The Lost Cause of the Prosperity Gospel

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 2.33.43 PM

While it's not surprising that a who's who of prosperity gospel televangelists held a prayer meeting with Donald Trump at the Trump Tower, it is at least striking that a group of Christian leaders would so readily discredit both themselves and the gospel they claim to believe.Truly, the prosperity gospel itself discredits everyone and everything associated with it, but this was just like, "Hey, gross abuse of the gospel for personal gain, I'm gonna see your 60 million dollar Gulfstream … [Read more...]

Finding our Subterranean Way Again: Chapter 1 Review of Dan White Jr.’s New Book


Numbers tell us very little about rootedness. This sentence captures the strong start of Dan White Jr.'s new book Subterranean. And it captures my attention too.See, I used to be a church planter. It's not that I am against church planting now - it's just that I'm not a church planter anymore. I have a clarity about that, a clarity that's been hard to come by, that has taken some time to embrace, but a clarity nonetheless. Yet, my clarity about not being a church planter anymore, and about … [Read more...]

Man of No Reputation


He was a man of no reputation By the wise considered a fool For he spoke about faith and forgiveness In a time when the strongest arms ruledAnd this man of no reputation Loved the weak with relentless affection And he loved all those poor in spirit Just as they were He was a man of no reputation This past Saturday was the anniversary of Rich Mullins' death. And seeing all the reflections on social media triggered a memory of how I used to listen to his posthumously released Jesus … [Read more...]

The Heart of the Gospel is…Anger? Really? The Anatomy of a John Piper Tweet


As we've seen before, when John Piper tweets, it can get ugly. Like it did here:, of course, that 140 characters does not a systematic theology make, this particular tweet says a lot about where Piper and his followers are coming from. Let's take it apart piece by piece and see what the anatomy yields: Characters 1-23: "The heart of the gospel" You don't have to be Rob Bell to have a problem with the suggestion that what … [Read more...]

Bernie Sanders: At Liberty, With Justice, For All

Image from screenshot

By now you're aware that Bernie Sanders, Senator from my home state of Vermont and Democratic frontrunner in the early presidential bid, visited Liberty University on Monday and gave a speech at the school's convocation. You can watch that speech here:But what you might not realize is that the significance of this event was not merely that a liberal politician spoke at a conservative Christian college. The significance was that a message of justice was spoken in a context that has … [Read more...]

Tonight’s the Night – Writing About Binge-Watching the Gospel at Seedbed!


Today I'm over at Seedbed writing about binge-watching the gospel story in our cultural stories - and my journey from Dexter to now: “Tonight’s the night. And it’s going to happen again, and again. Has to happen.” With this ominous voiceover, we are introduced to a TV character named Dexter. And the thing that is going to happen tonight – that will happen again and again – is killing. When I began writing my first book in 2012, I had an interesting task ahead of me: to connect the story of a T … [Read more...]

Top Ten Reasons Donald Trump is the Perfect American Evangelical


David Letterman retired this past spring, and one hopes the nightly Top Ten List has been retired along with him like a well-worn NBA jersey. However, that won't stop me, a lifelong Letterman fan, from doing my own weekly Top Ten List - with a faith and culture twist. Paul, drumroll please... Top Ten Reasons Donald Trump is the Perfect American Evangelical Number 10... Strongly believes a woman (Megyn Kelly) should not be permitted to teach a man (Trump) and must be quiet (shut up)Number 9 … [Read more...]

For Christianity in the U.S., the Apocalypse is NOW

Image via the Walking Dead, AMC

Does the decline of Christian faith in America signal the end of the church as we know it?Are these the "last days" for Christianity in the U.S.?Is the culture moving on, leaving us behind?As Christian institutions of all categories and denominations face drastic decline, and the non-religious share of the population continues to expand, it might appear that Christian faith in America is experiencing its very own apocalypse.And that's true.The apocalypse is now.But it's n … [Read more...]

Evangelicalism TRUMPS the Shark: What’s a Messy Middle Christian To Do?


Do conservative evangelical Republicans really like Donald Trump?It certainly seems that some of the more intellectual evangelical leaders are not big fans, but it also seems that much of the evangelical populous, at least those that clearly identify as Republican, are.This is the only way that Trump could be leading in the polls, even among evangelicals. It also explains his upcoming meeting with evangelical heavies (at least in the celebrity/prosperity gospel world). Finally, it would … [Read more...]

Divorcing Josh Duggar’s Monster God

photo: Kevin Dooley, CC via Flickr

In the recent Ashley Madison hack, Josh Duggar was outed as having a paid account for seeking adulterous affairs.After the leak, he admitted to cheating on his wife, and to porn addiction.This, of course, came on the heels of the recent horrific revelations that he molested his sisters as a teen.And, perhaps not surprisingly, reports are now surfacing that Anna Duggar, Josh's wife, will not consider divorcing him as an option. In fact, she may even be accepting some of the blame for h … [Read more...]