Christianity has it wrong – YOU Are NOT Broken

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Christianity has it wrong.We are not broken.We are not fallen.We are not flawed.We are simply fragile.We are beautifully distractible.We are self-invested because of love, and that love gives us a slight bias toward justice.We are so deeply invested in life that we can, at times, deny the larger good for the experience of the moment.We are not broken.We are human.We are flesh and blood, and we are experiential.Sometimes that makes us better. … [Read more...]

At What Point Do We Get to Say Parts of Christianity are No Longer Christian?

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Before we go any further, please watch the video below.   [Trigger warning: speech about hitting a child.]   Now, you may say, “That guy is an outlier. Most Christians aren't like that.”And while I'd agree that most Christians aren't like that, I’m beginning to believe that far too many are.Take for instance the hyper-masculine version of Christianity pushed by Mark Driscoll, or the North Carolina minister who wanted to fence in all gay people by gender (you k … [Read more...]

God Will Not Determine the Outcome of the Super Bowl (I Hate That I Even Have To Write These Words)

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Stop giving glory to God after athletic events.You are going to make the baby Jesus cry.Honestly, you are going to make every version of Jesus cry (except for Republican Jesus). Republican Jesus wants you to give glory to God after utterly defeating another team. We'll get to why in just a minute.But first a little theological ground work.The “Providence of God” is fancy seminary talk for how involved God is on a day to day basis in making stuff happen. There are all kinds of b … [Read more...]

If You Aren’t a Little Bit Agnostic, You Might Not Be Progressive

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I prefer to use the word “agnostic” as an adjective rather than a noun.Here's origin of that preference: It starts with this video from one of my living heroes, Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, in which he addresses the question of whether or not he is atheist.     If you didn’t watch the video – or maybe missed it, Dr. Tyson says:“...I would say, if I find a word that comes closest it would be agnostic. . . to refer to someone who does … [Read more...]

The Irrationality of Fundamentalism in Progressive Thought

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“You have to believe in (insert Church driven dogma) if you want to consider yourself Christian.”The way I see it, progressivism and fundamentalism don't mix. I mean, like oil and water, you can put them together, but ultimately they are much too different to exist together.Sooner or later, they separate.It may be helpful to talk a little about what I mean by “progressive” and “fundamentalist.”Books can (and have) been written on what the two terms mean. So, keep in mind that I … [Read more...]

“SELMA”: Inspiring and, Thankfully, Not Iconic


SELMA begins with Dr. King receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.In his acceptance speech, of which we do not get to hear the actual text, since Stephen Spielberg and DreamWorks own the rights to all of his speeches, Dr. King accepts the award on behalf of all of those who made the Civil Rights movement possible. (It should be noted that director Ava DuVernay, in a stunning rewrite of Paul Webb's original screenplay, time and time again manages to deftly approximate the style of Dr. King's speech … [Read more...]

How the “I’m Special” Confirmation Bias Ruins the Bible

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The bumper sticker that jokingly says, “God loves us all, but I'm His favorite,” points to a much bigger problem that absolutely ruins much of what we read, (or, more precisely, interpret) from the Bible.Everybody wants to be loved. It's human nature to want to know that you matter to others. We all want to know that we are “special” to someone.One of the strengths of the Christian faith (among other faiths) is the confirmation that God loves you – that you are special.It is also one … [Read more...]

A Prayer of Awakening for 2015

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Good and gracious God,Awaken us.May 2015 be the year we see violence, oppression, hatred, hoarding, power, and privilege with eyes wide open.  Even as we've made progress in 2014, assuring more equality for some, and enlivening a sense of righteous resistance against the abuse of power in others, we have continued to live in an all too routine awareness of the places in this world where people needlessly suffer and are abused.Aware, but not … [Read more...]

The Problem with “Finding Christ” in “The Least of These”

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St. John Chrysostom once said, “If you do not find Christ in the beggar at the church door, neither will you find him in the chalice.”For me, the truth of this statement is hard to deny. It points to the root of Jesus' message.However, I find myself having quite a lot of trouble with what I see as the intent of the message.It's a message that I speak of frequently: loving “the least of these.”A simple way of expressing actually seeing and loving those marginalized by society is t … [Read more...]

The Joy of Being a Minister Without a Church at Christmas – or – Why You Should Thank Your Minister

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Probably – without much exception, if you attend church, your minister is walking around with an “it's the most wonderful time of the year” look on his or her face.I mean, what's not to love about this “most wonderful time of the year”?The sanctuary has had a facelift – upgraded with poinsettias, garlands, bows, wreaths, and probably even a beautifully lit and decorated Chrismon tree.Children are vibrating with the excitement of the season as they dress up and reenact one of the mos … [Read more...]