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

July 25, 2019

The writer of Ephesians says that the Church is like a building which is built on a foundation that is part apostolic and part prophetic. Christ is the cornerstone, and the apostles and prophets make up the foundation (Ephesians 2:19-20). Now, I can easily understand why Christ is the chief cornerstone. After all, none of this Christian stuff would exist without his presence and impact in history. It’s also not hard to see why the apostles are part of the… Read more

July 18, 2019

“Jesus I know, and Paul I know – but what in the world is Naloxone?” In case you’re not familiar, Naloxone is the opioid overdose reversal drug otherwise known by the popular brand name Narcan. First responders, police officers, and medical professionals use Naloxone. An increasing number of laypeople use it as well, or at least carry it in case they ever need to use it on a friend or loved one. It comes in three forms: Injectable, auto-injectable, and… Read more

July 14, 2019

Faith. In a post-Christian society. That’s the topic of the day. Hello, by the way. This is my personal introduction post. I’m only gonna do this once, so please listen up. My name is Josh, and I’m the pastor of a United Church of Christ congregation in southern Ohio. This is strange to me, because I used to be thoroughly convinced that institutional Christianity, including the modern pastoral office, was everything that is wrong with the Church. In some ways,… Read more

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