People Aren’t Monoliths. Shatter the Stereotypes.

In an interview with Charlie Rose back in November 2016, Jon Stewart analyzed the Presidential election results. While liberal, Stewart had harsh words for liberals. They will tell others not to view Muslims as monoliths, as well as other oft-classified people groups; however, they often turn around and treat those who voted for Mr. Trump as monoliths. People aren’t monoliths; we are infinite contradictions, like America itself. Just because someone voted for Mr. Trump, it doesn’t make them racist, Steward… Read more

There’s No Need to Ask God for Forgiveness—Is This “Fake News”?

Richard Niebuhr wrote in The Kingdom of God in America, “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.” I don’t know if President Trump has ever read Niebuhr, but this quote reminds me of how the new President views his relationship with God. Watch this video clip (click here) in which then-candidate Trump responds to the following question by Republican pollster Frank Luntz during the Family Leadership… Read more

Have No Fear? President Trump Is a Religiously Pious Leader

A famous meme frames President Trump’s National Prayer Breakfast speech last Thursday as lacking religious reflection, in contrast to President Obama’s speech last year. To the contrary, Trump’s speech (which I had opportunity to hear in person) did not portray him as irreligious or as anti-religious. His talk framed him as a religious nationalist. His is a national piety, by and large, whether or not he has any personal piety. It should be noted that President Trump expressed gratefulness to… Read more

Blind Spots: How Education Suffers When We Are Blind to the Disabled and Poor

The turbulence surrounding Betsy DeVos as President Trump’s pick for Education Secretary included concern over people with disabilities and the poor (Refer here and here for articles on Ms. DeVos’ nomination). One of the major civil rights laws related to education is that states that receive federal aid must provide services to children with disabilities. Ms. DeVos did not appear to be aware of this law, as she said that each state should decide what to do concerning students with… Read more

Desperate Times Require Desperate Prayers

I attended the National Prayer Breakfast and related gatherings in Washington, D.C. this week. I heard from U.S. Representatives and Senators from both major parties. I joined with others in praying for them, our nation, and the world. The leaders in Congress shared of how chaotic and desperate the times are. There is such turmoil in policy and procedure, as well as the factionalism and hostilities that blanket Washington, the country, and the world. These are desperate times. The breakfast… Read more

Pro-Life, All Life: Women, Refugees, Fetuses, the Earth and You

The past few weeks have been quite eventful. We have witnessed the Women’s March, the March for Life, and the Travel Ban, to name an important few. In addition to fears I have about certain directions politically, I am afraid that many within my Evangelical Christian movement will be known more for what they are against—abortion and undocumented people—than others of us are known for being pro-life, all-life. I hope my Evangelical movement as a whole would be known for… Read more

We Are All Fugitives and Refugees East of Eden

Have you ever lived out of a suitcase? It isn’t easy. I can only imagine what it must be like for a refugee, who is fleeing one country in search of another, only to be held back from entering upon arrival. The closest I have gotten to this state of affairs, and it isn’t even close, is when we were in search of work overseas in the late 1990’s. A promising opportunity and invitation to interview for a position (all… Read more

On the 2017 Women’s March Across the Globe: A Conversation with Carolyn Custis James

In view of the massive women’s protests across the globe last weekend, I asked my friend and colleague Carolyn Custis James if she would respond to the following questions. She graciously accepted the invitation. A word of introduction. Carolyn Custis James is an award-winning author and cancer survivor, who thinks deeply about what it means to be a female follower of Jesus in a postmodern world. She blogs at Missio Alliance as a Leading Voice and at Huffington Post/Religion. She is the author of numerous works: Malestrom:… Read more

What Kind of Gospel Do You Preach?

We all preach a gospel, not just TV evangelists. The question is: what kind of gospel do you preach and believe in? In The Rolling Stones’ song “All Down the Line,” Mick Jagger sings of needing a “sanctified girl” with a mind that’s sanctified to help him in the here and now, and how every once in a while he needs a “shot of salvation.” In Caddy Shack, Bill Murray’s character Carl Spackler talks about receiving from the Dalai Lama… Read more

Post-Ascension to the Presidency: Why All the Uproar?

The rain fell at the inauguration of U.S. President Donald J. Trump. Supporters and critics interpreted the rainfall differently: the former as a good omen and the latter as a bad omen (Refer here and here). While not quite the occasion of a downpour, the event did lead to an ensuing uproar. In addition to the strong differences of opinion over the symbolic import of the weather, debate also raged over the size of the crowds in Washington, D.C. during… Read more

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