2001 WS

does experience affect our theology?

The Yankees aren’t in the World Series. And I’m mad. And I don’t like it. So, I got to thinking about the most depressing moment of my baseball life, the 2001 World Series–and don’t stop reading because this is going somewhere. 2001, of course, was the year of 9/11. NYC was in shock and everything [Read More...]


The NEW Jewish Study Bible: this is so awesome I’m getting verklempt

The second edition of The Jewish Study Bible (eds. Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler) is about the be released (October 28). Oxford University Press sent me a preview copy, and I couldn’t wait to dig in. I’ve been using the first edition for years, and I just absolutely love it. The translation used in both editions is [Read More...]

Dark Night

the gift of darkness (or, why being bored in church might be God telling you something)

St. John of the Cross writes, in his prologue to The Ascent of Mount Carmel: “A deeper enlightenment and wider experience than mine is necessary to explain the dark night through which a soul journeys toward that divine light of perfect union with God that is achieved, insofar as possible in this life, through love. The [Read More...]

God and true freedom

Only love can know love, only mercy can know mercy, only the endless mystery I am to myself is ready for God’s Infinite Mystery. When I can stand in mystery (not knowing and not needing to know and being dazzled by such freedom), when I don’t need to split, to hate, to dismiss, to compartmentalize what I cannot [Read More...]

if historical criticism is so bad for you, how come it’s so convincing? huh?

So we face a curious paradox. If biblical criticism leads to false and destructive results, and if it is indeed as intellectually bankrupt as some conservative theologians aver, then why have so many thoughtful believers entered university graduate programs with a vibrant devotion to God only to emerge on the other side of their studies with a [Read More...]

diagnosing conservative evangelical biblical scholarship

One of the chief marks of conservative evangelical biblical scholarship is that it claims to accept the validity of historical criticism but limits or adapts the critical method in order to avoid or reverse the standard conclusions of modern biblical scholarship…. [C]onservative evangelicals claim to be as interested as anyone in playing the academic game with historical-critical [Read More...]

God is right here, always: thank you, incarnation; thank you, Eucharist

I just needed to hear this today–and no I’m not becoming Roman Catholic, so calm down, though it’s not the worst things that could happen, and some of my best friends are Catholic, and even if you’re rabidly Protestant and think Catholics are just plain wrong and unbiblical and shouldn’t allowed near your children and pets [Read More...]

on writing gooder and even more gooder books

I’m asked from time to time how I went about finding a literary agent and the whole “pleasepleaseplease publish my book” process. So I thought I’d say it in a brief blog post so I can refer to it when asked. The process isn’t complicated, but it’s time consuming. What helped me most was contacting people who were already doing [Read More...]

“the Bible is the Christian holy book” and other distortions of Christianity

A friend sent me this post by Fr. Stephen Freeman, “Has Your Bible Become a Quran?” Freeman makes several points in his post, but what drew me in was his provocative view that modern Christianity, especially in its view of the Bible, has more in common with Islam than with historic Christianity. I have to be [Read More...]

Was George Washington a Christian? (and the answer is….)

I came across this article written back in 2008 by Dr. Robert Duffett, president of Dakota Wesleyan University at the time, and now president of Eastern University for just over a year. Duffett offers a perspective on the faith of our “founding father” that sobers popular notions of Washington being a church-going evangelical–not to mention our country founded from [Read More...]

my interview with Brian McLaren (part 3)

Today’s post is the third and final installment of my interview with Brian McLaren. As you may recall, Brian asked me three questions about my book The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It and I in turn asked him three questions. We are posting the exact same post on each other’s blogs [Read More...]

Eucharist: a wedding table decorated with a cross instead of a cake

While the Eucharist has always been a consoling mystery with an ecstatic, mystical language surrounding it (such as “Happy are those who are called to the wedding feast of the lamb,” Revelation 19:7-9), it has also been clothed in the language of suffering, blood, and death. It makes clear the connection that the mystics always confirm: [Read More...]

my interview with Brian McLaren (part 2)

Today is the second of three installments of my interview with Brian McLaren. He asked me three questions about my book The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It and I in turn asked him three questions. We are posting the exact same post on each other’s blogs simultaneously; we figured [Read More...]