Category: Blog Posts

Stop Running from Ourselves

My wife and watched the final season of The Expanse (available on Amazon Prime). The series is a sci-fi story with—surprise surprise—a very human plot. Earthlings immigrated to Mars and are in the process of terraforming it. Another colony of human beings, the Belters, live on spaceships all their lives. They work the asteroid belt […]

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Immoral Freedom

When Amazon founder and multibillionaire Jeff Bezos returned from his brief trip into space aboard his own rocket, he said: “I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you paid for all of this.” Pause. “Thank you for working almost as fast as the robots I will one day replace you […]

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Church Attendance, the Pandemic, and Discipleship

What long-term effects will the pandemic have on religious congregations? Specifically, what will be the results on attendance? Churches were already experiencing waves of historic-level crises prior to the pandemic. The very model of “going to church” is a 16th century innovation within a Christendom mentality. Five hundred years ago, churches were central cultural institutions. Churches […]

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How Religious Communities Might Lean into 2022

America is in for a bumpy 2022. Consider a few of the accumulating moral and spiritual dilemmas facing us (there are many more…). Surely, America will surpass one million people dead from the pandemic. If you have a better imagination than I, you might picture the continuing consequences of those losses: depression and burnout among […]

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Nativity Politics

Occasionally I hear from laity or clergy concerning discussing politics in church. Of course, who would want to use worship, a ministry meeting, or a church school class to replicate a polarized, contentious go-nowhere storm of words and emotions? No one. But we should be very careful about broad statements concerning church and politics. On […]

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Enough

When my oldest child was young, he often heard his parents say, “No, that is too much,” when he grabbed an excess of something off a buffet or wanted more ice cream than a three-year-old should have. But whenever he was asked how much of anything he wanted, he stated: “I want too much.” And […]

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Jesus, Son of Herod

We know the story told by Matthew that Herod, the Roman-appointed king of the Jews, received the Persian Magi looking for the child born to be king of the Jews. Recall Herod’s response to the news of a rival king after the magi excluded him from whatever they learned about Jesus’ location: slaughter all children […]

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Christianity is Poor Social Glue

A former official from the former administration opined a few days ago that America is one nation under God and requires one religion. I’m sure the religion he had in mind was not Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, or any faith other than Christianity. Critics pounced on his statement—rightly so—as outrageously anti-American and anti-Constitutional. Dr. Heather Richardson, […]

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A Future for Christianity in America

Last week, I finished recording the last two lectures for the online, public course I’ve taught (five of the six lectures are available for anyone to view on the seminary’s YouTube page). The course, “Bursting Wineskins,” starts with an accounting of why the Christian-entwined-with-America story is ending, moves through how one might interpret religion/culture/politics, and […]

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The Most Wonderful — and Destructive — Time of the Year

The single most climate-destructive annual event of the year is… Christmas. Christmas is a climate disaster. Now, the Christmas season is my favorite time of the year. I love Christmas—the sounds, the smells, the tastes, the memories, the occasions with family and friends. I listen to religious carols throughout the year when I write (as […]

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