Help! “I’m blessed” vs “Why me?” A product of awful theology

Even worse, this theology of God’s absolute sovereignty and control leads to the elevation of those who, for example, may have acquired great wealth. Surely they could have only done that because God “blessed” them. Dear Thoughtful Pastor: A few minutes ago I was sitting on the back porch, looking at the new growth on [Read More…]

Silence: a movie for those tired of lies about God

Silence stops in its tracks the lies that good humans won’t suffer. It strips away any surety that our right actions and beliefs will bring the results we want. I spent my formative Christian years in Evangelicalism. This world hands out books of God’s promises: Bible verses, yanked from context, that suggest God is in [Read More…]

SILENCE: a must-see profoundly Christ-centered film

It all goes wrong for two idealistic young Portuguese priests in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant work, SILENCE. For silence is what they get from God, despite all their earnest prayers and pleadings for answers and hope. The two, Father Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Francisco Garrpe (Adam Driver) have heard that their mentor, Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson), [Read More…]

Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: When Will They Pray? Good Friday Meditations

Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I have visited a number of churches in the last few years. Often I wonder during the services, “When are they going to pray?” Every year on Good Friday, my mom made us sit still for three hours from noon to three. She reminded us that Jesus was on the cross. Why [Read More…]

The Sounds of Silence

The words to a Simon and Garfunkle song from my youth have been reverberating in my brain all week as I continue to agonize over the heartbreaking news in community where I live and serve.  Remember this? Hello darkness, my old friend I’ve come to talk with you again Because a vision softly creeping Left [Read More…]

The Power of Solitude

I just finished reading a musing on the necessity of disconnecting ourselves from the social network in order to reconnect with our inmost selves.  I found myself resonating with nearly every word written.  Although I did not backpack around Europe as a young adult, as did the author of that piece, I did leave home [Read More…]