May 12, 2021

The Parable of the Rich man and Lazarus is a go-to passage infernalists use to argue for eternal conscious torment. This is unfortunate, though I will admit that a prima facie glance at the story from Luke does seem to suggest that there is a hell with a “great chasm” that can’t be bridged. However, I don’t think that is what is really going on here. We have to dig much deeper. As we will discuss on an upcoming episode… Read more

May 11, 2021

The cool thing about being a writer is that if you do it well enough and for long enough, you’ll get to meet other writers who are out there doing their thing. Some time ago, Karl Forehand was one of those folks I had the pleasure of meeting. Of course, by “meet,” I mean that we’ve only spoken online, chatted on each other’s podcasts, and now, have even become colleagues here on Patheos. Oh, and we’ve each published multiple books… Read more

May 1, 2021

A few weeks ago, The Gospel Coalition released a book about deconstruction called Before You Lose Your Faith. Yes, those predominantly Reformed Churches who believe the Bible is the Word of God, that men have headship over women, that humanity is “corrupted in every aspect of their being,” and that on the cross Christ propitiated God and “bore in our stead the punishment due us for our sins,” don’t want you to deconstruct your faith. I wonder why. Now, they… Read more

April 20, 2021

The 4-booklet anthology, entitled The Bonfire Sessions: A Year of Shadow and Flame, is out today. Here’s what it’s all about: What happens when two philosophically-minded friends sit down around a firepit to chat about life’s biggest topics? Within these pages, you’ll find out. In The Bonfire Sessions: A Year of Shadow and Flame, authors and podcasters Matthew J. Distefano and Michael Machuga give their readers a glimpse into their very real lives, modeling for others what they believe conversation should… Read more

April 19, 2021

Last week, I came out as bisexual. Needless to say, it’s been an interesting week. Exhausting, too. And overwhelming. But in the long run, I’m sure it’ll be liberating. Without a doubt, I’ve been asked more questions this past week than I’ve received in perhaps the entire last year. That’s saying a lot, too, because I’m typically asked a lot of questions in general. In this follow-up piece to last week’s bombshell, I would like to clarify a few things,… Read more

April 13, 2021

I’m happily married to a woman. We’ve been married for nearly 17 years. Some people may assume that makes me straight but I’ve got news for ya! I’m not. I’m a bisexual man. Guess what though . . . she’s cool with that. We’re cool with that. And if you’re cool with me, you’ll be cool with that. So, why am I just coming out now? Because I want to. It’s a part of who I am and I feel… Read more

April 12, 2021

The Parable of the Prodigal and His Brother comes from Luke 15:11-32 and is a story we are all familiar with. However, I think it is a story that is often misunderstood, simply because we Christians don’t like to think of ourselves as anything but the hero of any tale. In this parable, we are like the father, the one who is preemptively forgiving of his youngest son’s immature and destructive behavior. Either that, or we see ourselves in the… Read more

March 30, 2021

In Part I of this two-part series, we talked about Christianity’s assumptions about so-called “original sin,” and why I don’t think they are the best way to think about sin. In this follow-up article, we are going to get into how God deals with sin and how human volition plays into things. In the last article, we established that God is against sin. I’m not sure any Christian would disagree with me there. The issue, then, isn’t whether God is… Read more

March 29, 2021

A lot of Christians have a skewed view of sin. If I had to guess at a percentage, it would be about fifty. In all honesty, it may be higher, but perhaps I only say that because I grew up in a predominantly white, entirely conservative, Evangelical church. And these folks are obsessed with sin. Sin this. Sin that. Sin. Sin. Sin. Why is this so? The cynic in me says it’s all about controlling the masses, but it’s likely… Read more

March 25, 2021

Last night, after chillin’ around the firepit with my best friend Michael, I made the 20 minute drive to my new home in Chico, California. Because I drive a janky-ass Jeep – replete with an antenna that hangs off the side, more car tape than is ever needed, and a door that fills up with water during rain storms – naturally I don’t have much of a selection of music for my drives. In fact, the 6 CD changer is… Read more

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