Lifeway’s Apology for ‘Rickshaw Rally’ Creates Space for Deeper Conversations on Race

Multicolored people sitting at a round table

LifeWay's recent apology issued at the Mosaix 2013 conference is a sign of hope that the Evangelical church I love is moving forward toward greater multi-ethnic inclusivity. Having spoken at the conference, I was present to hear the recorded LifeWay apology for the decade-old offense for caricaturing Asian people and culture in its Rickshaw Rally VBS curriculum. Fellow Mosaix 2013 conference presenter and dear friend Soong-Chan Rah had this to say about the apology: I'm really moved that LifeWay … [Read more...]

Humanize Religion: A Seminary Class Discussion with a Pagan and a Former Druid

Jason and me when he spoke in my class last summer.

Pagan leader Jason Pitzl-Waters spoke in my world religions class yesterday. Jason is perhaps best known for his blog, The Wild Hunt: A Modern Pagan Perspective. Jason travels from Eugene to Portland (not a short ride) to put a human face on Paganism for my students. One of the things he asks himself is: "If I don't come and speak, who will the Christian seminary professor bring in as a guest speaker?" He shared his internal musings with my class and put the matter in context so that we could a … [Read more...]

Trustworthy Rivals: On an Alternative Path to Multi-Faith Discourse

The-One-and-the-Many[1] (2)

Interfaith or multi-faith discourse can easily fall prey to agreeing to agree on everything, even where there are significant differences. Such agreement and affirmation may come across as disingenuous at worst, naïve and exaggerated at best. As I have had to tell various people of non-Christian faith communities over the years when engaged in such discourse, we are not saying the same thing.A more straightforward and plausible approach is that taken by the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy … [Read more...]

Reconciliation Is More Than a Hugathon, Part 2


One of the questions I asked at the end of the post “Reconciliation Is More than a Hugathon” was, “What does racial repentance entail economically for individuals who have oppressed people of diverse ethnicities?” Answer: the same thing they should do toward those they have oppressed of their own ethnicity.For example, Zacchaeus made amends for the wrongs he had committed toward individuals of his own people group—and with interest (See Luke 19:1-10). In Luke 3, John the Baptist tells his lis … [Read more...]

When Does a Child Grow Up?


When does a boy become a man? What is the measure of his manhood? What about a girl?Muddy Waters sang of being a “manish boy.” On the opposite side, Mark Driscoll has spoken of a host of males who want to remain adolescents: they are really only boys who can shave. Who is a real woman? Marilyn Monroe, Condoleezza Rice, or June Cleaver of Leave It to Beaver fame? Are our conceptions of manhood, womanhood and childhood bound up with the essence of reality or are they social constructs?I ref … [Read more...]

Reforming Our Understanding of Romans 13 on Immigration Reform

121119 P I Can't Wait for Christian America to Die

This piece was originally published at the Evangelical Immigration Table.A student from Arizona once remarked in a class discussion on justice and immigration that it was against Arizona law to give a cup of water to an undocumented person. As a result of his understanding (or misunderstanding) of the Arizona law, he said he would not provide relief to someone he knew was undocumented. He was surprised when I asked, “What would Jesus do?” if our Lord faced the same situation. After all, Jes … [Read more...]

Reconciliation Is More Than a Hugathon


Reconciliation apart from justice is not reconciliation. So, too, biblical justice entails reconciliation. To adapt Immanuel Kant’s famous claim from his critical epistemology and apply it to a critical and constructive model of race reconciliation, it would read: reconciliation without justice is empty; justice without reconciliation is blind. What does each side of this claim look like? We’ll take up each one of these items in successive posts. First, reconciliation without justice is empty. We … [Read more...]