#FFFF: Mark Moore

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I grew up in an extremely patriotic family. My grandfather was in the Navy and was a Pearl Harbor survivor. He was in the shower when the attack happened and spent the first half of the battle in a towel—the second half without a towel. This is real life Braveheart kind of stuff.My dad was in the Navy and served in Vietnam. He built runways for American planes to land on, all of which are still there to this day. I was proud of him and I was proud of my country.I grew up in the 80’s wat … [Read more...]

#FFFF: Sheldon Steen

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The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) made headlines last week at its 221st General Assembly. At this weeklong gathering the body made a number of decisions, most of which are overshadowed by the two biggest: the decision to allow pastors the discretion to perform same-sex marriages and to divest from three companies that sell products to Israel for military purposes. These are obviously watershed moments for the denomination. One publication described the decision on same-sex marriage as a “ … [Read more...]

DeYoung’s Delusion and the Uganda Factor

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If we know anything about The Gospel Coalition, it's that they never miss an opportunity to chime in if gay marriage makes the news cycle. It's TOP PRIORITY over there. And that's because TGC is a Neo-Fundamentalist coalition more than a gospel one.Kevin DeYoung-Restless-and-Reformed is basically TGC's Chief Anti-Gay Correspondent, so when the PCUSA approved gay marriage at their General Assembly last week, Kevin was quick to fire off Five Questions for Christians Who Believe the Bible … [Read more...]

Rape Culture, Bob Jones University, and the End of Forgiveness

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After spending the first half of my life in the church, I've come to the conclusion that evangelical culture is largely dysfunctional in its understanding of "forgiveness."And nowhere is this more clearly seen than in the recent report by Al Jazeera America on Bob Jones University.BJU is fundamentalist to be sure, but their demonstrated approach to "forgiveness" is very common - perhaps even pervasive - in broader evangelical culture. And when abusive and harmful people are part of the … [Read more...]

#FFFF: Andy Gill

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I used to be a pastor, a youth pastor to be exact, but I quickly came to find that church wasn’t for me. The churches I attended felt more like country clubs for the elite, where we learned how to appear moral and nice, it was the message of, "Be everything but who you are."I was tired of pretending. I was tired of lying. I was tired of feeling forced to put on a mask every Sunday morning.I grew up in a caucasian conservative evangelical church, and have worked in only conservative e … [Read more...]

Spiritual But Not Religious – The Authentic Gospel (a sermon)

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I don't preach often these days, but it's an honor when I get the opportunity. Here's my sermon from First UMC Burlington yesterday, where I claim that religious decline is not a problem to be solved, but an opportunity to be had. The Spirit is calling us again in to the surprising work of God. Enjoy! … [Read more...]

Controlling Christianity Kills Creativity

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Much has been written recently about the controlling leadership clamp-down at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, revolving around a famous Non-Compete contract, and the numerous resulting resignations and firings.One resignation that impacted me as an interested observer was that of Zach Bolen, worship pastor and lead singer of the Mars Hill Music band Citizens. I've loved Zach's music, story, and spirit for a while now, and when a source confirmed that Zach simply lost faith in Mark Driscoll and … [Read more...]

Pentecost Survived, Pentecost Received

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Pentecost nearly destroyed me.The son of Pentecostal parent ministers who indulged in the unsafe and the extreme, always dancing on the cliff's edge, renaming constant stress and desperation "walking by faith" while languishing in unhealth - my childhood might have been the end of me.But I survived that Pentecost.And now, 35 years old, 10 solid years of grown-up church ministry behind me, including a church plant that ended painfully, surviving still and trying to sustain - my soul … [Read more...]

Yes, Al Mohler (and Tony Jones), There IS a Third Way

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Recently, Al Mohler blogged that when it comes to gay marriage THERE IS NO THIRD WAY.His curmudgeonly Neo-Fundamentalist take is the right-wing mirror of Tony Jones's position from the left. Tony, too, believes that there's no third way. It's a moment of agreement between the two poles that pretty much proves the accuracy of the fundamentalist label I've recently argued for.At any rate, Al is specifically commenting on a Southern Baptist pastor who recently changed his theological … [Read more...]

A Hermeneutic from Dystopian Fiction, or Creating as an Act of Love [Kevin Shoop]

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"If you act according to a belief, that is the same thing as having the belief." – Margaret Atwood (Toby, quoting Adam One, in MaddAddam)“We read to know we’re not alone.” – William Nicholson, Shadowlands***Before you begin reading, you should know the following:I will not be discussing the Hunger Games series or the Divergent series. I haven’t read or seen any of the books or movies. I will be sharing some thoughts about Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy, which includes Oryx … [Read more...]


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