It’s Not Easy Being a Pro-Gay Black Church

Rev. Oliver White's congregation may not survive his decision to support gay ordination. (Jerry Holt/StarTribune)

As Rose French reports in the StarTribune, the only black congregation that is officially “open and affirming” now hovers on the brink of closure:

The Rev. Oliver White knew not everyone at his St. Paul church was going to agree with his support for gay marriage.

But he never imagined that nearly two-thirds of his congregation would leave.

And now, Grace Community United Church of Christ, the only UCC church in Minnesota with a predominantly black congregation, is in desperate straits. The church has until June 30 to raise $200,000 to pay off a loan, otherwise it likely will be forced to close, White says.

Read the rest, including where contributions are coming from: St. Paul UCC church at brink of closing over gay-marriage stand |

Scott Paeth Responds to the Process Theologians

Scott left a lengthy comment defending himself. I am hereby promoting it to a post:

Well, this is what I get for opening my big mouth! Having read through the thread there’s no way I could possibly do justice to all of the insights that Tony’s other readers are offering here. Let me offer a few off the cuff remarks to put some of what I wrote on my blog in a bit more context.

1. First of all, I should clarify that I do appreciate a lot about process theology. I think that its emphasis on the divine immanence can be an important corrective to theology that overly accentuate the divine transcendence, and to that degree, it serves an important theological role that I in no way want to deny. It’s also among the most fresh and creative approaches to theology to emerge from the 20th century and I appreciate it if for no other reason than simply that it’s interesting.

2. My own position could probably be best described as “panentheistic” in the Moltmannian sense of the term, which, at least as I read him, depends on the idea which is rooted in Anselm’s ontological argument that God’s being does not depend on the contingency of the world, but that God chooses to enter into the contingency of creation as an act of divine self-emptying for the sake of creation. What this approach offers is a way of understanding divine immanence that does not rely on a necessary God/world connection as does the God of process theology. God is, as one commentator noted, both within creation and transcendent, and God’s being is not in that sense reliant on creation, but God in love chooses to descend within creation, ultimately even unto death.

[Read more...]

Garden Update

I’ll admit, a couple neighbors gave me odd looks. Not because I tore up a bunch of my lawn and planted a big vegetable garden, but because when they asked where I learned how to do it, I responded, “My blog readers.” Thanks to everyone who gave me advice. I’ve tried to follow it.

Here’s what we did:

If you look closely, you can see the old garden on the left, dwarfed by a 7-year-old.

No, I didn't rent a power sod cutter. That explains the size of my right quadricep.

Built the raised beds with the heaviest lumber that Home Depot carries.

More pics below the fold:

[Read more...]

My Response to Andy Campbell

I’ve responded to Andy Campbell’s review of my book:

Objectivity in the social sciences is a unicorn. It never existed. Just ask Christian Smith, who after years of researching his fellow evangelicals converted to Catholicism. Anyone who does research is affected by that research. And, if they’re paying attention, the object of the research is similarly affected. I pray that evangelicals read Smith’s books and are chastened, and that people in the Vineyard will closely read T.M. Luhrmann’s masterful new book, When God Talks Back.

via Jones’ Response to Campbell : the church and postmodern culture.