August 28, 2013

I’ve been excited to tell you this ever since July…The much anticipated conversation between Brian McLaren and James Alison has been posted! You can listen to the podcast over at Homebrewed Christianity by clicking here. I first need to point out that this recording never would have happened without Tripp Fuller and Bo Sanders of Homebrewed Christianity. At the last minute we were scrambling to find a way to record the live Internet broadcast of the discussion. Brian called up his friend Tripp who graciously dropped… Read more

July 25, 2013

So much of Christian identity is wrapped up in being “not” some other type of Christian. To shore up our identity, we locate an oppositional other and put distance between us. The sign that we are doing this is that little tweak of repugnance we feel towards another type of Christian. It can manifest, among other ways, with an inner monologue that we sometimes blurt out: “Don’t confuse me with Roman Catholics, I’m an Episcopalian!” Or, “Please – I’m Lutheran… Read more

July 25, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness is a fascinating and complicated story that is well worth watching. Instead of providing a summary, I want to explore three related aspects of the movie that have to do with mimetic theory: sacrifice, blood, and hope for a more peaceful future. Live Long and Prosper – The Sacrificial Formula In a reference to my favorite Star Trek movie, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the current movie’s Spock (Zachary Quinto) restates the sacrificial formula:… Read more

July 25, 2013

“The 1970s were the beginning of the end of older forms of Christianity, and now, decades later, we are witnessing the end of the beginning.”  –Diana Butler Bass I graduated from my Catholic girls high school in 1973 as an avowed agnostic. Having rejected Catholicism and all of Christianity for that matter, I had no idea that I was part of a tidal wave of change sweeping  American Christianity. I felt alone in my decision, completely unaware that there were… Read more

July 25, 2013

You may not realize this, but senior pastors throughout the world were on vacation last Sunday. Not because they were celebrating the American holiday weekend of Memorial Day. No, senior pastors the world over were conveniently on vacation because it was…Trinity Sunday. Of course, I can’t blame pastors for taking a nice weekend vacation and leaving the challenge of preaching the Trinity Sunday sermon to their associates. I’ve always had a hard time with the Trinity. Not because of the… Read more

July 17, 2013

After three years of working with James Alison to put his introduction to Christianity for adults into video format,  we launched Jesus, the Forgiving Victim: Listening for the Unheard Voice, in June 2013.  As part of our development of the course, last fall we invited folks to beta test it for us. Over 65 people signed up for four retreats around the country and at the time I was feeling giddy, joyful, humbled, insecure, confident, panicked – oh, yes, I felt it all! As… Read more

July 8, 2013

From pews to pulpits to seminaries, Christians throughout the world are asking the same question, “Is God violent?” The answer to that question has implications for how we interpret the Bible, understand the atonement, and relate to God and our fellow human beings. At Teaching Nonviolent Atonement, it’s our view that mimetic theory is the most powerful tool currently available to answer this question in a way that is faithful to the Bible and to the life, death, and resurrection of… Read more

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