The call to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy is a call to remember that God is the one in control. Every day, I need this reminder that I can trust others to serve while I rest, and that the manifestation of God’s kingdom in the world does not rest entirely on my shoulders.
My mom came in, saw my tears, and sat next to me, asking what was wrong. So I opened up to her – something I don’t do well – and shared why my heart was tearing. Her words to me changed my life. I think about them often, and even when I’m not consciously thinking about them, they impact the way I hear God speaking to me.
As I type this, I am sitting in a Barnes and Noble in Asheville, North Carolina. In about an hour, I will head to the airport and fly back home to Kansas City, but in the meantime, I am working to process the overwhelming multisensory experience of the Wild Goose Festival I just left. This experience will be churning in my head for months, maybe years.
When I see the incredible impact others have made for the kingdom of God – leading ministries that touch thousands, or eradicating homelessness in their cities, or drawing public attention to mass injustices – I feel like I am insignificant. But Scripture reminds me that my worth doesn't come from my accomplishments, but from my status as a child of God.
We evangelicals have come to see the Bible in a way that reflects our own insecurities and desires rather than understanding Scripture on its own terms. Let’s return to a holy book that allows us to ask questions, rather than one that recites our answers back to us.
We live in a broken world filled with division. We know that; we feel it. Right now, the United Methodist Church is gearing up for a special conference where they will be voting on how they can – or can’t – stay united in the midst of their passionate disagreements about human sexuality. Many Methodists are questioning […]
I usually hate New Year's resolutions, but I’ve been making some deliberate changes in my life over the past few months that I want you all to know about. Here are two of them that have been really meaningful for me.
At the cross, God gave the ultimate demonstration of reorienting the world, a revelation of the ways in which God’s priorities often did not align with the priorities of humanity. By yielding to the cross, Jesus Christ embodied a narrative that Israel’s prophets had proclaimed centuries before—that God’s ways were not the ways of humanity, and that God had chosen the path of weakness to shame the strength of the world.
In recent months, nearly every week has contained a stark reminder of the immorality running through Hollywood. But are there other institutions we support that we should be challenging? Are there other industries that tolerate or glorify abuse that we should be speaking out against?
In the book of Joshua, God commanded the Israelites to take the land of Canaan by conquest and utterly destroy its native inhabitants. If a nation attempted to do that today, we'd call it mass genocide. If someone said God had told them to do it, we'd call them a religious terrorist. How can we make sense of the violence of the Hebrew Bible in light of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ?
How has our understanding of holiness evolved from the laws and regulations of the ancient Israelites? Do the life and teachings of Jesus Christ change our perspective on what it means to live a holy life?
One of my favorite rock bands from high school recently released a new album. When I listened to it, I was not expecting to get a lesson on how to read the Bible, but that's exactly what happened. This post is all about assumptions and perspectives.
I recently finished a tattoo on my forearm. In total, I spent about 18 months working through the design and I get a lot of questions about what it means, so I thought I’d put together a quick blog post explaining some of the details.
What is culture, and how does it impact our faith? How do we measure the positives and negatives of a particular point of view? In this post, I explore the value of understanding our own culture and the cultures of others as we examine our lives.
The CBMW, an American evangelical group trying to revive destructive patriarchal norms in our society, recently released a statement on “biblical sexuality” called the Nashville Statement. Much of their language is cloaked in allusion to help them gain an audience within mainstream evangelical Christianity, so I've provided a line-by-line interpretation based on my (critical) following of the CBMW and my personal background in fundamentalist evangelical Christianity.
Christian in the United States today grapples with a desire to control and preserve its own future. Illustrated by the rise of the Religious Right in the past few decades and a recent resurgence in Christian governmental politics, we are concerned with how God works in, through, and outside of our national structures of government. But perhaps the question we should be asking is where our hope comes from. Do we rely on God for our security, or do we seek it instead through our own systems of safety and predictability?
The Crusades, one of the darkest stains on the Christian Church in all of its history, still echoes in Christianity today. Many of the systemic abuses at the root of Christian warfare are gaining traction in American culture today. The life of Jesus Christ shows us a different way to live – we must know the darkness of our own past if we hope to live into the light of Christ today.
Today is the eve of Independence Day, the peak of the American Christian's tendency to conflate the worship of God with the celebration of our national heritage. One of the most important conversations in this era of our culture involves two problems set up by the early church: the rise of politics within the body of the church, and the wedding between the Christian faith and the empire of the world.
The words we use carry deep meaning – far beyond the dictionary definitions of the words themselves. Are masculine terms for God the best, most helpful words for us to use today? Over and over, Scripture refers to God as "Father" and other male depictions, so is there a justifiable, biblical reason to do anything different when we talk about God?
Time and again, God seems to have chosen the screw-ups of the world to change history. Why is it that those who wrestle against God and humanity are so often the bearers of God's promise? In this post, I look at the story of Jacob's wives, Leah and Rachel, who were far from what we would consider "good Christians," yet became the mothers of the twelve tribes of Israel.
A message like that of Jesus would get you kicked out of most evangelical churches today. He didn’t teach us to vote based on our own sense of relativistic morality. Followers of Christ don’t have the privilege of refusing to subsidize healthcare for others, even if it’s sometimes used in ways they don’t agree with. We must value every life, whether it’s the life of an unborn child or the life of a black man murdered on the street or the life of an immigrant who follows another religion.