Jesus Will Rapture the Church Out of Absurdity

I was driving to work the other day listening to Christian radio when, as is usually the case during my drive, a John MacArthur sermon came on.And not just any John MacArthur sermon, but a John MacArthur sermon that is part of a John MacArthur sermon series about how John MacArthur knows every detail of the pre-tribulation premillennial rapture of the church in these perilous last days.It was absurd.And I'm not saying that to be mean to MacArthur and his ilk. In fact, just the … [Read more...]

RHE, Millennials, & the Shadow Church

By now, most folks have read Rachel Held Evans's viral piece for CNN - "Why Millennials are Leaving the Church" - and probably blogged or tweeted their sage-like responses. And CNN ran a follow-up article from Rachel today, bringing some balancing emphasis on "Why Millennials Need the Church." This short entry in response to the initial article is thus both late to the party and kinda premature based on the second piece. But, alas, I am a blogger and I can do no other.What RHE attempts in "W … [Read more...]

Lifting Up Creative Christianity [& Authentic Shalom]

Some weeks ago, I published a post that was strong and, I believe, rightfully so. It was called "Calling Out Celebrity Christianity [& Counterfeit Justice]." It got some good feedback/pushback here and lots of action over at HuffPost Religion .I want to offer this post, not as a retraction, but a parallel, and perhaps balancing, affirmation in the midst of my previous denials.Where I sought to call out Celebrity Christianity before, now I want to lift up Creative Christianity. At … [Read more...]

Do No Harm: Paul in Context, pt. 2

In the first part of this theological response to neo-Reformed ways of understanding total depravity and original sin - and the potential harm in teaching these things to children - I looked at the importance of understanding Paul in context in Romans 5. Specifically, this hallmark passage for original sin theology contains a word, all, that must mean the same thing on both sides of the equation. If Adam's trespass resulted in condemnation and death for all humanity, then the obedience of Jesus … [Read more...]

Smokin’ Hot Conversations: I’m Attracted to You. All of You.

All summer long, I’ll be running a series of guest posts here on the blog called “Smokin’ Hot Conversations.” These will be posts about gender, relationships, power, and the church, meant to move us to deeper reflection and conversation about the often distracting or harmful messages in Christian culture. Unfortunately, this isn't a guest post - because I wrote it! Sorry 'bout that. (But trust me, it's an awesome post.)And if you’d like to contribute to this series, drop me a line.---I … [Read more...]

Clanging Cymbals: Danica Newton on Twitter Preachers & Bad Fruit

During the week-or-so-long online conversation now affectionately known as McCoy-gate, and my attempt at a clarifying response here on the blog, I was impressed by the engagement from Danica Newton. Danica brought some calm, but strong, arguments and questions to the table, and did so with grace throughout. It's my pleasure to present this guest post from her on the issue of online preachers like McCoy and the conversations that sometimes erupt. Danica shows some real vulnerability here as she … [Read more...]

Do No Harm: Paul in Context, pt. 1

In the wake of a strong debate revolving around the neo-Reformed teaching of human "brokenness" as a form of "deep" total depravity, and how this teaching affects children, I wanted to look at a couple of the fundamental biblical issues at work.Really, I've been thinking about how modern Reformed theology so egregiously takes Paul out of context in communicating its systematic message. How the "doctrines of grace" as they are called, or the TULIP, or even the bedrock doctrine of … [Read more...]

Tell Your Dad He is Broken. Deeply Broken.

Pastor Steve McCoy recently tweeted this and ignited something of a firestorm on the internets:And honestly, I understand the backlash. Especially from a therapeutic perspective, it just sounds wrong. The emphasis - deeply - almost immediately triggers images of fundamentalist spiritual and emotional abuse of kids, abuse that is very real, abuse that I experienced as a child, abuse that I have witnessed firsthand in several church environments.But here's the thing. I've used the word … [Read more...]

Calling Out Celebrity Christianity [& Counterfeit Justice]

image: instagram A major reality TV producer and a record-breaking Bible miniseries involving famous evangelical leaders.A live televised highwire stunt starring an evangelical daredevil with a famous pastor cameo.A charismatic Seattle pastor posting random hangz with Bieber.And (brace yourself) THIS:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml8bQDnnkKkUgh.These are just a few recent blips on the Celebrity Christianity radar. But the love affair between American Christianity and ce … [Read more...]

Smokin’ Hot Conversations: Melinda Cadwallader on Getting Naked

All summer long, I’ll be running a series of guest posts here on the blog called “Smokin’ Hot Conversations.” These will be posts about gender, relationships, power, and the church, meant to move us to deeper reflection and conversation about the often distracting or harmful messages in Christian culture. Earlier this week I asked a question about whether modesty can be redeemed, and I loved Melinda Cadwallader's answer. So she joins us this week to expand on her view of redeeming modesty, especi … [Read more...]


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