Riffing & Reviewing: Girl at the End of the World

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Christians get agitated when you use the word "cult." I found this out recently when I suggested that megachurches can produce a cultish environment, especially if they have a revered celebrity personality for a leader (hence, "cult of personality"). High-control, high-demand, high-secrecy patterns can emerge, leading to all manner of hurt and abuse. Of course, this does not only (or stereotypically) occur within megachurches, but the very suggestion of such produced strong pushback in the co … [Read more...]

Don’t Throw Rocks – Mark Driscoll’s Humble Plea?

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It's been a busy week-or-so with Mark Driscoll news and content, but I wanted to share this video from his sermon last Sunday as a (hopefully) final entry in this saga, at least for a while. It is very likely that his sermon was referencing, at least in part, some of the controversy surrounding him and Mars Hill in recent days. Mark seemed to produce a tone of humility, and, in a different part of the sermon, even gave a very vague kind of apology.In this segment, Driscoll drew out the … [Read more...]

Are These the Last Days…of Mark Driscoll’s Pastoral Ministry?

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Are these the last days of Mark Driscoll's pastoral ministry?I'm not sure, but it's a question worth considering. (Some follow up questions: Would that be a good thing? Would it be a bad thing? How do we better handle the prospect of celebrity preachers and megachurches in general?)In addition to the plagiarism and bestseller gaming scandals, there is a rising level of strong critique coming from former pastors at Mars Hill.Here's Mars Hill's Board of Advisors statement about that … [Read more...]

What Everyone Might Be Missing About Mark Driscoll: It’s All Business

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This past week yet another scandalous story broke having to do with the ministry of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church in Seattle.This story is, frankly, somewhat derivative - last month a similar one surfaced about megachurch pastor Steven Furtick. And, it follows on Driscoll's last moment in the media rotation over questions of plagiarism. But this one could be a hell of a lot more serious than those previous blips on the evangelical media radar.Essentially, Driscoll/Mars Hill hired a … [Read more...]

A Hermeneutic of Oppression, a Hermeneutic of Liberation

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It's Ash Wednesday, and last night I watched 12 Years a Slave.For some reason, that film seems a fitting way to begin the Lent season. It is painful. It is intense. It's the kind of film that is impossible to "like" - it just destroys you. And in the process, it changes you.While there are plenty of wonderfully thorough reviews of the new Best Picture winner, I just want to share one observation from the film, and then make an Ash Wednesday application.First, the observation: The … [Read more...]

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...]

Some Questions About the Gay Cake

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By now, everyone's aware of the latest culture war click-frenzy, which we can all officially dub Arizona Cakegate, regarding a bill in the Grand Canyon State that gives business owners (especially those of the wedding cake or crappy DJ variety) the overt right to deny service to gay couples.And we're all aware of the predictable response from conservative Christian culture warriors, to the tune of chalking up wins for religious freedom if the bill should survive veto (despite sensible … [Read more...]

Talking About My #Dexter Book on Newsworthy with Norsworthy

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Today, I had the opportunity to talk with Luke Norsworthy on his podcast about my book, Nothing but the Blood: The Gospel According to Dexter. Have a listen: … [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...]


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