The REAL Divide in America That Too Few People Acknowledge

Copyright:  / 123RF Stock Photo

Corporate coffers are stuffed full. Their piggy banks runneth over.Since the mid-70s all real income growth has happened for the 10% of earners: top managers, owners and CEOs.But, strangely, businesses continue to lay off workers. And, they demand more work from those 'lucky' enough to keep their jobs (even though US workers already work more and get less time off than the workers of all the other industrialized nations).Us – the workers? We complain.We post our anger and d … [Read more...]

Getting at the Root of Poverty

Copyright:  / 123RF Stock Photo

My wife and I have a wonderful garden in our side yard and a number of flower beds around the house. They are beautiful. We have to work diligently if we want to keep them that way.You see, like most gardeners, we have this little problem.Every time we turn around there are weeds trying to edge out our flowers and veggies.Now, we could just grab them and pull up what will come up and pretty quickly the beds would look beautiful again, but what we leave behind, the root, would … [Read more...]

The United States Needs a New Pair of Glasses

Copyright:  / 123RF Stock Photo

It was 1990 and I was taking my first graduate level classes. Having grown up as a Southern Baptist, I was in my customary back row seat. Out of nowhere my right eye started twitching and it wouldn't stop. It wasn't long before it was driving me mad. It wasn't only slightly physically uncomfortable, but it became socially uncomfortable, too.Trust me, you don't want complete strangers thinking you’re constantly winking at them, particularly in public bathrooms. Awkward.After a few days o … [Read more...]

Viva la Revolution!

protest revolution

(Part 2 of my two part series on poverty in America. Read Part 1 here).Most of us want things to be better for all of us.The problem is the greed of the few in whom most of the power rests.America’s rich and powerful have positioned themselves to create a system in which the government provides charity (“handouts”) instead of justice (legislating a living wage).As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We are still called upon to give aid to the beggar who finds himself in misery and … [Read more...]

The Day I Couldn’t Pray: A True Story of Lament

trying to pray

It was graduation day. I was receiving my first college diploma. I was quite pleased with myself, and it was sort of a big deal in my family. They were all coming to see me receive my diploma. Even my grandmother, who was my last surviving grandparent at that point, made the long trip from the coast to the mountains of North Carolina for the big event.Oddly enough, in the end, they did not get to see what they had come for.Graduation was on a Sunday. I was borrowing a cap and gown from … [Read more...]

The Resurrection is Real, But Not How You Think it Is

Copyright:  / 123RF Stock Photo

Did the Resurrection really happen?I don't know.Comforting, huh?I know, I'm supposed to believe it happened. I'm supposed to have that kind of faith.But, am I supposed to believe in a bodily Resurrection or a spiritual Resurrection?Which Gospel account do I believe? Because they are different.Amazingly brilliant believers have argued those questions for a very long time and come to no agreement.So, Resurrection?I don't know.As my theology professor, Dr. … [Read more...]

The Atonement of the Cross is a Hell of a Thing

Copyright:  / 123RF Stock Photo

“Sandlin’s Jesus isn’t much different from a Gandhi or a Nelson Mandela, great leaders who inspired people to suffer and die for the sake of others, but he cannot take your sins away.” – Michael BirdIt would seem that I owe my sparring partner, Michael Bird, in this “Head to Head” series a "thank you" note or something. I mean, I realize that quote was meant as a jab, but I am honestly flattered. I believe we are all on different paths, seeking the same thing which we frequently name “God.” … [Read more...]

Why Viewing the Cross Through Atonement Creates a God I Can’t Worship

Copyright:  / 123RF Stock Photo

This article is part of the new Head to Head debate feature at Patheos. This week, in concert with our Engaging Easter coverage, I'm debating Evangelical Channel's Mike Bird of "Euangelion". The question... … [Read more...]

Easter Reminds Us That Sunday is Coming

Copyright:  / 123RF Stock Photo

Good Friday.What a horrible name for Friday of Easter week – “good.”Hardly.Dark? Yes. Sad? Yes. Violent? Absolutely!Good? Hardly.I think I prefer the German name for it: Karfreitag, or “Sorrowful Friday.”Easter approaches in the shadow of the devastation of “Good” Friday and the stupefying silence of Holy Saturday. It has struck me year after year as I tried to write an uplifting message for Easter that we need to understand the journey of Friday, Saturday, Sunday; we … [Read more...]

God Did Not Kill Jesus on the Cross for Our Sins

crown thorns blood

Photo: RYGER / Shutterstock.comThis article is part of our new Head to Head debate feature. This week, in concert with our Engaging Easter coverage, I will be debating the Evangelical Channel's Mike Bird of "Euangelion". The question: What did Jesus' death on the cross actually DO?“Why did Jesus die on a cross?”I suspect that question has been asked since the day Jesus actually died on a cross.The most common answer for many Christians, “he died on a cross to pay for our sins … [Read more...]