April 12, 2018

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

April 10, 2018

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

April 3, 2018

Fifty years ago, when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, he had a national disapproval rating of 66%. This was largely due to the shift of his political organizing to address the Vietnam War and economic injustice. He was assassinated while making preparations for a Poor People’s Campaign that was going to culminate in another march on Washington. Though King’s assassination transformed public perception of him, conservative white lawmakers like North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms fought vociferously… Read more

April 1, 2018

Why does it matter that Jesus was raised from the dead? Perhaps it doesn’t if your world is just fine and you’re completely comfortable with the status quo as it is. Or maybe what doesn’t matter is whether he was actually raised from the dead, but whether you believe in it, so that you can plant your feet solidly inside of Christian orthodoxy. But for the people who aren’t winning, the resurrection is not an intriguing pub theology topic. It… Read more

March 31, 2018

Today is Holy Saturday, the day Jesus spent in the grave. It’s a day on which we are invited to sit with the unresolved brokenness of our world. Yes, we will say Jesus is risen tomorrow, but today is a day for not looking away from the suffering of the people whose company Jesus consistently chose and whose needs he consistently prioritized: the pueblo crucificado. Pueblo crucificado is a term I encountered in liberation theologian Jon Sobrino’s book El Principio… Read more

March 30, 2018

Jesus’ cross is hard to talk about. It’s an impossibly awkward, illogical mystery. It’s very easy to oversimplify it and get it wrong. So here are some both/ands that I think are essential to how we think about the cross as we ponder it on this Good Friday. 1. Jesus’ cross is both a crime against God and part of God’s plan When we turn Jesus’ cross into a simple math equation by which God resolves the problem of sin,… Read more

February 14, 2018

It’s Ash Wednesday which means it’s time for that new practice that makes the liturgical purists cringe. I call it sidewalk ashes. Some people call it ashes to go, which is terribly corny marketing. I’ve seen some strong critiques of sidewalk ashes this year. I understand the rationale. We need to do liturgy as a community. We need to stop bending over backwards to make things so easy for people. I get it. And yet, the fact that sidewalk ashes… Read more

February 13, 2018

If you have not yet seen the interview with Iranian-American blogger Hoda Katebi on Chicago’s WGN that’s been making rounds on social media, you need to take a few minutes to check it out. It’s incredible. I’ve never heard anybody unpack complex sociopolitical analysis so quickly and graciously in a hostile interview environment. Apparently, WGN had invited her onto the air to try to co-opt her fashion talk for islamophobic propaganda, but she wasn’t having any of it. Basically, what… Read more

February 10, 2018

Ten years ago, in one of the earliest viral Youtube videos, comedian and vlogger Chris Crocker told the world to “leave Britney Spears alone!” I wish Chris Crocker would make another video for Jen Hatmaker, the target of choice for neo-Calvinist think-pieces. In the latest version, the Gospel Coalition deconstructs what it calls Jen Hatmaker’s “Deconversion Story” (you can google it since I’m not going to give them free clicks). Now I imagine the guy who wrote it is not… Read more

January 27, 2018

It’s taken me some time to respond to the latest attack on women in the ministry from John Piper. As a husband of the best pastor I know, it’s hard not to fantasize about enacting some form of physical violence on anyone who attacks her call. But that kind of chivalric bravado is part of the patriarchy that needs to be put to death on Jesus’ cross. I haven’t known exactly how to frame what I want to say. I… Read more

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