June 15, 2020

In many faith spaces, you’ll hear the following refrain: “Let’s not get too political. We don’t want to hurt the gospel.” Sometimes ministry leaders will say something like, “I don’t care what you believe politically, but . . .” and they’ll go on to make a point about the Christian practice. It’s understandable why pastors would shy away from political issues. Dangerous political faultlines run through most congregations, and pastors want to avoid friction that could result in a churchwide… Read more

May 13, 2020

The evidence is in. The United States can finally abandon the pretense that it is a Christian nation. For most of us, this isn’t news. Since its inception, America has demonstrated many of the same strengths and character flaws as other colonial western nations. But if COVID-19 has done anything, it’s revealed that the U.S. brand of Christianity doesn’t look anything like Jesus.  Take up your cross There’s a point in the gospels when Jesus reveals he’s going to die…. Read more

May 8, 2020

Americans have always loved a good conspiracy theory. In the 1840s, a group of citizens argued that famed explorer Meriwether Lewis hadn’t shot himself, but had been murdered. Another theory, exposed in a 1979 book, suggested that America had developed an invisible warship in 1943. Charles Berlitz, the author who made this theory famous, was already well known for revealing the secrets of the Bermuda Triangle. There was a time when these diversions from the truth were mostly harmless. Mass… Read more

April 29, 2020

There was a Facebook post defending Trump that went viral in March. Maybe you’ve seen it. It featured a blurry profile picture of the president and it said: Just stop for a minute and look at this photo. This is NOT a political post by any means. This is simply something that everyone should stop and think about.  Can you imagine the weight he must be feeling right now? When he signed up for this role (without pay) he did… Read more

January 8, 2020

I don’t know if anything in Christian thought and practice is more confusing than prayer. After decades in ministry, I have found that it’s an area where people are the most consistently frustrated, disoriented, and mystified. One of the biggest problems I’ve found over the years is that we primarily learn how to do it by praying with others. This means that we have a lot of enculturated ideas about how to do prayer. We develop our impressions of the… Read more

January 3, 2020

Yesterday the United States launched a drone strike against Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force. This act was more than the tactical killing of a known terrorist. It was akin to taking out our vice president or secretary of state. Knowledge of Soleimani’s bloodthirsty behavior wasn’t based on any new intel. Past administrations have struggled with the question of taking out this man who has been responsible for guerilla warfare and terrorism throughout the Middle… Read more

February 26, 2019

  Whenever Trump feels like he’s in trouble, he begins pandering to his evangelical base. After all, that’s where he’s found so much support. Earlier this year, he tweeted about biblical literacy classes and seemed super excited about states offering classes for studying the Bible. And while he’s right that many “Bible literacy” bills have been introduced, none of them have passed. As a Christian and a student of the Christian Scriptures, I’m glad these bills haven’t been finding any… Read more

January 9, 2019

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:13–14). When I was growing up, these words always had a specific application. Pastors typically used as a reminder of the difficulties of getting into heaven and the importance of accepting Jesus… Read more

January 7, 2019

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. Recent statistics state that one person dies of suicide every 40 seconds. And while you can find tons of articles pointing to signs that someone is suicidal, the truth is that you don’t always know. Dr. Michael Miller, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical says, “Many people who commit suicide do so without letting on they are thinking about it or planning it.” It’s heartbreaking to admit,… Read more

January 4, 2019

The Christian life is about the management of the things God has entrusted us with. Everything we have has been given to us, and we are called to steward those resources in a way that honors our Creator. This includes things like our finances and the planet, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The New Testament tells us that we must share the mercy and forgiveness we receive from God. We’re are not just beneficiaries of grace; we are… Read more

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