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.

The Lord’s Prayer: DEscription Not PREscription (4 of 6)

In this series, I’m discussing The Lord’s Prayer, and why I believe it reflects Jesus’ most radical and challenging ideas. The prayer is meant to be descriptive of how to pray, not prescriptive on what to pray. In Part 4, we think about what it means to ask God to give us our daily bread.(Read Part 1 here and 2 here and 3 here)Jesus taught that our prayers should first acknowledge God as “father,” and that we should ask God to bring the Kingdom of heaven to earth through us. He then instr … [Read more...]

The Lord’s Prayer: DEscription Not PREscription (3 of 6)

In this series, I’m discussing The Lord’s Prayer, and why I believe that it is one of Jesus’ most radical and challenging ideas. The prayer is meant to be descriptive of how to pray, not prescriptive on what to pray. In part 3, we’re looking at Jesus’ understanding of “the Kingdom,” what it meant to him, and why his interpretation would have been radical.(Read Part 1 here and 2 here)After Jesus had taught his disciples to pray to God as if they were talking to their own father, he turned … [Read more...]

The Lord’s Prayer: DEscription Not PREscription (2 of 6)

In this series, I’m discussing The Lord’s Prayer, and why I believe that it is one of Jesus’ most radical and challenging ideas. It is mean to be descriptive of how to pray, not prescriptive on what to pray. In part 2, we’re looking at Jesus’ name for God, what it means, and why it would have been controversial in his culture.(Read Part 1 here)The very first word of The Lord’s Prayer would have been considered shocking in 1st century Palestine.When the disciples asked Jesus to describ … [Read more...]

The Lord’s Prayer: DEscription Not PREscription

Most Sundays, The Lord’s Prayer can be heard echoing in dull monotone from churches around the US, as the faithful recite the well-known words in unison.“Our father – who art in heaven – hallowed be thy name – thy kingdom come…”Many of us feel comforted or peaceful when we recite what are possibly Jesus’ most famous words, but I’m wondering: do you ever feel…challenged by The Lord’s prayer?Because you should.When you pray The Lord's Prayer, do you feel like you’re saying … [Read more...]

Dear Bernie: Please Keep Running with Dr. King’s Dream

Dear Bernie,I hate to admit it, but I was wrong.A few years ago, when I was having lunch with my friend and award winning writer, Diana Butler Bass, I told her that I didn't think we'd ever have another person like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King again.As a matter of fact, I said I felt that, with the accessibility and freedom of social media, the people collectively would be the next MLK. With the rise of leaderless movements like Occupy Wall Street, it makes complete sense.But, … [Read more...]

Progressive? Christian? Voter? You Need This…

Politics, much like mega-churches, have become a cult of personality.We've seen it for years with the GOP in candidates like Sarah Palin and, more recently, Donald Trump. But, the troubling thing to me is how Democrats seem to have fallen into the same trap this year. Both Bernie and Hillary supporters are willingly turning a blind eye to the very real and sometimes troubling shortcomings of their candidates.That's why I believe the “Progressive Christian Voter's Guide” that The Chr … [Read more...]

Bernie & the Bible: Why This Southern Minister Endorses Bernie Sanders for President

There's a cartoon by Andy Marlette making its way around social media that depicts Jesus standing next to Bernie Sanders while Bernie points at him and says, “What he said.”That, my friends, is why I endorse and am voting for Bernie Sanders.No, not just because of the cartoon.I'm voting for Bernie because I agree with what Marlette’s cartoon implies.It doesn’t imply that Bernie is like Jesus. It doesn't even imply that Bernie is following the teachings of Jesus. Marlette simply r … [Read more...]

The Frightening Implications of Easter

Even with the gruesome reality of Jesus’ suffering on “Good” Friday, our modern understanding of Holy Week and Easter has undersold the dangerous reality of the implications of the Easter story.The Easter story should leave us all quivering in our boots.It should also inspire us to acts of great love that might put us at great personal risk.To truly grasp the terrifying implications of Easter in contemporary society, let's first look at the “historical” realities of Holy Week and East … [Read more...]

A Hysterical Response to NC’s Latest LGBT Legislative Attacks

Beginning today, Wednesday, March 23, 2016, the North Carolina government is going to be wasting $42,000 per day of tax payers’ money on fighting a boogey-monster.That's right. In an attempt to fix a problem that isn't actually a problem, the GOP-led legislature will be throwing away almost as much money EACH DAY as the average person in NC makes in a year.I don't know about you, but that doesn't actually sound very conservative.What's worse is that the boogey-monster they are t … [Read more...]

When You Assume You Make…

Remember that old saying?“When you assume you make an ass out of you and me.”Clever, huh?Ok, not really clever, but it sure does hit the nail on the head.Actually, no, it doesn't.Sure, assuming negative things about people without having any substantial facts to back it up can make you look like a real horse's patoot, but frankly, it only makes an ass out of me if I let it. And, I don't know about you, but I'm not going to let anybody have that kind of power over me.As a … [Read more...]


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