Mad Dad: What the Wrath of God Cannot Be

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For the most part, Christians view the first Person of the Trinity particularly as Father.Now, I know there is pushback on that designation from progressive folks who promote an equal use of Mother or maybe a more neutral Creator or Divine Parent or Source or something along those lines. For the record, I'm really comfortable with Father primarily because, personally, I desperately desire a heavenly Father. And, biblically, Jesus used this designation almost exclusively. Finally, th … [Read more...]

What the H is Wrong with Evangelicalism?

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There have been lots of conversations recently drawing out strong evangelical statements and, in the process, revealing exactly what might be wrong with the whole darn thing.And let me say straight away, I consider myself an evangelical. I know there are some who would question that identity, but that is precisely the point. Something has gone awry in the conversation around evangelical passion, mission, and faithfulness when it begins to mirror the polarizing, culture-war conversation in … [Read more...]

The Bible is NOT Inerrant (But It IS Eschatological)

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Growing up, I was taught to believe - firmly, absolutely - that the Bible is God's truth.While my Charismatic family didn't quite put it in these words, what they meant was that the Bible is inerrant. Without error in the original autographs. Verbally and plenarily inspired such that every word of it is, in fact, the Word of God. This, after all, is the conservative evangelical bedrock, and my family were conservative evangelicals (even though they spiced it up with Jesus-Movement, … [Read more...]

What Moses Might Say to the United Methodist LGBT Advocate

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Today after church there was a quick town meeting about the current trials vexing the United Methodist denomination.I was impressed by the demonstration of maturity from members as they shared their views and convictions. There was passion, but it was from a general posture of humility and openness. As Pastor Mark shared his hope for a "third way" beyond conservative and liberal warring in the denomination (and in local churches), there seemed to be glimmers of that very thing among the … [Read more...]

On Quitting Things…& Joining the Patheos Progressive Christian Channel

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At the end of December, I posted my new year's resolution: To quit the Progressive Christian Internet in 2014. The post generated a good deal of conversation, which was surprising since it felt a little more like a personal rant, a brief window into an internal gut-decision that I was making and thought very few people would understand. I posted it at like 1AM. Thought no one would even read it, honestly.But people did read it, and people reacted strongly. I learned from the exchange and … [Read more...]

Three Reasons You’re Not Too Smart for Orthodoxy

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In my experiences within both conservative and progressive Christian circles, there seems to be a kind of mutual playing in the politics of fear with regard to the other. On the conservative side, progressives are viewed as morally bankrupt libertine weaklings who lack the backbone to stand up to "the culture." In the words of one famous conservative preacher, this is because they are a bunch of ivory tower elites who are "educated beyond their intelligence."But on the progressive side, the … [Read more...]

The Church is a Her: Why I Love the Ecclesia Effeminate

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For a while now, lots of preachers and pundits have been lamenting the feminization of the church. This begins with demographic studies that reflect a greater female participation than male, and continues with a condemnation of the broader "Omega male" culture that is giving men the permission to stay passive - and stay home on Sundays. Some prominent churches and ministries seem entirely predicated on the mission to draw men back into the fold by reinforcing "biblical" male roles and r … [Read more...]

Rooted: (How Not to) Rage Against the Machine

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Since I've gone and quit the Progressive Christian Internet already this year, it makes sense that I might blast out another new year exhortation, this time regarding our tendency to rage against the machine in ministry and mission.Specifically, I'd like to touch on the tendency for missional pastors and ministers to become radically anti-institutional in our zeal for reaching a post-Christendom culture. To, in essence, rage against the denominations, organizations, structures, programs, … [Read more...]

Worship, Worth-ship, & Sleeping Committees

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Got to share one of my favorite Wright quotes today as a reflection at First UMC Burlington. It's from his (underrated) book, For All God's Worth: True Worship & the Calling of the Church. And it has to do with the definition of worship, which was relevant because First UMC's mission is to be a worshiping community, walking in the way of Jesus, believing in place.Check it out and let me know if it resonates: The word ‘worship’ means, literally, ‘worth-ship’: to accord worth, true value, … [Read more...]

Resolved: Quitting the Progressive Christian Internet in 2014

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I have a New Year's Resolution to share.It isn't quit smoking (never started). And it isn't lose weight (well, it probably should be). It isn't even one of those vague ones like be happier or be healthier or take more time for me (the latter, of course, being impossible when one works for a living and has two tiny humans to keep alive and happy). No, this Resolution is somewhat non-traditional. But it is, by my reasoning, vitally necessary: I'm quitting the Progressive Christian Internet in … [Read more...]


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