Coopted Christianity

Is there any hope for us, Christians, to be saved from ourselves? Better, is there any hope for Christianity to be rescued from its politicalization in the United States? If you study the history of our longstanding denominations you will find that most of them split during the Civil War. Where did those Southern Baptists come from? Why is there a United Presbyterian Church? Fittingly, some that split before or during the War reunited when… well… the country did. Scripture... Read more

Giving Up On Faith

Scrambling the Evangelical Egg On Saturday I laid out some thoughts about being a progressive evangelical. Over the past week or so I have been working through some of my reading backlog by going through Phyllis Tickle’s The Great Emergence.  The book is reminding me that my own journey toward what seems to some to be a scrambled identity did not happen in a vacuum. The information age we’re in has propelled a seismic shift that has scrambled people’s alignments: evangelicals adore... Read more

Being the Social Gospel of Jesus

Jesus receives the Spirit at baptism, and then stands up in the Synagogue proclaiming good news to the poor. Paul proclaims that the same Spirit is upon the people, and that our life together is marked by the good news of its impulses coming to fruition. Ezra reads the scroll to the people, then sends them away to have a party–making sure that folks with food invite those without means to provide for themselves. This coming Sunday’s assemblage of Lectionary texts are... Read more

Let Justice Roll

We get the day off of work. Our kids are home from school. We march. We remember Martin Luther King Jr. We remember that we had to have our eyes opened to see the injustice that was right in front of us. We remember that the world our God wants to create is a world of justice. We remember that we’re not there yet. What Does It Look Like When God Shows Up? I’m not sure how many of us... Read more

Progressive Evangelical

I know this might be rushing things in our relationship. But if it’s going to last I want you to know up front. Day three on the Patheos Progressive channel and I already have to complicate things. The long and the short of it is this: when backed into a corner, sometimes I own up to the label of evangelical. I think I would describe myself as a progressive evangelical. Why on earth would I claim a label whose only... Read more

Amazing Conference in March

We won’t know if it’s the best ever until after it happens, but Enfolding  Theology is looking at making a run for the title. Put on by the Hatchery in Redondo Beach, Enfolding Theology offers a diverse set of theological voices not just talking at each other, but actually engaging in conversation. And it’s promising to put you, the attendee, into the conversation as well. What are they going to be talking about? God. Well, a bit more specifically, the... Read more

Does God Need Us?

That Awkward Moment One of the most awkward moments I ever squirmed through in church was set in motion by a somewhat over-zealous plea for Vacation Bible School volunteers. I learned later that it all began with the person who wanted to give the announcement waving wildly in the back to get the pastor’s attention. And this pastor really didn’t like announcements. As the VBS leader gave her impassioned plea, she ended with this: “We need you. The kids need you. God... Read more