July 27, 2020

“Jesus is the most important human being who has ever existed. I miss Him.”-Chuck Templeton, former evangelist/atheist I’ve been heavily deconstructing for the past couple of years. Mine wasn’t a planned deconstruction. I didn’t decide one day that I’d put myself through an orderly doctrine by doctrine rethinking of my faith. Mine was more spontaneous than that. You can read more about my overall story here, but the gist of it is this: I started walking around the indoor track... Read more

July 24, 2020

The Jewish people of Jesus’ day were living under the occupation of Rome. There were soldiers with weapons on every street corner of Jerusalem. There were whispers of a violent uprising to come in which Israel would purge their land of their Roman oppressors. Jesus comes into this culture with admonitions for people to love their enemies, turn the other cheek, and to carry their oppressor’s backpack two miles instead of the one mile required by law. In a culture... Read more

July 22, 2020

“The Christian of the future will be a mystic or he will not exist at all.”-Karl Rahner What does it mean to be a Christian? Is it mere agreement with a statement of faith or The Apostle’s Creed? Is it local church membership? Bible reading? Prayer? Baptism? Tithing? Some combination of all of the above? Redefining Christianity If we apply some of those standards to the earliest followers of Jesus, they would fall short. While Peter, John, and Mary Magdalene... Read more

July 20, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread like wildfire across the United States, many local health officials and government leaders are mandating that their citizens wear masks when outside of their homes and restrict non-essential activities that might put people in close proximity to one another and risk spreading the virus. Of particular concern are “super-spreader” venues like bars, funeral homes, and churches. Religious Persecution? Obviously, no one enjoys being told where they can go and what they are allowed... Read more

July 17, 2020

If you are looking for a: hellfire and brimstone sin focused rapture obsessed politically charged condemning judgmental KJV only culture warring flag waving gay bashing patriarchal committee structured performance driven building centered spiritual experience, the movement of Jesus probably isn’t for you. However, if your heart longs for a: hopeful kingdom seeking Spirit empowered justice minded community serving interactive welcoming inclusive affirming encouraging radically forgiving merciful enemy loving non-violent faith lived out of a heart full of God’s unconditional love... Read more

July 15, 2020

I started working on this post last week. Yesterday, Karl Forehand-one of my best friends in the world-published a post here on Patheos entitled “Don’t Call Me Christian“. While Karl and I may seem like we are presenting diametrically opposing views here, I find that so much of what he has written in his column (and elsewhere) resonates deeply within me. I’m grateful for his voice and our friendship and I’m not the least bit worried that this difference in... Read more

July 13, 2020

I’ve been wrong about so many things in my life and ministry. I thought God delighted in sending people to a flaming torture chamber for all eternity. I was wrong. I thought The Bible was everything God had to say to humanity. I was wrong. I thought a woman’s place was in the home-certainly not the pulpit. I was wrong. I thought God predestined people to reject Jesus. I was wrong. I thought everyone who died in Hitler’s furnaces was... Read more

July 10, 2020

We have seen some limited progress on addressing police brutality since the beginning of the “Black Lives Matter” movement and it seems that many white allies seem ready to “move on” to other issues. I think that would be a tragic mistake. Painting the words “Black Lives Matter” on the street in front of The White House and Trump Tower doesn’t end police brutality towards the black community. It is imperative that we all keep speaking up and working together... Read more

July 8, 2020

Most of us are familiar with the concept that we were created in the image of God, but what exactly does that mean? Do we physically resemble the Divine? Does God have fingers, toes, and a belly button? Probably not. In his book, “Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander”, Trappist Monk Thomas Merton famously wrote, “In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved... Read more

July 6, 2020

Welcome to my brand new column here on Patheos. I’m really grateful to share this space with you. A quick introduction might be in order. I am Brandi’s grateful husband, the proud dad of four awesome kids, and a former professional wrestler, radio broadcaster, missionary, and pastor. I’m currently writing my first book and hosting The Messy Spirituality Podcast. The phrase “Messy Spirituality” is an homage to one of my spiritual heroes, Mike Yaconelli, who wrote a book by that... Read more

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