Brian Zahnd is Not Just Spiritual – He’s Religious

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 4 of Brian Zahnd’s brand new memoir Water To Wine. While I've missed a few weeks due to some family health issues, Brian has been gracious enough to let me share portions from each chapter every week for the next couple months. This chapter makes a startling claim - that being religious, not just spiritual, is precisely how we are Christian.In keeping with a healthy dose of rebellion, I unabashedly call myself religious. Self-identifying as a relig … [Read more...]

Donald Trump and Franklin Graham: An Eruption of the Real

The following is a poem by the pseudonymous Blind Man at the Gate. It was inspired by a revealing statement recently made by Franklin Graham. An Eruption of the Real by Blind Man at the GateIt’s an eruption of the real when With the son of Billy Graham “Make America Great Again” Trumps “I was a stranger and you took me in”A ridiculous red hat Trumps The words written in redWe want a wall A real classy wall Make it fifty feet tall To keep “them” out You know, Mexicans Wet … [Read more...]

The Campaign Ad That Always Makes Me Misty (Yeah, It’s Bernie) year I decided to make no bones about my support of one of the Democratic presidential candidates.Bernie Sanders.And this video sums up why I feel that, as a Wesleyanabaptist messy-middle Christian, I can express my public support with no qualms. Namely, Bernie is the closest thing we have to a candidate who champions the cause of real people, real Americans, and particularly those who are struggling economically or marginalized and o … [Read more...]

Brian Zahnd’s Abrahamic Dream – And What It Means For the Church

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 3 of Brian Zahnd’s brand new memoir Water To Wine. Brian has been gracious enough to let me share portions from each chapter over the next couple months. This chapter tells the story of three dreams BZ had during his water-to-wine journey, and this selection focuses on the first: a dream about searching for the faith of Abraham in the "epicenter of capitalism," New York City.At one point in the dream I found myself following the crowd - which rarely is … [Read more...]

Deeper, Richer, Fuller: The Cross and Consumerism in Brian Zahnd’s New Book

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of Brian Zahnd's brand new memoir Water To Wine. Brian has been gracious enough to let me share portions from each chapter over the next couple months. BZ's journey resonates with me greatly, not least because I've also been caught up in a water-to-wine story. This excerpt expresses more of that journey - which begins at the cross.Seen in the light of the Easter dawn, the cross is revealed to be the lost Tree of Life.In the middle of a world do … [Read more...]

A Tweetable Homily on Martin Luther King Jr. and Forgetting Our History

The following is a guest post by James Gribble. His bio is at the bottom. Every ‪#‎MLKDay‬, without fail, that one line about content-of-character vs color-of-skin from that one speech Dr. King gave that everybody knows about pops up all out of context. And this serves a purpose: to remind us that the struggle isn't over and the dream has yet to become reality. Likely by the same mechanism by which we claim Jesus' "Blessed are you when you are persecuted" but miss his "Blessed are the peacem … [Read more...]

Remembering the Beginnings: Steve Wiens Introduces His Brand New Book

The following is a guest post by Steve Wiens that includes an excerpt from his brand new book, Beginnings. See his bio at the bottom.I suppose it might be considered a cliché to say that my first book discovered me; that it fluttered down to me in a bright burst of color and flame, beckoning and irresistible. But it did.It came to me as a question, but one with a smirk and a wink. It was a delicious question, the kind that invites you to leave Bag End with only a walking stick and a … [Read more...]

Leaving Grape Soda Christianity: A First Look at Brian Zahnd’s Water To Wine

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Brian Zahnd's brand new book Water To Wine: Some of My Story. Be sure to pick up a copy - it releases today wherever books are sold!I once heard an Italian winemaker say that to produce good wine the grapes must struggle, they must suffer.The taste of good wine is the taste of struggle and suffering mellowed into beauty. There’s a deep truth there that applies to far more than winemaking—it also applies to the formation of the soul. All the gr … [Read more...]

Ruth Graham Reports On the Addition of Wayne Grudem to Rubio’s Advisory Board

Ruth Graham reports at Slate on Rubio's latest attempt get that elusive and necessary evangelical vote. Namely, he's assembled an advisory board of sorts with some evangelical heavies, including Rick Warren. Notably, he just added Wayne Grudem - whose systematic theology and views on complementarianism are gold standards in the Neo-Calvinist world - to the board.Here's Ruth: Grudem is one of the leading proponents of complementarianism. In fact, he has claimed a role in coining the term—a hi … [Read more...]

The Slow Work of Speaking in Tongues: The Spirit, (Im)Mediacy, and Our Responsibility

The following is a guest post by Dr. Chris Green. See Chris's bio at the bottom of the post.Because it bears us into the work of interpretation, ‘the gift of Pentecost entails slow, hard work’. In point of fact, as Hauerwas reminds us, … the gift of Pentecost is but the beginning of hard and painful lessons in failure. Yet even failure turns out to be a gift if through failure the church is reminded that others are included in God’s promise. At its best, the church learns to receive the stor … [Read more...]