January 25, 2017

An Open Letter to Jesus: Find Common Ground

An Open Letter to Jesus: Find Common Ground

Dear Jesus,

Let me start by saying how much I appreciate the majority of what you stand for. Your message of love and unity is exactly what the world needs right now. And I’m thankful to see your stance toward oppressed peoples on the margins of society. They deserve to have more good men like you standing with them.

So understand that my criticism is coming from a place of general agreement with you. I just feel that your platform would be a lot more effective if you toned it down a little bit.

January 23, 2017

12 Famous Quotes These Christian Leaders Never Said

12 Famous Quotes These Christian Leaders Never Said

I frequently see these quotes make the rounds on social media. They’re mostly great sentiments, but they don’t come from the people they’re usually attributed to. I’ve been guilty of sharing about half of these myself before learning they were fake. So let’s set the record straight, and then let’s be more careful to fact check before sharing.

January 11, 2017

No Marriage in the Resurrection? Here’s What Jesus Really Said

No Marriage in the Resurrection? Here’s What Jesus Really Said

A certain discussion between Jesus and the Sadducees has led to a widespread belief among Christians that there will be no marriage in the resurrection.1 But is that really what Jesus taught?

The account is nearly identical in all three Synoptic Gospels, so we’ll follow the passage in Mark, being most likely the earliest version.

There came to him Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection. They asked him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote to us, ‘If a man’s brother dies, and leaves a wife behind him, and leaves no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up offspring for his brother.’ There were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and dying left no offspring. The second took her, and died, leaving no children behind him. The third likewise; and the seven took her and left no children. Last of all the woman also died. In the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be of them? For the seven had her as a wife.”

January 9, 2017

The Divine Dance by Richard Rohr & Mike Morrell (Book Review)

The Divine Dance by Richard Rohr & Mike Morrell (Book Review)

This is a book about the Trinity, but it’s not your average exposition of the Athanasian Creed. There is very little in the way of formulaic explanation. And perhaps that’s how it should be when we speak of the Trinity. Much more mystical than theological—more practical than dogmatic.

The Divine Dance started out as a series of talks by Richard Rohr, which Mike Morrell used as the foundation for the book. This resulted in an unusual format that is worth noting up front. There are no chapters. Rather, the book is split into three large sections, each of which is broken up into a multitude of short blog-post-length segments.

December 18, 2016

Patmos by C. Baxter Kruger (Book Review)

Patmos by C. Baxter Kruger (Book Review)

The majority of my reading is generally nonfiction theology. But within the realm of fiction, there are few subjects I enjoy exploring more than time travel. So when I come across a novel with a time-travel plot, written by a theologian I appreciate, you’d better believe I’m going to want to read it. And C. Baxter Kruger’s Patmos does not disappoint.

The story is written from the perspective of Aiden, a modern-day theologian, who is unexpectedly transported through time and space (by the power of the Holy Spirit) to the island of Patmos with John the Apostle (whom, it turns out, is no stranger to Spirit-powered time travel himself). Over the course of three days, John and Aiden discuss all manner of topics related to the church, history, and theology.

December 4, 2016

Jesus Showed Us! by Brad Jersak (Book Review)

Jesus Showed Us! by Brad Jersak (Book Review)

A little over a year ago, I reviewed Brad Jersak’s A More Christlike God: A More Beautiful Gospel. In so many ways, it was exactly what I had been needing. While folks like Greg Boyd and Brian Zahnd had introduced me to the idea of a God who looks like Jesus, it was Brad Jersak who helped me put all the pieces together into a full and rich theology, one soundly rooted in both scripture and church tradition (particularly the Eastern Orthodox tradition).

I have since then recommended his book to more people than I can count. I consider it to be among the most important and desperately needed works of our day. If you haven’t read it yet, I cannot urge you strongly enough to do so now.

Yet an important gap remained to be filled.

November 24, 2016

A Day of Thanksgiving?

A Day of Thanksgiving?

Today is called “Thanksgiving.” And there’s no doubt that I—well situated in my life of privilege—have much to be thankful for.

I am thankful for my wonderful wife, without whom my life would be incomplete.

Meanwhile millions of LGBTQ couples live in fear that their marital rights will be revoked.

I am thankful for my amazing kids, who make each day so much brighter.

Meanwhile millions of immigrants live in fear that their families will be ripped apart through deportation.