January 16, 2019

By D.S. Leiter, AssertiveSpirituality.com I have a confession to make. Although I teach and study and write about stress, trauma, and conflict communication, I’ve been keeping myself a bit apart from the recent news that missionary John Allen Chau was killed going into one of the remaining isolated tribes in this global civilization. There are lots of reasons why I was holding myself back. But a friend finally drew me into the discussion recently, and I realized that my particular… Read more

November 21, 2018

A few months ago my good friend Katie van Santen preached a sermon entitled “Connectedness”, which I thought was pretty great. The following is an adapted version of that sermon. ‘[Jesus] was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.’ (Romans 4:25) This statement from Paul might seem reasonably straight-forward at first glance. It’s a condensed version of the gospel message, right? A few words that essentially sum up what Jesus came to do. But what… Read more

November 14, 2018

Not too long ago a question like this would have made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. My defences would have sprung up, rendering me virtually incapable of rational thought or open conversation. The reason for this fairly extreme reaction is that until recently, the existence of an afterlife was central to how I interpreted the world around me. The centrality of this belief meant that any opinion to the contrary was met with low-level… Read more

October 23, 2018

Is the message of Jesus political? For a long time my answer would have been an emphatic ‘no’. The gospel message was about our eternal destiny – making sure people believed in Jesus so they could go to heaven when they died. Politics may have been important, but it didn’t seem relevant to Christianity. My understanding began to shift when I was given insight into the cultural, political and religious context of the Gospels – something I had never really… Read more

October 17, 2018

You could be forgiven for not knowing much about Yemen. The situation there has long been recognised as the worst humanitarian crisis on earth, but so far the world’s media has largely ignored it. Even with all eyes on Saudi Arabia this week following the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, there has been little mention of the horrors being inflicted on the people of Yemen. When you see the true extent to the UK and US governments’ involvement in the… Read more

July 16, 2018

This is a 10-minuter. Grab a cuppa and a large donut, sit back and enjoy.  It’s easy to grumble about church. Whether it’s the two-hour sermons, the 1980s worship hits, the mucus-green carpet or the questionable odour emitting from the gentleman in the next pew, we all have our little niggles. Our society is all about consumerism, so it’s inevitable that this will spill over into our attitudes towards church. But for someone in the middle of a faith deconstruction, these “niggles” can reach… Read more

May 5, 2018

Mental health is a real thing. It’s not something lazy people have made up so they don’t have to go to work or get out of bed. Neither is it something that “crazy” people have, that “normal” people don’t. If you have a brain, then mental health affects you. We know that our bodies are amazing in their complexity: their ability to process food into energy, to grow and develop, to get us where we want to go, to heal themselves. But we… Read more

March 13, 2018

This poem was written by my friend Katie van Santen. I Am Other This is who I am. This is me. This is my being. And who are you to judge that I am broken? That I need fixing, healing, restoring? Who are you to say that this is not the way God made me to be? That this is not God’s will for me? To tell me that we are all fallen, all broken, and therefore who I am… Read more

March 5, 2018

What does the future hold for the church? While it seems to be thriving in some parts of the world, results of various studies (like this one) suggest that the church in the West is in steady decline. Millennials are walking out in record numbers, leaving church leaders and ageing congregations wondering what on earth they can do to engage with a generation who seem almost entirely disinterested. If the current trends continue, many churches could find themselves quite literally dying out… Read more

February 27, 2018

This is Part 8 of my ‘Faith In The Fog’ series on my experiences with doubt, skepticism, mental health and forging a different kind of faith. < Part 7: Rebuilding Trust When Belief Systems Have Crumbled Two distinct threads of interest have dominated my thinking in recent years. The first is my evolving Christian faith, and the second is mental health. I always saw these two threads as separate, but recently they have become more and more intertwined. As strange as it may sound,… Read more

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