An article came across my social media feed from the Durham Independent Weekly that two employees of the on-campus Joe Van Gogh cafe were fired without warning because Duke vice-president for student affairs Larry Moneta called up the owner of Joe Van Gogh to complain about a rap song that was being played when he entered the cafe. Moneta’s complaint was that the rap song had the N-word and the F-word. When he complained to the employees about it, they… Read more

Dear Wesleyan Covenant Association and other like-minded United Methodists, I made a fool out of myself this past weekend by comparing some of your leaders to Paige Patterson on Twitter, so I thought I would try writing an open letter instead (like I did once before). I often think I understand you because I grew up Southern Baptist and was an on-fire evangelical in college who proselytized fellow University of Virginia students with homemade salvation tracts on the sidewalk. Some… Read more

For those of you who have been following the drama around fundamentalist seminary president Paige Patterson’s counsel to women to stay in abusive marriages rather than divorce, I’m about to say something shocking. Paige Patterson is right. The Bible condemns divorce except in cases of adultery and a very specific form of abandonment; it does not give an out for domestic violence. In response to the Paige Patterson drama, nice guy fundamentalist Russell Moore tried his best to make the Bible allow… Read more

I have the pleasure of sharing a great conversation I had with my good friend David Finnegan-Hosey about mental health, faith, and his new book Christ on the Psych Ward. Definitely check out his book! He’s got a powerful story. MG: Maybe start off by telling me what happened in your life that allowed you to meet Jesus on the psych ward. DH: Sure. Well, in the summer of 2011, I had just finished my first year of seminary. It… Read more

Tim Keller wrote two books Prodigal God and Generous Justice that really shaped me and which I quoted extensively in my own book. Like me, he takes risks on Twitter to try to provoke people. Unlike me, he doesn’t get mostly ignored since he has a huge platform. His recent tweet about hell justified a clever response and since nobody retweeted me as usual, I figured I would make a blog post, so at least some people would see my clever… Read more

This past Sunday, I preached on Micah 4:1-5. If you’d like to hear what I sound like, here’s the audio. What God did with the message on Sunday was a lot better than what I’m able to pull together with my feeble words below. The main gist of my message was that we need to look at our relationships and every aspect of the world the way a gardener looks at the world instead of the way a warrior looks… Read more

When I was a first year student at the University of Virginia in the late nineties, I was an on-fire evangelical. I designed my own evangelism tracts to print out in the computer lab and hand to people on the sidewalk. I wrote a salvation skit that our InterVarsity chapter performed with a Jars of Clay soundtrack on Rugby Road where all the frat parties were. But my greatest achievement was something we called the LoveFest. It was an evangelism… Read more

One of my favorite songs by the dark industrial synthpop band VNV Nation is “Control” from the album Automatic. When I got to see them live in New Orleans this fall, I screamed out several dozen times with everyone else in the room “I WANT CONTROL!” It was cathartic because the most infuriating thing about my job as a campus minister is that I can’t control the outcomes. I can do my very best and follow all the best practices… Read more

In 2019, United Methodism will experience an apocalypse. Representatives from all over the world will meet to decide once and for all how to move forward as a denomination in our endless, life-sucking debate about the validity of queer identity. Apparently there are two options being put forward. One is for the United Methodist Book of Discipline to re-assume its 1968 form before there was any language one way or the other about homosexuality. This would be a huge win… Read more

The best preparation for me to become a woketivist as an adult was growing up evangelical. In 2000, when I stumbled into radical political circles in DC, I already knew that white men were wretched sinners so there was hardly any need for theological adjustment. My “faith” was still measured by my capacity to believe hard things. It was just that the hard things were slightly different. The hard things evangelicals believe in are things like hell, God’s wrath, the… Read more

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