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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Wear was President Obama’s director of his 2012 faith-outreach efforts. He is also a theologically conservative evangelical Christian. Some people might find that non-partisan placement a bit odd or problematic. Wear remarked in a recent interview with The Atlantic: One of the things I found at the White House and since I left is this class of people who aren’t driving the political decisions right now, and have significant forces against them, but who are not satisfied with the political… Read more

“Humanism” is a dirty word in some Christian circles. It is often associated with secular humanism, which connotes humans liberated from the stifling constraints of religion and enslaving concepts of deity. The irony is that theologians like John Calvin for whom God was sovereignly involved in the affairs of humanity was a Christian humanist. He was critical of received traditions and went back to the original languages and sources for his arguments. Moreover, he affirmed humans as created in the… Read more

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