How to Lose an Election – Wealth as a Symbol

Every election is a negotiation, usually cross-cultural, between a candidate and the electorate. Succeeding in that negotiation means understanding what the electorate wants, which means understanding how symbols that surround a candidate are received and interpreted. One of the marvels to many of this election is that a man who is garishly rich, stiffs his [Read More…]

We are Not Electing a Pastor and Chief

As Donald Trump’s behavior, verbal and otherwise has become increasingly outrageous his Christian supporters are growing more desperate. Hence, as I both read and hear (not least from pastor Robert Jeffress, one of Trump’s main Christian apologists) “We are Not Electing a Pastor in Chief.” Like all internet meme theology it is both right and [Read More…]

Is God Great?

Sunday morning I heard something unsettling. We were invited to join in a vibrant chorus claiming, “Our God is Great!” If you’ve attended any contemporary praise worship you’ve heard this song and its many variants a thousand times. “Our God is an awesome God!” Etc. The songs come out of the bombastic tradition of Israelite [Read More…]

We Live in Different Worlds

A CNN interview has been posted to my Facebook page. Those posting it expressed shock that Christian woman would express her support for Donald Trump by saying that “God could even use a harlot.” The outrage was on several levels. First that Trump’s behavior could in any way be overlooked. But more importantly that Trump [Read More…]

The Bible Reconsidered and a Divided Church

It may not seem controversial today, but I suspect that a single idea,  heilsgeschichte, has led to an important divide in contemporary Christian theology. On one level this German term simply means “salvation history” and can be taken to refer to what is easily noted in reading the Bible. Some biblical authors had a strong [Read More…]

The Assimilation Debate

Recently Facebook, bringer of many things, brought me two. The first was a quote from Bobby Jindal: “Let’s be really honest about this: Immigration without assimilation is not immigration; it’s an invasion, . . .  we need to tell folks, if you want to come to our country, come here legally, learn English, adopt our values, [Read More…]

The Real Schism, It’s Not What you Think.

The United Methodist church appears to be following other major protestant denominations into the throes of division. The issue is same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBTQ persons living in same-sex relationships. Of course various accusations are being made with regard to who is more biblical, orthodox, faithful to tradition, etc. I want to suggest that [Read More…]

Depravity and Political Discourse

Among the many things that some Christians believe one is the doctrine of Total depravity. It goes along with Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace and Perseverance of the Saints to form the backbone of American Calvinism, TULIP. I am not going to argue whether these are or are not adequate characterizations of Christian theology. I am [Read More…]

The Bright Heart of Dallas

In the last 48 hours the city of Dallas has reeled with grief. Grief felt for victims of police violence against African Americans. And grief felt for the 5 police officers assassinated by a gunman, and 7 others wounded while they were protecting the right of the people to peaceable assembly. The sun had barely [Read More…]

You are Asking the Wrong Questions!?

More than once in the last week I’ve been told that when we talk about human rights, such as a right to life or a right to choose, that we “aren’t asking the right questions” because these questions arise from a modern rather than Biblical framework for understanding humanity. I suspect that what is really [Read More…]