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…]

Let’s Talk about Burkhinis!

So I’m trolling through Facebook postings and I find an article on a French ban of a garment called the burkhini on French beaches. Actually it isn’t a ban on the burkhini. It is a ban on “ostentatious religious garments” or “garments that make an ostentatious show of religion” on the beach. It isn’t really [Read More…]

All Good Belongs to God

Luke 11:14 Now he was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign [Read More…]

The Re-Paganing of America and God’s Eternal Word

We need a little less extra ecclesiam nulla salus and a little more logospermatikos. (Catholics are welcome to pile on about a distinction without a difference.) Just the other day I had a long and heartening conversation with a group of well educated post-Christians. All educated. All married with children. All intensively involved in political [Read More…]

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…]