A Lesson on Theological Conversation from Tony Jones

Tony Jones has been accused of making offensive statements and he's come to his own defense in his post "I'm Tired of Being Called a Racist". If we are interested in clear and clean communication within the theological community, then there are few lessons to be learned from this unfolding story.1. It might be time to look inward if we have been accused of something more than once. Actually, Jones has been accused of saying things that were "borderline racist." That's not necessarily the … [Read more...]

the keys to freedom

Liar. Maybe intentionally. Maybe naively.Paul said we've been bought with a price, so don't become the slaves of men again (1 Corinthians 6:20). He meant we are already free. Freedom is ours. It is a reality. These people don't know it. The keys to their own freedom lie everywhere. The same for the teacher. Unfortunately, they are a part of a system that supports slavery but they can't see it.There is a difference between formal freedom and actual freedom. Formal freedom is when we are … [Read more...]

Mark Driscoll’s Apology

Recently Mark Driscoll said, "I know who made the environment and he's coming back and going to burn it all up. So yes, I drive an SUV." He apparently received so much backlash from it that he decided to issue an apology. But it's not an apology. It's an explanation.Here's a short lesson in apologies.A good apology is when:1. you apologize for something you said or did 2. you take responsibility for your words or actions 3. you promise to changeA bad apology is when:1. … [Read more...]

let’s blame women for what men do

I appreciate people sending me ideas for cartoons. So yesterday I had several people inform me that Pat Robertson was up to it again. Sometimes things are served to you on a silver platter. And sometimes I get tired of the same old stuff. But I couldn't let this one go. This man has a lot of influence so I felt like taking this one on.You can check out the video where Robertson responds to a woman asking how to forgive her husband who cheated on her. His advice? Men have a tendency to … [Read more...]

two rooms, two experiences, two theologies

I remember the trouble I caused when I first posted this cartoon years ago. It upset a lot of people. But that exactly is the problem. If we are not able to hold two contradictory ideas in our mind at the same time then we are unable to think maturely, deeply or wisely.Integrative thinking looks at this cartoon and says, "Of course. This happens. Both are right."The inability to do this is called fundamentalism, plain and simple. … [Read more...]

how an atheist reaches out to a believer

I like the writing of Steven Olsen. For example, his recent post, "Gorilla's, Starship Commanders and Your Brain" is a good read. Interesting and informative. And I like his sense of humor. Olsen writes for the atheist channel at Patheos. I read atheist writers and blogs for many reasons. One of the most important reasons is that I believe many atheists help to keep me honest. I have an inner atheist and so I think it wise to take care of that part of me. They can also teach me how to c … [Read more...]

Metaxas and male heroes only please

Eric Metaxas has written a new book, Seven Men and the Secret of Their Greatness. I can't talk about the book since I haven't read it. But he has been interviewed about it by Kathryn Jean Lopez of the National Review in her article, "Raising Good Men". I love her opening question: "Why a book about men? Does this prove that there is a Christian disdain for women?" She also asked why he wanted to return to "Father Knows Best". I think it betrays her suspicion of Metaxas' theory. I'm suspicious … [Read more...]

female pastors and porn

I read an interesting story about a magazine's report of women in ministry. The January/ February issue of Gospel Today was a contentious one.Its lead story is "Female Pastors". The five female pastors who are featured on the cover are Pastor Sheryl Brady of The River in Durham, N.C.; Pastor Tamara Bennett of This Is Pentecost Ministries in Sacramento, Calif.; Bishop Millicent Hunter of The Baptist Worship Center in Philadelphia, Pa.; Pastor Claudette Copeland of New Creation Christian … [Read more...]

not only love covers a multitude of sins

An annual review this last week gave Catholic bishops high marks on their sex abuse prevention policies. That's good news.However, there are still serious concerns about some pretty high-profile failings in many dioceses. You can read this report in more detail, with links, in the Religion News post Church Child Safety Officials Voice Concern Over Lapses By Bishops.In essence, these are the problems:Some bishops still fail to report incidents of abuse. Some bishops still shield … [Read more...]

who Jesus wants to lead the church

Jesus didn't say this but by the way the church behaves you'd think he did.Actually, what inspired this cartoon is a BBC article I read this morning titled Cleveland abductions: Do white victims get more attention?. The writer, Tara McKelvey, claims that nearly half of those abducted in the USA are not white, but the news coverage certainly does not reflect it. She quotes McIlwain, a researcher, who says: "Our national ideal of who is vulnerable - and who holds victim status - are those who … [Read more...]