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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We attribute lots of things to Jesus and/or the bible. Lots of things. We go to the bible for our political views. We give Jesus credit for our slogans. We use ideas that have been handed down to us without testing them, and assume they are biblical. We all have likely done this at one time or another. After all, we are human beings. Not only do we hand ideas down through the various channels of culture, but we have… Read more

If you follow my social media channels, you likely already saw this. I am honored and perplexed. Here’s the video to check out! Thank you World Impact with Billy Wilson! The quote comes from my varied work on Revelation. I have an archive of work on Revelation here at Patheos as well as a great book/commentary list at my resource site. After seeing this episode, I’m hopeful for a shift in evangelical Christianity. TBN has been known for promoting one… Read more

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