February 14, 2023

“Good orthodoxy leads to good orthopraxy” is a common aphorism wielded among conservative evangelical and fundamentalist Christians. It’s frequently worded in a more aggressive manner: “without proper orthodoxy, there can be no proper Christian discipleship.” These claims intend to convey that unless people believe certain doctrines and dogmas – and in a literal way – they are incapable of engaging in doing good in the world. Moreover, such declarations also seek to convey that if, for some freakish reason, some... Read more

February 7, 2023

One feature of contemplative Christianity is an embracing of Mystery – the notion that God is somehow bigger than words can convey; and a way of quiet, reverent, stillness in the presence of the Divine fosters encounter with this Divine mystery. The most common form of this is known as CENTERING PRAYER. It draws from practices from the Desert Fathers and Mothers, the medieval text The Cloud of Unknowing, and is inspired by Psalm 46:10 – “be still and know... Read more

October 31, 2022

“Hi. My name is Roger, and I’m a progressive Christian.”  Apparently, those are fightin’ words that necessarily lead to estrangement, inquisition, and scapegoating when heard by evangelical Christians. Evangelicalism became the mainstream form of Christianity in the U.S. starting in the 1980s and they’ve rather enjoyed their time in the Sun – and aren’t at all happy to be losing their transient and fleeting clout and status. I’ve been in ministry serving as a pastor in the United Methodist Church... Read more

June 22, 2022

Our Creator God does indeed create. Mercy and how! But She is not the only one who makes the decisions about what will be created. If that were the case, blind obedience… would be our only mission we would merely be puppets who could only do things when God ….pulls our strings. Dig this.  As children of God who’ve been called to groove, let’s groove on the metaphor of “Jazz Music.” In jazz there is an imperative for listening to,... Read more

December 7, 2021

I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink  …. I was imprisoned in a brothel and you rescued me. So begins Daniel Walker’s book God in a Brothel. It’s a bold and blunt beginning and the rest of the book is nothing but boldness and bluntness. The book is a primer on the ugly reality of human slavery – particularly sex trafficking. It’s a tell-all account of one... Read more

September 17, 2021

“We stand on the shoulders of giants” – Jack Spong was one of my giants. The late Bishop Spong was a tremendous influence on my life as a pastor and theologian. I first learned of him upon reading his book “Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism” while I attended the Iliff School of Theology in the early 1990s. I recall being notably struck by his obvious scholarly competence, his persuasive argumentation, and his clear passion for the well-being of Christianity and... Read more

August 31, 2021

Sometimes we see posts on social media that begin with someone soliciting “Unpopular Views You Hold that Many Others Don’t” as conversation starters. People respond to such posts by saying things like: “I like light beer.” “I think curling is a proper Olympic sport.” “Young people who are graduating from high school would do well to consider not going to college and instead learn a trade to begin their careers.” “I’m a vegan chiropractor who recommends that people get the... Read more

April 3, 2021

Have you ever messed up? Have you ever screwed things up real bad? ..Yeah, we all have. It’s part of the human condition. We’re always fouling things up. We’re ever screwing up. It’s a given. It’s an ever-given. We screw up relationships. We sabotage careers. We get caught up in all sorts of dysfunctional addictions and behaviors. We estrange ourselves from friends and loved ones. We’re screw ups. But have you ever screwed up so bad that satellites can see... Read more

March 23, 2021

I’m hurting today. I’m a Christian living in the United States. There are many Americans who think of that as being a natural fit and that this should be the expected default – they wish that all Americans were Christians. As a progressive Christian, I don’t think that everyone needs to be or should be a Christian, and I think that those who claim to be Christians should in fact be Christians. A common technique of conservative evangelical street preachers... Read more

September 1, 2020

 Newsweek recently published an article reporting that “52 Percent of Americans Say Jesus Isn’t God but Was a Great Teacher.” The article was based upon an article in The Christian Post which had the title “A Majority Of Americans Think Jesus Is A Great Teacher Yet Reject His Claims To Be God.” I have several responses. First of all, Jesus never claimed to be God. No where in the scriptures does Jesus claim to be God – nor did he... Read more

Browse Our Archives