Take Down That Flag – But Don’t Stop There. The Wolves Have Teeth. [James Gribble]


photo: agasfer, CC via FlickrWhen that one flag comes down in Charleston, watch how many flags go up all over the country. Watch how they sell out at the truck stops. The removal of one flag is not the end of anything. It is another beginning. It will provoke this hateful ideology to greater boldness. When symbols of (White) supremacy are supplanted, beneficiaries of the status quo will always circle their young and show their teeth.It isn't as if the wolves were toothless, before. They … [Read more...]

On Coming Back (But Don’t Call It a Comeback!)


Sometimes it's time to come back.This blog has been dormant for a few months because I thought it was time to go. And it was. At the time.And all of the reasons for my then-permanent, now-temporary departure are still true, with perhaps one adjustment that has become clear after some time away. Yes, I have a much clearer sense of calling and direction these days, with a better grip on the spaces I want to work and write in (like my new author website/blog, HuffPost, and RNS). And no, I'm … [Read more...]

I Wanted War and I Was Wrong


I remember debating the crunchy telemark ski instructors at the resort where I worked as Snowboard Director.  I had watched the Gulf War on TV and I had watched the Twin Towers fall on TV and it seemed like another one of the former would be a fine and dandy solution to the latter. When Bush got Congress to approve the invasion of Iraq, I wanted war. At that time in my life, I was full - full of ideas culled mainly from conservative talk radio and conservative Reformed theology. I needed to be … [Read more...]

Stop Talking About Women in Ministry


We need to stop talking about women in ministry. Really, we do.Because every time we, men, talk about women in ministry we, perhaps inadvertently, place ourselves in the center of the conversation.We essentially communicate that we, men, are the ones who get to debate the "issue" of women in ministry. We, men, are the ones who are authoritative enough to adjudicate the "matter" at hand. We, men, are the ones who can, in the affirmative or the negative, make the decision and swing the … [Read more...]

God Is Out of Control – a Guest Post By Michael Hidalgo


This is an excerpt from Changing Faith: Questions, Doubts and Choices About an Unchanging God, a new book by Michael Hidalgo. We live each day walking on a thin veneer of certainty.Many of us live with a desire to control things because it gives us security and certainty. We want control so badly we even try to control God. It’s almost as if we place boundaries around him, box him in and create a framework for him. We look for him in all the expected places, thinking he will work within the sma … [Read more...]

Seeing Red (Letters): Can a Jesus-Centered Interpretation Be So Easily Dismissed?


Yesterday, a writer I really like wrote a piece at Christianity Today that I really didn't like. The article criticized the "Red Letter Christians" movement by appealing to how one understands narration in other forms of literature. For the uninitiated, Red Letter Christians promote a Jesus-centered interpretation of Scripture; the CT article contended that this interpretation doesn't do justice to God as the author of all Scripture, speaking reliably through his narrators. In other words, you c … [Read more...]

3 Kinds of Evangelicals (Whether They Want That Label or Not)

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Rachel Held Evans's new book Searching For Sunday (see my interview with the author here) has sparked a good deal of speculation over what constitutes an evangelical, and whether or not Rachel is one. Without getting into all the details of this particular situation (because just, no), I'd like to propose 3 kinds of evangelicals that I am observing in the U.S. Christian conversation - whether the folks I'm describing would self-identify with that label or not, and whether the folks I'm desc … [Read more...]

3 Reasons God Did Not Kill Jesus (But Jesus Still Had to Die)


Right after Mel Gibson's blood-drenched The Passion of the Christ hit theaters and toppled the box office, John Piper released a book called The Passion of Jesus Christ that was intended to seize this cultural moment for the sake of the gospel. Churches, like my Reformed Baptist church in Vermont, ordered this inexpensive book by the truckload in the hopes of educating their congregants and evangelizing their communities alike. I took home a few, and gave a way a couple. At the time, I was all i … [Read more...]

On Leaving the Patheos Progressive Christian Channel

Sometimes it's time to go.I have a hard time being decisive in moments of change and often take some time to transition from one season to another. Maybe we all do. But usually, it's an exercise in prolonging the inevitable. The change has already happened - I am just a little slow to acknowledge and accept it fully.But that time has come with my blog here on the Patheos Progressive Christian Channel. Indeed, I recently attempted a rebrand - and I still love the concept and graphics and … [Read more...]

Hard To Kill: More on the Mega-Multisite Church from Ruth Graham

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 1.16.23 PM

Ruth Graham is over at Slate today talking about the aftermath of the Mars Hill multisite dissolution - and the continued momentum of both the individual churches and Mark Driscoll's ministry. She's basically saying: multi-site megachurches are hard to kill.In her words:[T]he bottom line is that while the central organization may be dead, many of its fruits—the smaller congregations that once shared the name Mars Hill—have survived. Now, all of those individual churches have been set lo … [Read more...]