The Kentucky Ark – Is it Really Christian?

In Northwestern Kentucky a new religion has appeared – with its temple a theme park called the “Ark-Encounter.” It claims to be Christian but is essentially a for-profit sect designed to scam money out of local tax payers and whatever suckers can be drawn into the “life sized” replica of Noah’s ark. (For more on [Read More…]

Everyone Revises – The Question is Where to Stop

In the previous blog I explored why the dispute between traditionalists and progressives regarding same-sex marriage is intractable. Now I want to focus on the specific problems in the ways in which each side justifies (primarily to itself) its belief with scripture. I’m going to start with the traditionalists. The traditionalists charge that the progressives [Read More…]

Orthodoxy: You Cannot Return by that Door

Steve Rankin, laying out an agenda for scholars concerned with orthodoxy says this: “First, we need to examine our metaphysics related to specific topics. Is the world a system closed to divine action and divine speaking or do we really think that God is actively involved in our world? If so, how do we recognize [Read More…]

The Great Divorce

No – not the excellent book by CS Lewis – I just used that as a hook. What may be the necessary divorce between evangelical (or as they now style themselves “orthodox”) United Methodists and progressive United Methodists. In the two previous blogs I tried to appreciatively highlight what these different movements within my denomination [Read More…]

Progressive Christianity: An Appreciation

This is the second of two blogs on the Evangelical – Progressive Divide. For there to exist a reasonable conversation between evangelicals and progressives we must first cut past all of the political posturing that is part of the current progressive versus evangelical standoff in United Methodism and other Christian denominations. Right now factions are [Read More…]

Evangelicalism: an Appreciation

This is the first of three blogs on the Evangelical – Progressive Divide. For there to exist a reasonable conversation between evangelicals and progressives we must first cut past all of the political posturing that is part of the current progressive versus evangelical standoff in United Methodism and other Christian denominations. Right now factions are [Read More…]

Easter is a Gateway to the Ordinary

We all overthink it; that hard question about what becomes of us after our body is decomposed and the brain, so foundational to consciousness and thus our self has become dust. We can’t help it really. Studies have shown that the one thing we cannot consciously imagine is the cessation of our own consciousness. (“The [Read More…]

Is Jesus the Reason for the Season? No.

“Jesus is the reason for the season.” I keep hearing it: the older cliched version of the culture wars. Yet Christians need to accept that Jesus isn’t the reason for the season, and never was. The season of mid-winter celebration existed before Jesus was born. In the Northern Hemisphere cultures have celebrated the end of [Read More…]

At Wheaton: No God but Our God

A Wheaton Professor, Larycia Alaine Hawkins has been suspended for posting on Facebook that Christians and Muslims, “…as Pope Francis stated last week, worship the same God.” This has been picked up by the Washington Post  and is already being analyzed here at Patheos. This isn’t a new question, and both articles above note nuanced responses [Read More…]

Concerning Armed Demonstrations At Mosques

Yesterday a group of prominent Dallas religious leaders of all faiths met to begin acting formally for a better future for the city of Dallas. I was privileged to moderate the discussion and see us adopt our first formal statement and ongoing structure. This is the result: At a meeting of the Dallas Area Multi-Faith [Read More…]


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