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…]

How to Disempower ISIS and Why We Are Failing

To understand anyone you have to ask how do they understand themselves. But now Americans prefer to sooth their anxiety about Islamic radicalism with the violence of our own rhetoric, the puny ineffectiveness of openly carrying weapons and satisfying our lust for revenge by attacks on innocents and an occasional report of a successful drone strike. [Read More…]

Progressive Christians, Conservative Christians, and when Tolerance is Irrelevant

Once again I found posted on Facebook the accusation that progressive Christians who “preach tolerance” were actually intolerant. Specifically they were intolerant of the those who don’t believe in same-sex marriage or oppose abortion rights. And more specifically they are intolerant of Kim Davis’ decision to not issue marriage licenses to gay couples out of [Read More…]

Kim Davis and Religious Freedom: A Supernova of Religious Scruples

A county clerk in Kentucky says her religious freedom is threatened by signing government documents. A flight attendant for ExpressAir in Detroit says her religious freedom is violated by being asked to serve alcoholic drinks. We have two people refusing to do one of the jobs they are paid to do because it violates their freedom of [Read More…]

The Religion of Business

As Christian America comes unglued, there are new possibilities for inter-religious dialogue with an unlikely religion. In his book One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America Kevin Kruse tells a compelling story of how the National Association of Manufacturers and business allies helped create a powerful synthesis of American and Christian identity, [Read More…]

ANXIETY AND THE NEW TRIBES

Despite the fact that the emerging tribes in the US seek to secure their identity with primal narratives, narratives similar to those that secure the identity of all primal human groups, they and their members remain deeply anxious. This anxiety arises in part because although the narratives claim to be primal, they are in fact [Read More…]

Christian Witness among Anxious New Tribes 1

There is in the modern world, even beyond the North Atlantic realm, a deep consciousness that public identities, the ways in which we are known not only to ourselves, but others, are chosen, not given. And they are chosen in the midst of uncertainty and instability. And these two things: the breakdown of stable public identities, and [Read More…]