Theological Smackdown

This week I got a comment & question based on a statement I made in an earlier post that stated: “They (critics of Christianity) won’t regard the serious academic theologians in their arguments, preferring instead to attack featherweights like Warren and McLaren.” Who are the lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight serious […]

And He Loved Them Anyway

I cannot read the gospel passages of Jesus’ last week on earth without wondering what must have been running through his mind.  I realize that this is pure speculation — nothing more or less.  But I feel like it must have been a time of great agitation and ambiguity.  I […]

The Turning of the Tide

The shift from Palm Sunday to Good Friday has always fascinated me.  Cheering masses turning to ugly mobs.  Crowds assembling to catch a glimpse of the possible Messiah reconvene to scream for his blood.  One might think Jesus supported healthcare reform and immigration, the way people turned nasty, threatening his […]

Ravings of an Angry Evangelical

Our country is being destroyed by ignorant, narrow-minded, arrogant, self-righteous Christians.  They call themselves evangelicals, but throughout history they have been known by other names: tyrants, despots, hate mongers, fools… David Carlsson, Message to America, 2009 Hold on.  I confess that there are ignorant, narrow-minded, arrogant, self-righteous Christians out there […]

United Methodists Wanting to… What?

The United Methodist Church… wants to… what?  This is a question I asked for years when I worked for the General Board of Discipleship and travelled across the country.  I let people fill in the blank, then pressed to be sure I understood what they meant.  I came upon a […]

Irrational Rationalization

I had a conversation with a friendly atheist recently that leaves me scratching my head.  The reason is that, as I have found so often to be the case, he wouldn’t play by his own rules.  This young man wanted to only address what was “provable” as true, but kept […]

Be A Tree

There is this great old Peanuts cartoon.  Lucy is explaining to little brother Linus how the world works.  She takes him to a tree in the yard and shows him the falling leaves.  She explains that this is a normal occurence, one of those wondrous cycles of nature.  She says […]

A House Divided

Oh, man, time to go fishin’ cause I opened up a can of worms!  For ten straight days my Inbox has been full of emails concerning race relations in The United Methodist Church.  The emails are troubling on two separate levels — one, that people don’t feel safe airing their […]

Mad Methodists

A few years ago I stood up in a meeting at the General Board of Discipleship and asked, “Has anyone else noticed how many deeply angry people we have in The United Methodist Church?”  At first, a few puzzled folks asked what I meant, but I didn’t even have to […]

Four Sin-Dromes

The concept of “sin” actually means “to miss the mark.”  It doesn’t matter if you miss by an inch or miss by a mile — a miss is a miss is a miss.  And there are four “sins” — ways we are “missing the mark” — prevalent in our congregational systems […]