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

February 19, 2019

As United Methodists enter the final week before our called General Conference on queer sexuality, I wanted to ask some questions of my traditionalist counterparts with as much sincerity and humility as I can muster. I’m not trying to land zingers and create a spectacle, but rather to engage in dialogue as respectfully as possible. So here are my questions. 1. Do you feel as ambivalent and confused as I do? I know that most of you are not like… Read more

February 5, 2019

“Saul, why do you persecute me?” “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” The central plot of the story of the early church in Acts hinges around these two sentences. They both involve God telling very devout religious men that very reasonable boundaries they had set based on a straightforward interpretation of the holy scriptures their people had received were wrong. They’re actually in back to back chapters. In Acts 9, Saul of Tarsus sees a blinding… Read more

February 2, 2019

Jason Micheli is my closest frenemy who isn’t openly Calvinist. I love Jason, but sometimes he writes blog posts that provoke me to send him virulently profane text messages. More than once, it’s happened in the middle of my son’s Saturday soccer games which usually put me in an extra salty mood. The vast majority of Jason’s theology is similar to mine; he’s been a tremendous influence on me. But his most recent take on our denomination’s sexuality debate compels… Read more

February 2, 2019

Jason Micheli is my closest frenemy who isn’t openly Calvinist. I love Jason, but sometimes he writes blog posts that provoke me to send him virulently profane text messages. More than once, it’s happened in the middle of my son’s Saturday soccer games which usually put me in an extra salty mood. The vast majority of Jason’s theology is similar to mine; he’s been a tremendous influence on me. But his most recent take on our denomination’s sexuality debate compels… Read more

January 31, 2019

I denied Christ, just like Simon Peter when the cock crowed. It was a couple of years ago. A lesbian couple who were active in a progressive, inclusive post-evangelical church pastored by a good friend had told their pastor they wanted to do a destination wedding in New Orleans and they wanted the names of trusted inclusive pastors in the area whom they could ask to marry them. So he gave them my name. And I told them no. I… Read more

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