“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...]

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...]

All I Want For Christmas Is…

At our house for the past several Christmases, we’ve had (for us) the unusual joy of not putting up a Christmas Tree...Or lights...Or decorations.We make no production of Christmas at all and, through this lack of production, we've realized a blessing.For most people, Christmas truly has become a production. Granted, it is an enjoyable one for many, but a production none-the-less.Unfortunately, that production has become a framework upon which we hang all our Christmas e … [Read more...]

The Jesus Parable the GOP Loves but Should Actually Hate

Image used with permission: ThinkProgress / Adam Peck

The Parable of the Talents is the story of a lazy slave who buries the talents (think “a lot of money”) his Master gives him and receives exactly what an insolent and do-nothing slave deserves: a demeaning lecture and getting booted to the dark edges of society where he will suffer greatly for his poor stewardship of his master's money.If you don't hear in that parable the echoes of the GOP's perspective about food stamps, universal health care and pretty much anything else that takes care of … [Read more...]

I Met Jesus in Rome: First Look at a Movie About Jesus’ Childhood

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Anne Rice's engaging book Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt is being made into a movie that's currently slated for release in the Spring of 2016.That's how I met Jesus in Rome.I also walked the streets of Alexandria, sat in the throne room of King Herod and stood on the steps of the Temple in Jerusalem – all in one day... while in Rome.I was fortunate enough to be invited out to the set for the movie. They are filming at a movie studio that is truly historic. It's called Cinecittà, Ita … [Read more...]

Stay Informed My Friends – A Cautionary Tale

stay informed my friends

Recently, a friend and I were at a local book and coffee shop talking about our faith. We both tend toward what I think of as having an "evolving faith." That is, one which is both willing to question the traditions of the Church and also to incorporate other perspectives.We talked about the value of various faiths, the importance of new information and a variety of other topics that aren't welcomed in as many churches as they should be.They are the kind of things that are ultimately … [Read more...]

The Harry Potter Re-Write, “Christian” Style,” is Everything That’s Wrong With Christianity

Jim Carrey dressed as Harry Potter in the film "Yes Man"

Once upon a time, there was a segment of Christian believers who lived under the fear of everything and anything that wasn't exactly like them or what they had been taught to be true.One day, one of these folks, a lady and mom named Grace Anne whose user name was proud housewife, decided that her wee little ones were being deprived.You see, they wanted to read books – Harry Potter books – but Grace Anne was afraid because everyone knows that if you read Harry Potter books, you turn into a … [Read more...]

Love is a Hell of a Thing

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“Love” is a notoriously difficult emotion to define.The word sounds so simple, yet defies a simple definition.We throw it around like a Frisbee.“I love you.” “I love my kids.” “I love my spouse.” “I love a good Cab Sauv.” “I love Sunday football.”You know what I really love? Vanilla ice cream with crunched-up Reese’s Cups in it!When trying to define love, the problem we run into is this: the love I have for my kids, the love I have for my wife and the love I have for vanilla i … [Read more...]

The One Thing That Can Save the Church (and the One Thing That Is Stopping That One Thing)


I have this nasty habit of oversimplifying things. So, feel free to let the “it's not that easy” and “you're such a simpleton” arguments begin, but I truly do think that all of the problems of the Church can be attributed to one thing.You fix that one thing and you can save the Church from its continuing slide to irrelevance for increasingly larger portions of society.Possibly the most frightening and disappointing thing about this “one thing” is that it has been a teaching of the Church … [Read more...]

10 MORE Things Churches Can’t Do While Following Jesus

little church dark sky

First, let's just be clear: I'm not saying it is impossible to do these things if you're following Jesus.But, I am saying that if you are doing these things you aren't following Jesus while you do them – because they aren't what Jesus would do.Not all churches are doing these things, but there's enough who are that it's more than worth talking about.Also, this is also not meant to be a complete list or even a “Top Ten” list. After all, I've already written a list of 10 other things (w … [Read more...]