All Saints Day, 2017   The Church witnesses to a world that is broken and enthralled to darkness. It also witnesses to God’s victory over that darkness in the person and work of Christ. But the very shape of that victory is one marked by a time in between and it is into that struggle that the Christian is invited.   That is why the Saints whose lives we celebrated today are not easy people or even likable. They are… Read more

Coming from Scot McKnight, who is himself a leading evangelical voice, the summons to bury the movement this last week came as something of a theological earthquake. But in not very different terms from the title above, that was exactly what he suggested. You can read the article here. I am not an Evangelical, but I do owe a good deal of my early education to teachers who would have described themselves as such. I also think it is important to… Read more

Coming from Scot McKnight, who is himself a leading evangelical voice, the summons to bury the movement this last week came as something of a theological earthquake. But in not very different terms from the title above, that was exactly what he suggested. You can read the article here. I am not an Evangelical, but I do owe a good deal of my early education to teachers who would have described themselves as such. I also think it is important to… Read more

A few weeks ago a firestorm erupted over an announcement at Patheos that former mega-church pastor, Mark Driscoll would be writing for the website. The complaint lodged by fellow Progressive Christians was that Driscoll’s views on women were not only backward and demeaning, but that he had also done women and others real harm. I don’t doubt it. Driscoll has described himself as William Wallace II (of Braveheart fame) and as “a prize fighter with a tattoo down His leg,… Read more

By all means, let’s discover as much as we can about why Stephen Paddock fired blindly into a crowd. By all means, let’s enact any safeguard that might make it more difficult for this kind of thing to happen. But let’s not pretend that it won’t happen again, because it will. Gunshot and death will not always be the outcome. Sometimes, there will be more, not fewer victims. In fact, other kinds of mayhem went largely unnoticed around the world… Read more

In the wake of Hugh Hefner’s demise this week, the BBC solemnly promised, “we’ll discuss whether he empowered women or turned them into sexual objects.” Damon Linker at The Week led with the question: “Was the late Hugh Hefner a friend or a scourge of feminism? The honest answer is: Both.” And those are just two examples of the pseudo-sophisticated efforts that the press and the media made to introduce sage conversation into the obituaries for the twentieth century’s leading… Read more

  I believe in freedom of speech and, therefore, the right to protest. Unless anarchy, revolution, or self-aggrandizement are the goals, I also believe that at the end of any and every protest, the only way in which to achieve the goals of that protest is to define the legislative objectives one wants to achieve, frame it in language that is actionable, win approval for its content, and apply the law. The reverse, however, is not necessarily true: Legislative goals… Read more

Much of the literature on the fundamentalist – modernist controversy of the 1920’s and 30’s is described as the struggle of fundamentalists against modernity — its science, its ways of thinking, approaches to Scripture, and, in particular, the theory of evolution. But what we don’t talk about very much is the way in which the desire not be thought of as fundamentalist has shaped mainline Protestantism. If you read the history of that period, you will discover that big donors… Read more

Over the years I’ve seen and read a number of articles about professional boundaries and their application to work in the church. Much of that literature is very helpful and stakes out areas where abuse and exploitation are all too possible. One has to be grateful for the reminders that literature provides and the protection that it offers for those who might be vulnerable in one way or another. The literature on boundaries also serves to remind people who work… Read more

There should be a special place in purgatory for people who use theology to bludgeon their neighbors. And they almost always surface at times when tragedy strikes, ready to pronounce on its significance – for others, of course. As Kimberly Winston notes, when Superstorm Sandy hit New York in 2012, John McTernan who runs USA Prophecy attributed the storm’s impact to God’s anger over “’the homosexual agenda.’” Franklin Graham blamed Hurricane Katrina on orgies in New Orleans and Buster Willson… Read more




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