God

Jeff Hood is a long-time death penalty activist operating in the Dallas-Forth Worth area. He’s written a number of books, the latest of which is The Execution of God, a creative theological exploration of how God is present on death row. So I wanted to catch up with Jeff about his new book and his thinking about death penalty. He has a very provocative way of talking about God’s presence in the humanity of condemned prisoners. MG: Hey Jeff, thanks… Read more

“Woe to you who are filled” (Luke 6:25)

Today is the feast day of St. John Chrysostom in the Roman Catholic Church. At my neighborhood mass this morning, the priest described Luke 6:20-26 as the beatitudes of Chrysostom, since he was a pretty ruthless prophet against the excesses of the rich. Whereas the Matthew 5 beatitudes tend to be hopeful and encouraging, Luke 6:20-26 contains three blessings and three curses that have an apocalyptic feel to them. In particular, I’m drawn to the curse against those who are… Read more

#DACA and the Failure of Atonement in the American Church

Once again, I feel demoralized by the cynicism and intransigence in our nation’s immigration policy. Read more

The Christians United Statement In Support of LGBT Inclusion

Post-evangelical social media got fired up yesterday after the release of an anti-queer statement from the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. I hadn’t wanted to engage this statement because I’m tired of the way that online Christian conversation always takes the form of fundamentalist provocation and progressive reaction. But then I came across the beautiful Christians United Statement on LGBT Inclusion signed by some solid young progressive Christian leaders like Alicia Crosby, Jarell Wilson, Elliel Cruz, Naomi Washington-Leapheart, Mike McHargue,… Read more

The Theology That Pardons White Supremacy

Last night I witnessed a white United Methodist pastor seeking to justify Donald Trump’s pardon of infamously racist Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio by appealing to Jesus’ cross. Since Jesus’ sacrifice pardons our sin when we don’t deserve it, why shouldn’t Donald Trump be allowed to pardon people who don’t deserve it? It was an argument that reflects a very common theology of sin and atonement pervasive throughout white evangelicalism that makes it helpless against white supremacy. For too many white evangelicals,… Read more

A conversation with my son about the difference between history and historiography

My older son and I have been having some conversations during the past year about the confederate monuments. When New Orleans was taking down the monuments here this spring, he had some concerns about history being erased. So I explained to him that when we drive past the monuments, we just see ancient historical figures, but when black people drive past them, the message is that racist white people are still in charge of our country. Last week, after Charlottesville… Read more

Why I Don’t Believe in Punching Nazis

First of all, I have not yet participated in a protest where Antifa was present. I know that there’s an impossibly entangled mess of spin and truth about what Antifa has actually done. So the purpose of this post is not to critique actions I haven’t witnessed so much as offer my own reflections about when and how physical confrontation seems acceptable to me in street protest. Whatever has or hasn’t actually happened, I am unequivocally against engaging in acts… Read more

The week I stopped hating white evangelical men

[Content Note: childhood sexual trauma] Sometimes my personal life is out of step with the national narrative. Earlier this week, my wife Cheryl and I were at an in-person kickoff to our three year online counseling program with Dr. John Townsend, co-author of the book Boundaries, a 25-year old groundbreaking text in the movement that today we call “self-care.” It’s a book about “setting boundaries” (a phrase we wouldn’t otherwise use today), which means saying no without guilt, owning what’s… Read more

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