About Mark Sandlin

Mark is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) from the South. He currently serves at Presbyterian Church of the Covenant. He is a co-founder of The Christian Left. His blog, The God Article, was recently named as one of the “Top Ten Christian Blogs.” Mark received The Associated Church Press' Award of Excellence in 2012. His work has been published on "The Huffington Post," "Sojourners," "Time," "World Church Services," and even the "Richard Dawkins Foundation." He's been featured on PBS's "Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly" and NPR's "The Story with Dick Gordon." More than anything (other than peace and justice), Mark wants to have a beverage in one hand and a book in the other as he sits on an island beach.

Paternal Concerns – A Message on Naming God

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A message based on Isaiah 49:8-16.Naming God is difficult at best, divisive even in its mildest form, and can be thought of as sacrilegious at its worst. I was confronted squarely with this reality as I entered Divinity School. I can only begin to tell how excited was was to be accepted into Divinity School at Wake Forest. I had only applied to Princeton, Duke and Wake Forest and quite frankly had low hopes of being accepted into any of them. I still remember the day my acceptance l … [Read more...]

If Opinions Were Colors, Progressives Would Be Purple

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We Progressive Christians pride ourselves on how open-minded we are and how our open minds naturally lead us to include lots of folks who don't look like us.It's a beautiful thing really.Those gathered around the progressive table have greatly diverse heritages, socio-economic backgrounds, and even education levels. For Progressive Christians, this is what we understand God wants for humanity: people of all shapes and colors gathering together in a great human rainbow of love and … [Read more...]

A Letter to Progressive Christians: “On the Death of Progressive Christianity”

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Dear Fellow Progressive Christians,I have bad news.I'm really sorry about this; but, the prognosis came back and I'm afraid its terminal.Progressive Christianity is done for. Kaput. Finé.Bummer, right?Don't take it out on me. I mean, I'm just the messenger.The good folks over at “Standing on my Head” (SOMH), on Patheos' Catholic Channel, compiled all the difficult analysis, historical context, and sound critical thinking about Progressive Christianity’s demise.By “co … [Read more...]

A Prayer of Awakening for the New Year

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Good and gracious God,Awaken us.May this new year be the year we see violence, oppression, hatred, hoarding, power, and privilege with eyes wide open. Even as we’ve made progress in the year that has passed, 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 a … [Read more...]

A Prayer for the 1st Sunday of Advent

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Good and gracious God,It is never easy to wait... that may be why Advent is so hard for us.But Loving God, it is not so hard for you.You wait for us to turn from our old ways toward the life you desire for us.You wait for us to admit what we have done, and what we have failed to do, so we might be freed toward the life you know we can have here on Earth.But our fears and our failures get in the way.We lose sight of hope and find ourselves stuck in … [Read more...]

Jesus Responds to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

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(Based on and adapted from Matthew 25:34-45, The Message)Then Jesus will say to those on the left, "Enter, you who are blessed by God. Receive what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was hungry, thirsty, homeless and shivering because I was a refugee and you welcomed me … [Read more...]

A Prayer on Peace

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Good and gracious God,Life itself is a struggle between peace and violence.In the wild violence gives life to some even as it takes it from others.In relationships violence shatters hopes, destroying both people in different ways.Inside ourselves violence wreaks havoc as we tear ourselves down in judgement, low self-esteem, self-doubt, and pity.Yet, in each of us, it would seem there is a seed of peace. It calls out not only to be recognized, but to be … [Read more...]

Progressive Christianity is Not an Oxymoron

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They said I was... a radical. a liberal. anti-American. a tree hugger. a peacenik. a socialist. a progressive. But I was just following Jesus.Contrary to what some may tell you, progressive Christianity is not an oxymoron. We have a long tradition of progressive ancestors going all the way back to Jesus – yes, Jesus was progressive, not actually Christian, but he did start the whole movement.History is important. It informs us, inspires us and it can even comfort us. I … [Read more...]

A Prayer on Letting Go of “Magical” Prayer

Good and gracious God,Not my will, but thy will.Letting go  of prayer that is somehow magical can be a very difficult thing to do.To have the power to change your will, to change you, is appealing  in a most human way.We confess  that our understanding of prayer is slippery and seldom certain.We know what we want it to be, most of the time, but it is so difficult  to grasp it's true potential: not to change you and not specifically to change the world but to … [Read more...]

By Her Own Standards Bristol Palin is Worse Than a Slave Owner – Here’s Why

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By many people’s measure, Sarah Palin spawned the likes of Donald Trump and Ben Carson in the GOP. It's so terribly fitting then (and I do mean terribly) that Sarah's daughter, Bristol, has not only taken up one of Ben Carson's more ridiculous blatherings, but has taken it to the next level.In a recent article post for Patheos, Bristol writes that not only is Carson correct in saying people who have abortions are like slave owners, they are actually worse!Bristol's argument goes like t … [Read more...]


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