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February 20, 2019

Reconciliation is the Gospel

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 […]
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January 1, 2019

2 (Non-)Resolutions for 2019

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.
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November 3, 2018

The Humiliation of Wisdom

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.
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July 12, 2018

Learning Reconciliation

Peace is costly—it is not made by ignoring pain or hurt or history. Peace comes with honestly and humility, a commitment to seeing and listening to one another.
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March 2, 2018

Rejecting or Reforming Institutions of Abuse

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?
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February 25, 2018

Exploring the God-Breathed Nature of Scripture

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?
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February 19, 2018

The Evolving Identity of Holiness

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?
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February 8, 2018

What an Emo Band Taught Me About Reading the Bible

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.
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January 1, 2018

The Symbolism in my Tattoo

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.
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December 13, 2017

Condemn the Bigotry, Not the Bigot

Bigotry is unequivocally wrong. But as we work to achieve justice for all, let's be careful that we don't fall into the same snares of prejudice that we condemn.
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November 19, 2017

Beauty Grace Illusion Lie

Life is complicated, messy, hard to understand. And that's exactly what makes it beautiful.
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October 10, 2017

Diversity Is How We Let God Shine Through Our Cultures

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.
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August 31, 2017

What the Nashville Statement Actually Says

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.
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August 9, 2017

What Israel Teaches Us About the Idolatry of Security

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?
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July 29, 2017

Still Crusading

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.
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July 3, 2017

Losing Christ Within the Empire

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.
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May 7, 2017

Questions About the Masculine God

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?
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April 5, 2017

God’s Chosen: Wrestling with God and Humanity

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.
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January 25, 2017

Scripture to Me

I was asked to describe my view of Scripture, so I wrote this short reflection as a depiction of how the Bible has come alive to me in recent years. Scripture is no longer a reflection of myself, but is a summons to know the world of life.
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January 22, 2017

An Evangelical Crossroads

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.
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December 2, 2016

Death and Life Before Christ

Last week, Justin, one of my best friends, shared his concern that Christianity necessarily means that those who lived before Christ are eternally damned. This post is a direct response to the questions Justin posed about how people are made right with God.
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October 24, 2016

Emerging into a Community of Believers

This post is about as close a thing as I've ever written to my personal testimony and Christian calling, from the fundamentalism of my youth to the deconstruction and reconstruction of my faith upon Jesus Christ, the revelation of God.
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September 21, 2016

Skittles and Sheep

"If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem." That message, posted by Donald Trump Jr. yesterday, should be deeply concerning for Christians. The call of the gospel is not to protect ourselves, but to protect the abused, the broken, the exiles.
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August 20, 2016

Interpreting “The War is Coming!” and “Falling on the Sword”

I never do this. I don’t explain my stories. The story behind this one, though, is special to me. The idea first hit me in early 2015 and, as I tend to do, I stewed on it for a few weeks before putting it down into poetic form as “The War is Coming!” and recently rewrote it in prose form as "Falling on the Sword." Read the story behind the story here.
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