How (Not) to Deconstruct Hell (and a quote from N.T. Wright)

As I often do, I find myself circling back to a subject that has been a matter of deconstruction in the past: HELL Yep, H-E-Double-Hockey… it is an an issue that many of us continue to wrestle with. Now, there are two approaches to deconstructing hell. 2 Approaches to Deconstructing Damnation First, you might find yourself saying: “I can’t believe in a God like that, who would send billions of people to hell for eternity.” If this is you, I… Read more

Resisting New Year’s Burnout and the Way of Jesus

  It is a new year. That is neat. 2018: we made it. And of course, “newness” is a Christian theme that runs through the entire biblical story. Sometimes, in the Bible (and life), things happen that are so brand new that we are tempted to forget the road that led to that moment. The resurrection of Jesus was brand new, but it was also the extension of something that God had already been up to. God had already chosen… Read more

Protestants Don’t Know What to Do with Mary

Mary. There’s something about her, so they say. Protestants haven’t known what to do with her. I’ve seen two basic trends. 1) Protestants who ignore Mary’s subversive joy. 2) Protestants who run from Mary’s miracle. Both of these trends are troubling. Many “traditionalists” ignore Mary (for the most part) because of the “Catholic” thing (insert eye roll here). In their ignorance, beyond the images in Christmas cards and in attempting to prove Jesus was God due to the miraculous virgin conception,… Read more

Jesus’ Radical Kingdom Reformation within Judaism (and some stuff about The Reformation)

ust like Luther, and the later reformers 500 years ago, the message of Jesus upset the gatekeepers of religious boundaries. Whenever this happens, the gatekeepers must decide if they are going to tear down the arbitrary gates and redefine who is “in.” Or will they resist as though the movement of God is limited by human boundaries? Read more

Value All Human Life: From the Womb to the Tomb

To claim one values human life, such a claim must include all human life. Read more

Why Rapture Predictors Are Always Wrong (Revelation in a Nutshell)

You will never correctly predict something that isn’t actually in the scriptures. Read more

Church Toilets and Reading the Bible with Agendas

Did you know that churches haven’t always had indoor plumbing? (Yes, of course you knew this.) In fact, it wasn’t until the 1880s that church building (and regular buildings and homes) started to get toilets installed on a mass scale. And if you have ever been part of a congregation where the color of the carpet takes 24 monthly committee meetings, 8 quarterly council meetings, and 2 annual business meetings, to be decided upon… you will understand where I’m going… Read more

Sometimes Reading the Bible Literally Is Literally Wrong

For most of my life the goal of reading Scripture was information in, transformation out. It was almost as if the Bible was an archive of knowledge that could be mastered by the most devoted disciple. And often I still notice this trend playing itself out in one way or another. In other words, Christian character is often measured by how many verses someone can whip out in a freestyle theological debate. But 2 Chonicles 2.7 says…. and then Revelation… Read more

Jesus Never Said: “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves”

Perhaps you’ve heard the catchphrase: “God helps those who help themselves.” It might have come up at a dinner table during the election. In our day, this phrase comes up in political banter more than any other place. One side claims that Jesus gives everyone a fair go at life, so all you have to do is work hard to succeed. At one level I agree: we should strive to be personally responsible where we can be. The other side… Read more

The “Christian” Politics of Stone Throwing

One of the challenges in any era is what to do when there is a difference of opinion. Two key areas come to mind: theology and politics. Yep, so-called Christian politics. When I was in my 20s I deconstructed my faith and politics like crazy. I encountered the idea that the good news of Jesus was so much bigger than I had ever known. Not only did Jesus die and rise to save me from my propensity towards the way… Read more

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