August 5, 2020

This is the second post in a series on Letting Love In. If you missed the first installment, check it out here. Salvation Receiving the love of God heals our wounds and makes us whole. The Greek word that we translate as “salvation” literally means “to be made whole”. To receive the salvation of God is to be made whole. God’s truly unconditional love heals the damage done by hatred and injustice. It breaks the power of insecurity and sets... Read more

August 3, 2020

This week, I’ll be taking a look at how the love of God transforms us and sets us free to finally become in public the image of God that we have always been within. This series will contain three posts, starting with this one. Truly Unconditional Growing up in the church, I heard a lot about the unconditional love of God. I remember thinking how odd it was that this God who supposedly loved us so much would impose so... Read more

July 31, 2020

For most of my life, I assumed that Jesus was a white, middle-class, Republican. I remember hearing former Texas Governor Ann Richards say, “If English was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for Texas.” during a statewide debate about English as the official language. I laughed at the thought of a Jew living 2,000 years ago speaking a language that didn’t yet exist. At the same time, I wondered what myths about Jesus I might be under the influence... Read more

July 29, 2020

It’s a scene that has played out millions of times over hundreds of years. A spiritual seeker hears a religious message that stirs up feelings of guilt and shame. They walk down the aisle of a local church building to kneel and pray. Maybe they shake the preacher’s hand. He or she offers to lead them in some version of the “sinner’s prayer” in which they acknowledge their own default setting toward sinfulness, cry out to God for mercy, and... Read more

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

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