July 28, 2020

Kevin Miller’s new documetary, J.E.S.U.S.A., is available for on-demand streaming on Vimeo! When I first heard the phrase “toxic masculinity” I thought it meant the ways in which men of a certain type are toxic to those around them. Though that is undoubtedly true, the phrase means more than that. It refers to the ways in which men are toxic to themselves. In other words, masculine norms that prize toughness, dominance and self-reliance and punish vulnerability make it difficult if... Read more

July 22, 2020

Suzanne Ross interviews the winner of the 2019 Raven Award for Excellence in Arts and Entertainment, Audrey Assad. In their conversation they explore faith, Audrey’s music, God’s love, and the secret of life. The talented and profound singer-songwriter Audrey Assad recently covered James Taylor’s “The Secret of Life” for her Instagram followers. The song is a wonderful gift for those of us struggling to deal with life during the coronavirus pandemic from a woman who is not afraid to share her... Read more

July 14, 2020

What does forgiveness look like in the midst of a pandemic? How are we as Christians called to address the numerous grievances we may be experiencing in a time where many people are feeling persecuted, forgotten, abandoned, or betrayed by life circumstances? Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have probably experienced times of having to put our hope in people, institutions, and even ourselves, only to be disappointed, hurt, and abused. How much more now, when things are... Read more

July 10, 2020

Filmmaker Kevin Miller authored this article which was originally published on the Raven Foundation site. The other day I was engaged in an online debate about Christianity and nonviolence when the other participant stated the following: “Pacifism is a luxury allowed in a country that is free from tyranny because of their justice [system] and military strength.” I’m not sure if my conversation partner was referencing it, but it reminded me of a bumper sticker I saw once: “Pacifism is... Read more

November 26, 2019

THE COST OF NARROWING GOD’S LOVE “And now may you accept life as a gift, and live life as a way of giving thanks.” It is hard to accept life as a gift when you live in fear. Fear comes from an imperfect understanding or experience of love, for perfect love casts out fear. God is all-encompassing Love, but exclusive claims on God’s love have distorted God’s image. Fear is the flip side of arrogance, which claims God’s love at... Read more

October 16, 2019

We live in a nation built on a foundation of violence. But that’s not where we belong.  We belong where our deepest longings can be fulfilled, our longings for peace, joy, a life of dignity and respect, a haven that nurtures us to be our fullest, sweetest selves. For some, these longings go largely under or unfulfilled under stifling oppressive or violent conditions. But none of us can fully realize the fulfillment of our longings until we recognize that the only... Read more

September 19, 2019

And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes. …Huh? This parable is bewildering. Jesus praises shrewdness and, while he doesn’t exactly endorse dishonesty, he at least encourages his disciples to make the most of it. Is there a place for shrewdness – which implies a sort of trickery – in (or at least on the way to) the Kingdom of God?... Read more

September 12, 2019

There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. What does it mean to be lost? What does it mean to be found? When Adam and I were making the Jesus Unmasked video, I had planned to take the conversation in a different direction. But after hearing the Gospel read aloud, all that came to mind was how much these verses tormented me as a child and teenager.... Read more

September 5, 2019

Hey, Jesus, what was that thing about hating our families? If the words of Jesus in this upcoming Sunday’s Gospel are utterly baffling to you, you are not alone! In this week’s Jesus Unmasked, Adam Ericksen and I wrestle with some of Jesus’s most difficult teachings about family, carrying the cross, and the cost of discipleship. The video contains insights about family, failure, and grace. In the show notes, I further examine the baffling verse about “hating our families” in... Read more

August 30, 2019

For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Welcome to Jesus Unmasked! The following show notes are not a transcript but a reflection on this week’s Gospel scripture in the style of Lectio Divina. For our application of this sacred reading method, we follow four steps: (1) attempt to discern the literal meaning and context of the verses we read, (2) find metaphoric or symbolic meaning in particular words or phrases, (3) find... Read more

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