About Adam Ericksen

Adam Ericksen is the Education Director for The Raven Foundation. He writes blogs and films vlogs on the Raven Foundation website that explore the intersections of mimetic theory, the news, religion, and popular culture. He is also a youth pastor where he engages young people with Christian tradition, mimetic theory, and youth culture.

Advent: The Faith to Scream “It’s Not Okay!”

Advent candles symbolizing John 1:5 - "The light shines in the darkness." (Copyright: martinan / 123RF Stock Photo )

She sat in total shock. Her head rested in her hands as her long hair hid her face. She was silent for forty-five minutes. And then the river of tears began to flow.It was the most traumatic event I’ve experienced in ten years of ministry. The pain and distress of a murdered family member were unbearable.As she wept uncontrollably, her sister stepped into the void to hold her. “It’s okay. It’s okay,” her sister gently encouraged.“No! It’s not okay! It’s not okay! It’s not okay!”Th … [Read more...]

American Values: Why the Torture Report Didn’t Go Far Enough

The CIA (Photo: Getty)

Last Tuesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released its report of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques following 9/11. The report is a 500 page summary detailing the CIA’s techniques and reveals the absurdity of the term “enhanced interrogation technique.”Enhanced interrogation technique is a soft, friendlier term that intentionally hides and sanitizes the truth that we tortured people. And, in response to the report, President Obama claimed that torture is inconsistent with Ameri … [Read more...]

Bible Matters: Lamentations: Political Protest, Grief, and Transforming Theology

Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem (Rembrandt)

Lamentations comes from the word “lament” which means a “passionate expression of grief or sorrow.”(For more in the Bible Matters series, visit the Raven Foundation here.)The book was written during the Babylonian exile, a traumatic time for the ancient Jews. Jerusalem was conquered, the temple was destroyed, and many people were exiled throughout the Babylonian Empire.Lamentations is about grief. It implores us to express our sorrow and grief and to honor sorrow and grief in othe … [Read more...]

Why God is Sending Christians Straight to Hell

Sign leading to Hell, Michigan.

So much of Christianity has become about avoiding hell. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned as a hospital chaplain, it’s that God is sending Christians straight to hell.Christians need to stop thinking of heaven and hell as primarily places we go after we die. Heaven and hell are primarily realities that we experience here on earth.Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is among you.” For Jesus, the kingdom of God, also known in the Gospels as the kingdom of Heaven, is a present reality. You d … [Read more...]

Big Hero 6: How to Love like a Superhero

2014 Walt Disney Studios

“I love Baymax! He is the nicest superhero ever!” – My son, age 7 “Of all the threats presently looming over us, the most dreadful one…the only one that really matters, is ourselves.” – René Girard, The One by Whom Scandal Comes, 3.Big Hero 6 is Disney’s latest superhero animation film. It’s a profound story that explores the human condition. It’s a story about love, rivalry, betrayal, violence, loss, death, and healing.As a parent of three young children, this is the movie that I … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving and a Theology of Despair

I'm feeling despair.

Are you feeling pressure to be thankful?We are in the midst of the Thanksgiving season. I’m reminded everywhere I go to “Be thankful!”Well, call me the Scrooge of Thanksgiving, but I’m just not feeling thankful. The more someone tells me to “Be thankful!” the more I feel a sense of despair.Be thankful? In the midst of Ferguson, Missouri? Jim Wallis writes over at Sojourners that, “Many black families woke up this morning knowing that the lives of their children are worth less than the … [Read more...]

Oprah, the One Question, and Mimetic Desire

Oprah Winfrey (From oprah.com

Oprah Winfrey is used to asking the questions, but there is one question that everyone asks Oprah.From presidents to world dignitaries to movie stars to housewives and househusbands to comedians to perpetrators of crimes to victims of crimes to rich and to poor, when the cameras stop rolling and the lights go off, the question is always the same:Was that okay?Can you believe it? People who seem to have all the success the world has to offer ask the same question as those who commit … [Read more...]