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.

Being More Loving [A Prayer]

Good and gracious God,We sometimes struggle to love the way we should.We sometimes allow our relationships to become distorted, exploitative, even destructive.We gossip and slander, we belittle and bully – at times, we even find ourselves wanting vengeance.Remind us that these things, that way of being, points to a systemic problem.That way of being comes into our lives through systems of power, privilege, greed, and other measures of earthly … [Read more...]

10 Things You Can’t Vote For While Following Jesus

Being a “Christian” means “being a little Christ.” Put even more succinctly, it means “following Jesus.”Can you actually do things on this list and call yourself a Christian? Well, of course. Sadly, people do it all the time.Are you following Jesus when you vote for these things. Nope.1) Anti-LGBT lawsAsk yourself: “Who would Jesus discriminate against?”As you think about the answer, keep in mind that while the Pharisees encouraged discrimination against women, tax collector … [Read more...]

Favorite Bible Verses from the GOP “Leadership”

Matthew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, except Transexuals.”Luke 10:27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself – but not your poor neighbor.”Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of the privileged and its righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he … [Read more...]

May We Stop Creating God in Our Image [A Prayer]

Good and gracious God,We love you.But, the you we love is the you we have created.We love discovering that you are much like us – after all we are created in your image, right?We love those moments when when a piece of scripture confirms the things we long suspected and gives us divine permission to hold on to biases, judgement and even damnation.Unexpected God, break into the “realities” we have created.Confirm within us the thing that our spiri … [Read more...]

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

In this series, I’m discussing The Lord’s Prayer, and why I believe it reflects some 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 6, we look at the difficulty in following God's desires.(Read Part 1 here and 2 here and 3 here and 4 here and 5 here).When you pray, say… "May we not be severely tested."Like Jesus, in his life and teachings, The Lord's Prayer stirs things up - it is a radical … [Read more...]

The Lord’s Prayer: DEscription Not PREscription (5 of 6)

In this series, I’m discussing The Lord’s Prayer, and why I believe it reflects some 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 5, we think about the connection between forgiveness and forgiving.(Read Part 1 here and 2 here and 3 here and 4 here).Jesus taught the disciples that prayer should first acknowledge God as “father,” that they (we) should ask God to bring the Kingdom of heaven to ea … [Read more...]

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...]


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