June 12, 2019

I’ve shared before that I’m a survivor of childhood sexual trauma in a Southern Baptist congregation. I’ve had a lot of feelings this week watching the conversation about sexual abuse unfold at the Southern Baptist Convention. I feel like I’m supposed to be congratulating the SBC on the way that they amended their constitution to disfellowship from churches that don’t properly address sexual abuse. I’ve wondered if I just want them to go down in flames so badly that I’m… Read more

May 21, 2019

This is probably one of those awkward dad moments when I misuse a term like “stan” that the kids are using on Twitter. And it’s even more corny because it rhymes. But writing about Game of Thrones seems to require a less than fully serious title. There’s been a lot of backlash against this season of Game of Thrones. The plot was pretty clunky and awkward. But the one redeeming quality of the finale was the way that a disabled… Read more

May 8, 2019

I should have known that I was going to get snarky replies from conservative evangelicals when I said that Rachel Held Evans democratized theology. They said all the predictable things about ordinary people being totally depraved and untrustworthy interpreters of the Bible (with the exception of those who have infallibly interpreted scripture the way they have). Their criticism did help me realize that I need to further refine how I articulate the concept of democratized theology. Talking about theology as… Read more

May 7, 2019

I’m very new to the Game of Thrones world. Since some of my students are really into it, I decided I would start watching this season. And I got hooked. I watched enough key episodes from past seasons and read enough online summaries to get up to speed on this season. A major subplot this season has been the disintegration of the power of Danaerys Targaryen who now only has one out of her three dragons left. As she has… Read more

May 4, 2019

I was motivated to start this blog after I discovered Rachel Held Evans in 2011 through her blog series “rally to restore unity,” which she posted in response to the backlash against Rob Bell’s Love Wins. I was such a fanboy of hers for so long. I almost fainted when I discovered that she was going to be speaking at the Virginia youth conference that my old church’s youth group was attending in 2012 where I got this selfie. I… Read more

April 21, 2019

On this Holy Saturday, the New York Times published an interview with Serene Jones, the president of Union Theological Seminary. In it, she says the following when asked whether she believes that Jesus was physically resurrected: When you look in the Gospels, the stories are all over the place. There’s no resurrection story in Mark, just an empty tomb. Those who claim to know whether or not it happened are kidding themselves. But that empty tomb symbolizes that the ultimate… Read more

April 19, 2019

I decided to get back on the blog for Good Friday since I’ve been thinking a lot about Jesus’ cross lately. Growing up in white evangelicalism, I received a very distorted understanding of the cross. I think the distortions I’ve encountered are largely a product of turning Christian salvation into a white middle-class consumer sales pitch for afterlife insurance. And I believe that the good news is actually much better news than what many of us have been told. So… Read more

March 5, 2019

[The following is a testimony from Turinawe Samson, the founder of Universal Love Alliance, the African queer inclusion organization I am raising money for.] My name is Turinawe Samson, a Ugandan by birth, born in 1984.  I am sharing my story with you as a queer person. I know that my story is very similar to the stories of many LGBTI people in Uganda.  Indeed, I know very well about other LGBTI people and their allies in Uganda who have… Read more

February 27, 2019

Today is a hard day. I have been trying to figure out how to channel the weight of the grief I feel about United Methodism into something productive. And God keeps on reminding me that I can use my platform to support some of the most valuable work going on in the world right now. The Universal Love Alliance is a grassroots, entirely African-led movement to support human rights for women, children, and sexual minorities in Uganda and throughout Africa…. Read more

February 26, 2019

I just spent a three-day Cursillo retreat with mostly older, conservative small-town United Methodists in our very conservative annual conference of Louisiana. It was an incredibly beautiful, life-giving experience, much of which I can’t share. What I can share is that it rekindled my love for actual orthodox Wesleyan theology, which could be summarized in two words: practical holiness. I wish that every General Conference delegate had to go on a Methodist Cursillo or Emmaus retreat immediately before General Conference… Read more

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