Church Life

Breaking Glass Steeples: The Role of Women in Ministry & Society

The amount of paper (or perhaps keystrokes) dedicated to the issue of the role of women in Church and society is incalculable. By now it seems like everything that can and should be said about the issue has been discussed, debated, and discussed some more. No doubt this begs the question, do we really need another article addressing this topic?…

When Jesus sacrificed his life: a Memorial Day reflection

Memorial Day is a time when we remember those who sacrificed their lives to protect our freedoms. But, as I reflect on those who have sacrificed for me, I can’t help but include Jesus. As I reflect on the life of Jesus I can’t help but recognize the war he was involved in. It was a war that feels all…

The Bible is NOT the Word of God (Part 3)

Sometimes I wonder if we really believe in the Holy Spirit. We certainly acknowledge the existence of the Holy Spirit in our creeds and confessions. We talk about the Holy Spirit in church and in theology classes. We even grant the Holy Spirit its own day – Pentecost Sunday. But still, sometimes I wonder if we believe in the Holy…

Why Progressive Christians should distance themselves from John Shelby Spong’s 12 Theses

  Although I dislike religious labels, if people ask, I refer to myself as a progressive Christian. When I use the word “progressive”, I don’t mean I am a “social-liberal”, though in many cases I am. That is merely something I have in common with those who are “liberal”. In other words, I don’t think a progressive Christian is simply…

THEY STILL SPEAK: The Prophets of Our Generation

I’m not into the whole “end times” theological debates. I figure when it happens, it will happen. My time is better served by ministering the gospel than calculating mysterious dates and parsing phrases that unlock secret codes. I’m also not what you would call “charismatic”. By that I mean I don’t speak in tongues or practice any of the “spirit-filled”…

A Meditation: The Beauty of Being Holy

I think many of us misunderstand the concept of holiness. Many of us think of holiness in terms of ethics; that is, we think holiness = perfection. In actuality, the call for us to “be holy” has nothing to do with our moral behavior per se. Instead, holiness means “to be set apart”. For example, in 1 Peter 1:16 we…

Sinners in the hands of an Angry God

I mourn for Paris. I mourn for the Church. Just as the recent attacks in Paris provoke a deep mourning for France and many around the world, so too do they provoke within me a deep mourning for the Church. It seems that in today’s age of political evangelical Christianity when there is a humanitarian crisis (especially if it involves…

Why many of us read the Bible incorrectly – even those who should know better

Progressive Christianity: a guide for lost evangelicals

I recently read an article which caricatured “Millennials” as cultural capitulators with no theological/philosophical backbone. Certainly, this type of caricature is nothing new. Throughout my tenure within evangelicalism, I can remember a number of Christian expletives that were often used to delineate friend from foe. There are five that come to mind right away: liberal, new age, postmodern, emergent, and…

I Am The Sum Of My Parts

For the past two years, I have dedicated an enormous amount of time dealing with cultural issues, in particular, the intersection of Christianity and homosexuality. I have come to realize that I could spend a lifetime simply responding and defending certain actions/behaviors. However, this has detracted away from providing a positive influence on the progression of Christianity. My passions exceed…

A Letter to Evangelicals Regarding Homosexuality

I make only one request. Please read this post in its entirety before making comments. ******** I thank God for all of you. You have been faithful in spreading God’s message throughout the world. Moreover, you have not been bashful about the nature of Christ from His miraculous birth to His bodily resurrection. In fact, you understand better than anyone…

Evil, Suffering and the Problem of Pain

The problem of evil, suffering, and pain are those topics which are commonly used in philosophical arguments against the existence of God. However, there are also practical concerns when it comes to the problem of evil as well. I am going to address both.

The Almost Christian Discovered

This message was delivered to the fine folks at Papio Creek Church on Sunday May 31st 2015. Description This messages consists of two parts. PART ONE: What does it mean to call oneself a “Christian” in today’s culture. We have been told by our predecessors a version of Christianity that is untrue. We have taken this untrue story to the…

Real or Unreal: Why Conservative Christianity Fears Progressive Christianity

For the next month, a consortium of Christian churches in the town of Fountain Hills, Arizona is hosting a series of seminars called “Progressive Christianity: Fact or Fiction”. The series is aimed at providing a buffer against questions that have arisen surrounding a progressive church in the area. The debate between progressive and conservative Christianity is not new. Most of…

Racism and the Church

A short post today. This is heavy on my heart… When will we get our priorities in order? When will we start standing up for those who need us just as Christ would? I believe the Church can be great. I believe the church can still bring hope to this world, but not until it eliminates its politics. Not until…

Either, how many Christians misunderstand sin; OR, loving like a Pharisee

I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me anymore, but it still does. I recently came across an article talking about how the song “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town has been banned by many country radio stations around the country. As the argument goes, the song promotes the “gay agenda”. Of course anyone who actually listens to the song knows this…

Liberal Fundamentalism: why I am leaving the emerging church conversation

Marcus Borg: A Tribute To Theological Integrity

Perhaps not since the reformation has the church been as divided against itself as it is today. Christians like to label things: republican or democrat, conservative or liberal, Calvinist or Arminian, modern or postmodern; the list is lengthy. Theological scholarship is not much different. To many of these people Marcus Borg was an iconoclastic progressive liberal. Then there is a…

Becoming UNenlightened

My birthday This October I celebrated my 20th anniversary of being a Christian. Well…to be honest, I didn’t really celebrate – there was no cake, decorations, princesses, or a donkey-horse hanging precariously from a tree branch. It was more like, changing diapers, chasing children, and pretending to be a donkey-horse for my five year old. So…I guess in that sense…

Jesus Did NOT Come To Save Your Sins

I used to know it all. I used to have it all figured out. I had answers for almost everything – including backup answers in case my first answer was insufficient. My “life-verse” was first Peter 3:15, which served as my motivation to “always be prepared to give an answer.” I used to be obsessed with knowledge. In fact, at…

I think we give too much credit to the devil

I don’t pray to God in order to have him answer my request

I pray to him in order to have him present with me. We are fools if we think praying in faith has anything to do with what we command of God. No, quite the opposite; we have faith in that he has even allowed us in his presence to begin with. My praying in faith is about surviving such an…

I don’t worship God…

…because I am going to heaven. I worship God because he has allowed me to participate in his Kingdom. [shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”7515344″]

God IS absolute

…but I am not! It is why I trust in Him and not myself. [shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”7515344″]

There is no free gift

It is not free because there is much work to do. It is not a gift because it is neither comfortable nor easy. However, there does exist the free gift of living in ignorance. It’s free because it requires no effort whatsoever. It’s a gift because it was handed to you at birth. [shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”7515344″]

“Kill the Commentators” and the propositionalists if you have time

Soren Kierkegaard series PART THREE   The Soren Kierkegaard (SK) series has sought to present some of the major theological/cultural concerns associated with the philosopher/theologian in light of our current situation in protestant Christianity. Although SK lived more than 150 years ago his thought is just as relevant today, perhaps even more, than when he first wrote. In Part one…

Why are EVANGELICALS not outraged; a double standard or hypocrisy?

It’s been a year now since my first rant against the comments made by Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson. Soon after writing that article I received a lot of feedback from Evangelicals – most was not positive. Had I come down too hard on Phil? Had I come down too hard on Evangelicals? Then, a few months later news broke…

To My Sisters In The Lord…You Are Free!

When women urge their society to consider them as equals they are often labeled “feminist”. I hate that word. It does nothing but create negative feelings inside of me. However, I understand why it has been necessary. In fact, it’s my own fault I have to experience those feelings related to the term; for I have subjected women for thousands…

EMBRACING THE ABSURD: the problem of ABSOLUTES and the promise of SUBJECTIVITY

Objectivity confines God to a box that He did not create. It limits God to simple-minded systems and concepts that He destroys. Jesus did not come to get rid of the Law – there was in fact nothing wrong with the Law. He came to destroy the system around it. He did not come to bring insurance, but assurance. He did not come to bring certainty, but gave us the privilege of experiencing his mystery.

Soren Kierkegaard: The First Emergent Thinker? (Part One)

For the past fifteen years the “Emerging Church” has been a source of refuge for a large contingent of disenfranchised Christians. Many of whom are evangelicals who found themselves questioning important aspects of their faith and found little to no support from their local churches. When I first encountered the Emerging Church roughly ten years ago, I believed most of…

The Kingdom of God

It seems to me that evangelicals are much too focused on themselves and what they want; instead of following the example of Christ by serving and loving others. This has resulted in a tragic irony for the evangelical church within American culture. Namely, the very thing this worldview espouses (evangelism), is also the thing they are failing at. Although this…

Homosexuality in Western Culture: a new and reasonable perspective for Christians (Part 3 of 3)

Like many Christians who seek authenticity within their faith, I have struggled to make sense of the issue of homosexuality within our culture as it relates to the biblical worldview. Authenticity within the Christian life means nothing if does not coexist with honest self-reflection. I believe most people are delusional when it comes to what they believe. They have a…

Homosexuality in Western culture: a cultural/theological perspective (Part 2 of 3)

To those who exist outside of the church, it may come as a surprise for you to know that in the last 10 years the issue of homosexuality has really divided the church. Part of the reason for this has nothing to actually do with the topic itself as it’s in relation to the ongoing tension that exists between “modern” and “postmodern” Christianity. Although this tension is very convoluted, much of it surrounds the issue of biblical authority.

Homosexuality in Western culture: a cultural/theological perspective (Part 1 of 3)

Historical homosexuality is deeply rooted in the culture to which it belongs. In each of these societies the act of homosexuality was understood as extramarital and therefore was not associated with marriage, but as pleasure. It was also more common among those of upper-class status than those who were “pheasants”. (See Bruce Thornton’s research to learn more) In addition, it was not practice among women as it was men. It was a much rarer phenomenon among women as they were expected to exercise restraint and exude class as a representative of the family unit.

Either, Fallacies Most Christians Believe About The Bible; OR, Fun With Fallacies!

The fallacies you see below are a brief list I have compiled over the course of several years. They are based upon common statements that are made within Christianity; whether in the context of a sermon, book, theologian, or conversation. This list is not exhaustive and will be updated periodically. The fallacies are based upon at least of the following…

The Ken Ham Bill Nye Debate: a full analysis

Ken Ham vs Bill Nye. It’s not the Bud Bowl, but it will suffice as an entertaining way to spend one’s evening. I generally don’t like formal debates. Their formalities tend to get in the way of the conversational tone necessary for the transmission of ideas. In other words, they seem mostly pointless. However, one of the most highly anticipated…

POSTSCRIPT: The Bible is NOT the Word of God (Part 2)

Is the Bible the word of God? Read the first article Read the third article A brief note on the form of things: Last April I wrote a post titled The Bible is NOT the WORD OF GOD: a polemic against Christendom. The article was meant to be a provocation towards rethinking the way we speak about the bible. The…

The Metaphysics of Witnessing

Ludwig Wittgenstein’s (1889-1951) linguistic philosophy is both convoluted and profoundly elegant once the basic ideas are unpacked into digestible pieces. One such idea is his theory of language games. Wittgenstein posited (among many other things) that within every subculture, there are specific ways language is used relative to that particular culture. Moreover, how that particular subculture chooses to use its…

Why Christians should NOT support Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty”.

My wife is a huge fan of this television show “Duck Dynasty”. And…I’ll admit that there have been a few times where I have watched the show and got sucked in to the quirky southern charms that makes this series such a hit. For those unfamiliar with the premise of the reality show, it’s based on the Robertson family and…

Christ AND Culture, OR Christ IN Culture (Continued)

In the last 10 years or so we have seen an unbelievable cultural movement both in our society as well as in the Church. If the church continues to ignore dissenting voices and take the issue seriously not only will the church lose what little credibility it has with our society but it will also result in a large scale schism (perhaps this already happened – history will be the judge).

Either, what is truth? OR, Why Religion and Science are both asking the wrong questions.

I am still amazed as I peruse various blogs around the internet how much of an issue religion and science still is. For some reason, when it comes to intellectual discourse about these topics rationality seems to be thrown out as a requirement for conversation – or perhaps more accurately, arguing. It seems to me that the majority of this…

Either “Is Homosexuality A Sin?” OR “Is Homophobia A Sin?”

The modern Church’s overall inability to properly engage the culture in which it exists is none the more evident than in the issue of homosexuality. There is nothing more appalling (except perhaps our treatment of African Americans and women), than the pure hatred that the church has shown to the homosexual community. This will be my attempt at helping to…

The Bible is NOT the WORD OF GOD: a polemic against Christendom

Is the Bible the Word of God? The bible is not the WORD OF GOD. And if we believe it as such, then we have made the bible into an idol. The bible has become the Church’s idol. It is the Golden Calf of our day. The ancient Hebrews had taken the God of their forefathers and formed him into…

Confession of Faith

What is a confession of faith? A confession of faith is a personal or corporate declaration of the necessary beliefs the individual or corporate body profess. A confession of faith does not contain any defense for said beliefs, but simply states them in the form of propositions.

Christ AND Culture, OR Christ IN Culture

Our culture has numerous divisive issues, but the two that seem to create a more firm line than the issues of abortion and homosexuality. So it should not be surprising to see a lot of division between “Christians” and those who support proposition 8. However, what is surprising is the growing division that is continuing to occur within Christianity itself. It is my hopes that this article will add to the ongoing conversation that is taking place within our culture, and in particular the christian sub-culture, on this issue.

The Greatest Story Ever Told

Something remarkable happened this past Sunday! I was ministered to by my own sermon at the moment I was giving it. I was called upon to fill in for our pastor who is on vacation. The nice thing about our church is we have several able bodied preachers that can preach if needed throughout the year. Therefore, the heavy burden…

Am I Fallen or Falling; Am I Depraved or Lost?

I remember when I was a child having this dream that I was falling into some black abyss of nothingness. It’s really strange to have this constant feel of weightlessness. This of course is quite different from those dreams we all have of falling some short distance. We have this incredible sense of panic, which only lasts as long as our short fall. After we have fallen we usually awake to a more tranquil setting – laying in the comfort of our beds. We say things like “man I am glad that was only a dream”.

Kierkegaard on the problem of evil

  Kierkegaard was not an advocate for traditional apologetic methodology. Instead, he used a Socratic dialectic approach in order to present a particular case. As we will be discussing here that case is the problem of Evil. To be blunt there is no problem of evil in the eyes of Kierkegaard. To relate the problem of evil to the existence…

A Prayer

    This was a prayer that was prepared for our Sunday morning worship service.           Heavenly Father… Creator and Sustainer of all things. Grant us, your people, the opportunity to approach your blessed throne. Lord… Give us the courage to come before you; For we know that by coming before you we are exposing ourselves…

The Kingdom

I recently had one of those moments where something made sense. Sitting in church on Sunday the Kingdom of God seemed to come into clarity. The topic is heavily debated, in particular, Dispensationalists versus Calvinists. To be honest I don’t really care which group believes what as I find myself belonging to neither. It seems to me in reading scripture…

The Inwardness of Man

It is all very easy, is it not? At least that is what it seems. One can get up on a particular day of the week around mid-morning and go to a place of fellowship with like-minded individuals. It is all very easy, is it not, to exist in indifference? One could certainly get the impression that the situation is…

To be in Truth you must first deny it

Certainly there are some among you who gladly look upon this proposition and extrapolate all of the reasons for why one cannot be a Christian while at the same time denying truth. You will no doubt announce “ah, ha!” and move forward with your indictment of the soul, which surely fills books and books. Then there are others who will…