April 18, 2019

Tomorrow is Good Friday, which means that you’ll likely hear all about how the death of Jesus spares us from the wrath of God. You’ll hear about how Jesus was a substitutionary sacrifice, one who died in our place, so that God wouldn’t have to violently punish us for our sins (the ones who believe, anyway). Because . . . justice. Or wrath. Or honor. Or something like that. Then, you’ll likely be pointed to many passages throughout the Bible,… Read more

April 15, 2019

Universalism is the belief that all will be saved and reconciled to God in the end, and while there are many varieties floating around out there, from those that have little to do with Christian theology all the way to Patristic Universalism (the sort of Universalism that was present within the early Christian church), sadly, when many Christians first hear about it, they make a litany of assumptions that are, for most Universalists, simply untrue. That is to say, much… Read more

April 10, 2019

Labels, in and of themselves, are neither good nor bad. They are pointers, and, when properly used, can help us navigate the world and communicate with one another. When we use them to name cities and streets, they help us get from one place to another. When we use them to name menu items, they help us order the correct meal. However, labels can be used—and often are—in such a way so as to limit what something or someone is… Read more

April 4, 2019

Growing up in the Evangelical church, I was often told that I needed to “win souls for the Lord.” I needed to get out there and be bold for my faith and my God. If the world and the people in it were like those trapped in a blazing high-rise building, I was the first responder. And if I refused to lead the charge up the stairs, then what kind of rescuer would I be? A pretty horrible one, as… Read more

March 25, 2019

Last week, I published an article for the new NRSV website entitled “Reading the Bible Through the Lens of the Forgiving Victim.” And while I was happy to do so—it’s not often folks like me get to write for historically conservative outfits like Zondervan—I knew that once they shared it on social media, you-know-what was going to hit the fan. And it did. It certainly did. Besides all the troll-status comments—and there were many—one reply that really stuck out to… Read more

March 21, 2019

As one who grew up in the Christian faith tradition, Jesus has always been a large part of my life. Throughout my childhood and then into my young adult years, I held the belief that Jesus was the exclusive savior of the world. Let me rephrase. Jesus was the exclusive savior of those who accepted him as “lord and savior.” The rest, of course, were no doubt destined to the utter darkness, where the worm dies not, where their thirst… Read more

January 4, 2019

“Tell the older women to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good, so that that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good managers of the household, kind, being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited.” ~ Titus 2:3–5 On the surface, this passage from Titus seems to suggest that… Read more

December 19, 2018

“Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent.” ~ 1 Timothy 2:11–12 Like the text from Ephesians 5, 1 Timothy 2:11–12 is a go-to passage complementarians use to shut down all conversation regarding women having authority in the home and the church. But again, we must keep two crucial things in mind: 1) that the context of the passage is crucial… Read more

December 18, 2018

“Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands.” ~ Ephesians 5:22–23 To be crystal clear, the English version of this short passage from Ephesians 5 seems to be an open and… Read more

December 6, 2018

Nearly one month ago, the Camp Fire tore through the town I grew up in, leaving it in utter ruin. All told, the fire scorched over 150,000 acres, destroyed more than 18,000 structures, and killed 85 people to date, with 11 still missing. Indeed, it is the most devastating fire in California’s history. Inevitably when something like this happens, people come out of the woodwork to offer their thoughts as to why it occurred and what measures we can take… Read more

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