Christian spirituality for a non-Christian audience

I've been offered an amazing opportunity by the Tulane Hillel rabbi Yonah Schiller to talk about Christian spirituality with his freshman seminar class. I'm writing this blog post in order to attempt a fresh, accessible articulation of Christian spirituality. I should begin with a disclaimer that this will be a more progressive, mystical account of Christianity than what you're used to hearing from American Christians. But I believe that mainstream Christianity in our country has been corrupted … [Read more...]

What if God wants the pro-life movement to lose the Supreme Court forever so they can act like Christians again?

[Note: A previous version of this post had a featured photo with an image that was triggering. Please accept my apology for my lack of sensitivity.]What if God is the one who hijacked our presidential election in order to defeat his people so catastrophically that they would start acting like Christians again? What would happen if the Supreme Court were completely out of reach for those who have pinned all their hopes for the last four decades on overturning Roe v. Wade? What if Hillary … [Read more...]

Just remember that Dubya and Hillary belong to the same church

They're both United Methodist: Dubya and Hillary, two of the most hated politicians in America. I love this photo. It almost makes me weep to see how relaxed and genuine both of them were in that moment. What if neither of them are as diabolical as they've been made out to be? What if they both go to your church? Actually, that's not even a question. They do both go to your church.Dubya is the chair of your United Methodist Men's group. He believes in the American Dream, and he likes … [Read more...]

The religious right needs to repent, not rebrand

Ever since Donald Trump was caught saying the P-word, conservative evangelical leaders have been feverishly trying to distance themselves from him. It's been particularly interesting to see blog posts by religious right leaders declaring the demise of the religious right as though they were never a part of it. Nobody wants to be labeled religious right just like nobody wants to be called a fundamentalist. It's true that the religious right is not a theological monolith. It includes Pentecostals, … [Read more...]

Let’s start an inclusive evangelical campus ministry network!

Time just ran an article about InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's witch-hunt against LGBTQ-affirming staff-people. Not staff-people who are gay. Not staff-people who perform weddings for gay people. But staff-people who simply disagree with InterVarsity's official anti-gay stance. They can be Calvinist or Arminian. They can believe in baptizing babies or believers. They can believe that communion is the real sacramental presence of Jesus or a symbolic ordinance to remember his sacrifice. But … [Read more...]

How do you teach thirst at a school where everyone drinks?

You have to learn how to be thirsty. And until you’re thirsty, you cannot really have a spiritual life. This is the lesson that I don’t know how to teach. I only know that the reason I have tasted heaven is because I was desperately thirsty for it. And I’m surrounded by college students who aren’t thirsty at all. Because everybody drinks.I’m speaking partly in metaphor and partly not. No, not every Tulane and Loyola student drinks alcohol. But so many of them seem utterly uninterested in purs … [Read more...]

My favorite quotes from our Rob Bell interview

Rob Bell is on our podcast this week. I didn't get to participate because my laptop is a piece of ____. But Teer Hardy did a great job interviewing him. I wanted to share my favorite quotes from the interview. The problem for many spiritual leaders is they’re just transmitting information: e.g. “let me tell you something about what Luke means in chapter 12.” But this person who’s telling you this hasn’t actually lived with it long enough for it to do something to them. They’re not witnessing to … [Read more...]

“I settled the suit with no admission of guilt” (Donald Trump’s atonement theory)

"I settled the suit with no admission of guilt." It was Donald Trump's best line in the presidential debate. He said this in response to the charge that he had been sued for discriminating against black people in rental properties that he owned in New York City in the 1970's. But there's something poignantly theological about Donald's statement. It describes a certain perverse understanding of atonement, in which accounts can be settled with God without an admission of guilt. I wonder to what … [Read more...]

To the ones who never say yes

You will never be inspired If you refuse to be breathed into If you always look straight ahead If you never let your windows down Or take out your earbuds.There is a wind For those who live without air-conditioning.There is a light For those who step out of the shade.There is a healing For those who are done with self-medication.There is a beauty For those who have seen enough ugly.No one has ever arrived at freedom Flying on autopilot.You will not hear the … [Read more...]

It’s against my religion to believe the official report

“His disciples came by night and stole his body while we were asleep” (Matthew 28:13). That is the official report from the Roman soldiers tasked with guarding Jesus’ tomb about Jesus’ alleged resurrection. The claim of Jesus’ resurrection comes to us through unofficial eyewitnesses without any established credibility: filthy fishermen, former prostitutes.If first century Palestine had a modern news agency reporting on Jesus’ resurrection, they would say, “Roman soldiers report that executed … [Read more...]