Baton Rouge, Minneapolis, Dallas: What Next?

I grew up in a racist home.Prejudice was privately expressed. Racial slurs were commonplace behind closed doors, and Martin Luther King was the object of anger and suspicion.I was intuitively uncomfortable with the racism that surrounded me. I avoided using the language that I heard, and I didn’t allow the prejudices to influence my behavior. I can’t explain my resistance to the language of racism that I heard so often as a child, and it took time to acquire the language that I needed to … [Read more...]

The One Thing that Matters in a Changing Church

A dear friend, who recently converted to Catholicism, told this story about a recent experience at church: This past Easter I was given a Rosary from a friend in commemoration of my having completed the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process and entered the Catholic Church. Ours is a fairly large church for a rural area: about 1,200 families from several counties in north Texas and southern Oklahoma. We serve a large area partly because we are a place where Hispanic families can … [Read more...]

Public Discourse and The Language of Derision

The language of derision has become increasingly commonplace in public discourse. The labels, “stupid,” “elitist,” “racist,” and their synonyms have become increasingly commonplace in public discourse.Our political leaders use the language of derision to describe the people they lead when they fail to respond positively to their appeals. Political operatives use the language of derision in ads and promotions that provide cover for candidates who hope to benefit from that kind of language, but … [Read more...]

Evangelicals, Donald Trump, and 4 Lessons in Politics for the Church

The meeting that a handful of Evangelicals had with Donald Trump this week has something to teach Evangelicals and Christians of every stripe.One:Meetings of this kind run the risk of painting the whole of a segment of the Christian community in terms that appear unified and homogenous. Christians -- even hyphenated Christians (Evangelical-Christians, Progressive-Christians, Roman Catholic-Christians, etc.) -- do not see their faith or political issues in the same way.But when a … [Read more...]

3 Things Religious Leaders Can Do in the Wake of the Massacre in Orlando

Reflecting on the terrorist attack on “The Pulse” in Orlando, columnist, Bruce Bower, notes that the events “’shocked’” some politicians. “’Who would have expected such a thing?’ people kept asking.”Bower observes something that I’ve thought for some time as well: “Actually, I’ve been expecting just such a thing for years. The only shock was that it took this long for some jihadist to go after a gay establishment. Islamic law, after all, is crystal clear on homosexuality, though the various … [Read more...]

The Decoder Ring Approach to Revelation

The decoder ring approach to reading the book of Revelation has, sadly, become the de facto orthodox approach to interpreting it. As a result, the vast majority of people, when asked about their views of the book often assume that it should be read as a roadmap to our lives or, more accurately, the end of our lives.There are countless problems with this approach to reading the Book of Revelation, but here are my top three:One the roadmap approach doesn’t interpret the book of Revelation i … [Read more...]

Four Reasons for Abandoning the Term, Post-Christian

The potted definition of Post-Christianity that Wikipedia offers, summarizes as well as any, a term that is frequently used to describe the challenge that the contemporary church faces: “the loss of the primacy of the Christian worldview in political affairs, especially in the Global North where Christianity had previously flourished, in favor of alternative worldviews such as secular nationalism.[2] It includes personal world views, ideologies, religious movements or societies that are no longe … [Read more...]

Don’t tell the unemployed, “It doesn’t make sense.”

"It doesn't make sense."That’s the common refrain from across the table --- the one thing the handful of people who will talk to you will say over and over again when you are unemployed: “It doesn’t make sense.”There are many reasons for that refrain.Some are simply trying to understand.The work that you did, the contribution that you made, the stack of commendations that you received, the article that featured your work, the claims that the company relied on your efforts, the to … [Read more...]