Tony Jones’ Cross is a Symbol of Abuse (Or, How To Abuse Women Like A Pacifist)


[content note: domestic violence and spiritual abuse]If you spend a lot of time in the same "progressive Christian internet" circles that I frequent, you may have heard of Tony Jones (theologian, blogger, and one of the founders of the Emergent Church movement). Hopefully you have also heard of his ex-wife, Julie McMahon, who recently went public with accusations (and supporting documents) that Jones abused her both during and after their marriage.If you haven't heard, R.L. Stollar has … [Read more...]

Not Your Average Easter Story: A Review of “Walking Toward Resurrection”

The cover of Shannon T.L.. Kearns' book, Walking Toward Resurrection

 If you were to ask me which writers have had the most influence on my theology, Shannon T.L. Kearns would definitely be in the top 10 (right up there with bell hooks and James Cone). I have been reading his blog for several years, and so I was excited when he asked me to read and review his new e-book, Walking Toward Resurrection. Fr. Shay's writing gave me permission to do theology that starts with my body, and with the experiences I have in my body.  That is  … [Read more...]

Is the Bible the Word of God? Or is Jesus? Or….

"Variations on a Bible Collage" by Billy Alexander (2014), via

I'm not sure where the phrase "The Bible is not the Word of God; Jesus is" originated. The first time I heard the phrase, though, (on Rachel Held Evan's blog) it was just short of life-changing. It became my go-to answer to those who used the Bible as a weapon to hurt me or others.I say this show that I see how the phrase can be extremely liberating to those who are used to being oppressed by harmful Biblical messages.I wanted to affirm that before I start deconstructing this … [Read more...]

Liberating Liturgies: Anselm of Canterbury, and Jesus Our Mother

Image via Wikipedia Commons. Artist unknown.

Today's Liberating Liturgy comes from an interesting source: Anselm of Canterbury, a monk who lived from 1033-1109 C.E.  I found this Liberating Liturgy quoted in She Who Is, by Elizabeth A. Johnson (pg 151--emphasis mine): But you too, good Jesus, are you not also a mother?Are you not a mother who like a hen gathers her chicks beneath her wings? ....And you, my soul, dead in yourself,run under the wings of Jesus your motherand lament your griefs under his feathers.Ask that y … [Read more...]

Was Jesus Progressive For His Time?

Liberal/progressive/leftist Christians like to paint Jesus as an exceptional figure who fought for human rights centuries before anyone else did. You've probably heard, or said something like the following (I know I have):Jesus was the first feminist, the first Marxist, the ultimate humanist/democrat/anarchist.  Jesus was [fill in the blank depending on your preferred political associations].I'm sure most people who use these statements use them as attention grabbers and conversation … [Read more...]

Who’s Afraid of the Baby Jesus?

Content note: brief mentions of child abuse, Christian patriarchy, Sovereign Grace MinistriesI remember a sermon I heard during chapel at my old Christian college around Christmas time. The speaker lamented the tendency to focus on baby Jesus around Christmas time. He chalked this up to a desire to make God/Jesus safe and gentle and helpless, and he called for us to instead think of God as the victorious, conquering, badass king from Revelation.This idea made a lot of sense to me at the t … [Read more...]

Resurrection and the Surviving God

Content Note: brief description of a suicide attempt This past year, around Easter, I planned on writing some posts about crucifixion and resurrection. I found I couldn't really get past the former. I mean, I'm a skeptic on the idea of the literal resurrection of Jesus to begin with, but I found I couldn't even envision a risen God. A victorious living God.A suffering God? A dying God? An oppressed God? Yeah, I could see that. I could see that clearly. In fact, writing about the … [Read more...]

I write from my wounds and they don’t hear Jesus

Today I saw a tweet by a liberal (?), progressive (?), doesn't-think-gay-people-should-have-sex-but-probably-changed-their-FB-profile-picture-to-the-HRC-logo-a-few-months-ago (yeah, that's it) Christian blogger I once read and appreciated. It said, If you only write from your wounds from an abstract “Church” and you no longer root yourself to a body of believers, I don’t hear Jesus. I can't help but think that many of the liberalish evangelical or post-evangelical bloggers I once followed and l … [Read more...]

If Jesus is Lord, then Caesar is not.

Last night at church, my pastor talked about the phrase "Jesus is Lord," and what that phrase means. After church, a fellow church goer was wanting to start a conversation about what "Jesus is Lord" means to different people and asked if I would write a blog post on the subject.My relationship with the idea that "Jesus is Lord" is complicated in a couple of ways. First of all, as someone who identifies as both a Unitarian Universalist and a Christian, I am wary of the exclusive mindset such … [Read more...]

Maybe God is a “bitch”

In the months following my decision to leave fundamentalism for good, I began to shy away from the idea of God as a God of wrath. No, how could God be wrathful? God is love. God isn't angry at us. God loves us.Maybe I was wrong.The wrath of God in fundamentalism is often used to talk about God sending little children to hell for taking a cookie out of the cookie jar. It's often used to talk about how God was so furious with us disgusting human beings that God had to use his own son, Jes … [Read more...]