Americans Becoming Less Religious

Recently, a friend posted a link to a Pew Research Center report titled “U.S. Public Becoming Less Religious” and asked “How do we reach people where they are at, without driving them away?” Not long before that, I heard a commercial for a church in Chapel Hill NC advertising an event to pack 20,000 meals for Stop […]

Pentecost Is Upon Us

Well, beloved, yet another Pentecost Sunday is upon us. For those of you poor, benighted, non-mainline souls who don’t know what I’m talking about, Pentecost is the Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks which celebrates the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai. It is significant in the Christian world because it commemorates […]

Let’s Get Ashy!

Today is Ash Wednesday, and that can only mean one thing: Lent is here! Ah, yes, that most wonderful time in the liturgical calendar all about prayer, penance and preparation for Easter. And, what better way to kick things off than by  getting your ash on? Yes, friends, today is the day when hipsters and yuppies, […]

Broken? Part II

The whole broken people/original sin thing is kind of big deal to Christians, conservative and progressive alike. They tend to look at in different ways, though.  For those of a more conservative bent, original sin and the brokenness of humanity is a given. It’s one of those absolute truths some folks like to talk about: it […]

We All Need To Be Saved From Something

Depending on who you talk to, salvation can be a touchy subject. For a conservative evangelical or a fundamentalist, salvation is about belief; i. e. to be saved, one must believe in Jesus. To a progressive, however, salvation is as much about what you do as it is what you believe. You can probably guess […]

Is “Penal” A Dirty Word?

I’m sorry, but I cannot say, think, or write that word without repressing a giggle. That’s probably because I have the maturity level of a 13-year-old boy and it sounds too much like “penile” (FYI, DO NOT google “penal vs penile”. It’s not pretty). If pundits and politicians ever start referring to reforms in the […]

Many or All?

For the past few months, the concept of universalism has been on my mind. I’ve been involved in several conversations (both on-line and in real-time) about the subject and even heard a couple of sermons that either brushed up against it or, in one case, fully engaged it. These encounters run the gamut from strongly […]

Gungor And Genesis

As there is a glut of articles flying around the blogosphere about Robin Williams (some good, some bad and some ugly), I’m going to refrain from including my voice in that cacophony. By this point, anything I could say has already been said and, if I said it anyway, would be a transparent attempt to […]

Giving Up Lent,Or Why I Won’t Feel Bad About Myself Until Easter

Last Sunday, someone asked me what I was giving up for Lent and I honestly couldn’t answer. The truth is, until that moment, I really hadn’t given it a thought. It’s not that I don’t like Lent, we just have a complicated relationship. The truth is, Lent never really worked for me. It’s supposed to […]

What’s That On Your Forehead?

Well, it’s Ash Wednesday and you know what that means: a bunch of weirdos walking around with smudgy, black crosses on their foreheads. These “weirdos” are actually mainstream and progressive Christians heathens and they do it to signify their “repentance before God”. Seriously? You can do the same thing with good, old-fashioned piety. And, by […]