November 21, 2019

I’ve seen many former “believers” deconstruct their faith and become atheists. For many of them, this has been a healthy step on the road to spiritual wholeness. Having grown up with a fundamentalist conception of God that was prone to violence, wrath, vengeance, and shame, they were destined to either disbelieve or go crazy trying to live up to their God’s standards. In other words, I don’t blame them. In fact, I can think of many still-believing friends who would… Read more

October 4, 2019

In that podcast interview I gave last week, they asked me about my process of religious deconstruction. To use my own description, they wanted to know how my journey from evangelical to post-progressive Christian (you read that right) took place. In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept of “deconstruction,” it’s a term people use to describe the process of “taking apart” their belief system. This process entails critically reevaluating their existing paradigm with fresh eyes. When it comes to religious… Read more

September 26, 2019

Today I gave an interview for a podcast where the host asked me why some people might consider me a heretic. That’s a fun way to start a conversation about theology, isn’t it? Not that anyone has ever called me a heretic — not to my face, at least. But I’m sure some people have wondered about me from time to time. So it’s a neat question to consider. What I’d really like to do is send a survey to… Read more

September 20, 2019

Where I come from, Christians typically regard the practice of seeing a therapist with suspicion. This is because I hail from a long line of evangelicals who generally frown upon anything that smacks of “intellectualism.” Why do they frown on intellectualism? Because they are the spiritual progeny of the modern fundamentalists. You remember those guys. They were the ones who retreated into a Christian sub-culture of their own making after losing the battle of modernity to the liberal theologians of… Read more

September 13, 2019

If memory serves me correctly, it was John Wesley who once said, “The world is my parish.” That’s quite a legacy to leave behind. Wesley was a circuit preacher during the first Great Awakening who founded the Methodist church in America. I think what he meant by that statement was that ministers had an obligation to preach the Gospel wherever they could, whether that was in a church building or not. I like to go a bit beyond Wesley’s context… Read more

September 6, 2019

Human history is full of paradigm-shifting events. From time to time, something big will happen that alters the way we view the world. In the process of such change, our dominant cultural narrative gets a reboot. For instance, consider the original shift humans made from hunter-gathering to an agricultural way of life. That was a big deal! You might even say civilization as we know it began the moment someone first put the food under lock-and-key. Some theologians even associate this… Read more

August 28, 2019

It’s a provocative question, I know. Could atheism really be a mirror image of religious fundamentalism? Before you answer, let me put this question into context. I recently started reading Karen Armstrong’s book, The Case for God. Armstrong is a former Catholic nun-turned-atheist-turned-religious sympathizer whose work on comparative religion has become quite popular in certain circles over the years. The Case for God is a general survey of the history of religious belief and practice from the Paleolithic Age to… Read more

August 19, 2019

Christians get nervous when their leaders express certain doubts or recant their profession of faith. This is especially true when it happens in the public eye. Like Rob Bell — you remember him, right? Anyway, this happened again recently when Joshua Harris, former pastor and best-selling author of the cult classic, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, took to Instagram to inform his followers that by every standard of measurement he possessed, he was no longer a Christian. Then came Hillsong worship… Read more

August 8, 2019

Guns. Guns are at the forefront of America’s attention once again due to a recent surge of mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH. Mass shootings are indeed a problem in America. We have them more frequently than any country in the world. And while people will offer different theories as to why this is, one very clear correlation stands out, and that is the sheer volume of easily accessible firearms within the United States. The right to… Read more

July 29, 2019

The practice of God’s presence in Christian tradition stretches back to beginning of the faith. “Pray without ceasing,” Paul wrote to the Thessalonian disciples. “In everything, give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18). These are a few variations on the internal practice of keeping in constant touch with the indwelling Christ as the source of one’s life. This practice seems to have been the mainstay of the early Christian communities.  It was Brother Lawrence who popularized our modern concept of practicing the… Read more

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