Five Problems With Grace

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I know, I know. If there is anything sacred in the American church today, especially among younger, post-evangelical, and charismatic Christians, it would be the concept of grace.While the neo-Calvinists certainly talk about grace - doctrines of grace, irresistible grace, saving grace, common grace, etc. - they are often not so gracious, you know, to people who don't agree with them about homosexuality and hell (the latter being the place where those who don't fit their idea of grace end … [Read more...]

What Furtick’s Millions (& the “We Serve a Lead Pastor” Mantra) Might Mean

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In the heart of the Bible belt, Steven Furtick's new-school Southern Baptist Elevation Church continues to boom - and make media waves.The latest hits have come in the form of a leaked infographic from the church listing 30 reasons why it's the best place to work, and yet another local news story about Furtick's million dollar home and how that connects to his salary and book sales.To be honest, none of this is surprising in the least, as it smacks of Southern prosperity theology and … [Read more...]

When Celebrity Christianity Backfires

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Let's be real, you guys.The Internet does not need another post about what is certainly now the most significant bearded Christian duck-hunting reality show controversy OF ALL TIME.And honestly, I wouldn't add one if I didn't think this might be a slightly different angle than the majority of what I've been seeing in my feeds, which amounts to either conservative or progressive Christian outrage at A&E or Phil Robertson. But is this outrage, on either side, the best response to the … [Read more...]

The Strangest Fire

I grew up charismatic, in the 80's and 90's.I grew up in a family that joined a pioneering kind of Pentecostal stream flowing out of the Jesus Movement of the 70's, a stream that had strong pastoral personalities founding brand new churches, some of them mega, and even denominations, schools, TV stations, and seminaries. Part and parcel of this pioneering experience was an atmosphere of resistance from the non-charismatic church. There was a kind of scorn that developed among the Billy … [Read more...]

Watching an Episode of Celebrity Christianity

They might as well just rename the show, "Celebrity Christianity" instead of Preachers of L.A.Because this is the definition of celebrity values corrupting the very core of the gospel to the degree that it is really no gospel at all.In my previous post on the topic, I argued that despite the spiritual claims and the apparent concern for compassion causes among many participating in this trend, Celebrity Christianity is really a counterfeit. While supposedly seeking to help disadvantaged … [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...]

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...]


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