Love: Is it an Oversimplification of What is Means to Follow Jesus?

Happy Valentine’s Day! This is a good day for me ask myself an important question. Is it an over simplification to sum up living life in way of Jesus with the word, “love”? My beliefs and faith practices have undergone such a dramatic change over the last few years that … Continue reading

Refashioning Faith

Faith is something that you are not supposed to mess with. It’s fixed. Its propositions are anchored in history. You accept them and you’re “in.” Reject them and you’re “out.” Question them and you’re a problem. How those things are understood have undergone some changes through the centuries. Some faiths … Continue reading

Scattergories

Here is a convenient way to decide who is “in” and who is “out,” who we will love, and who we will hate (or disregard.) Stick a label on them. We have liberals, conservatives, progressives, Calvinists, Hyper-Calvinists, moderate-Calvinists, pre-tribulationalists, post-tribulationalists, mid-tribulationalists, Armenians, fundamentalists, denominationalists, Methodists, Baptists (Southern, General, Regular, Independent, … Continue reading

The Problem with Being Right

Everyone likes winning. But, every time someone wins, someone, or several someones loose. The thrill of winning, usually keeps us from thinking about the losers. Victory trumps empathy. It just feels good being right. Having the right answer, being correct, being the most astute, identifying with the right group, being a … Continue reading

The Faith-Life Martini

What does that look like when you chisel away all of the centuries of extraneous stuff, and it’s just you and Jesus in real life? If you jettison the hierarchy, the cathedrals, the massive church campuses, the official clergy, the budgets, the billions of dollars, the stereotypes, the expectations, the … Continue reading

The Unlikely Similarity Between Fundamentalists and Atheists

It seems like atheists and fundamentalists would be at the opposite ends of spectrum of religious belief. But are they? I was forced to think about mystery and certainty when writing a a chapter for a new book. That’s when it hit me. Atheists and fundamentalists both have a fondness for … Continue reading

Crazy Grace

Jesus really messed things up! God becoming a baby, being born to an unmarried teenager, loving  all of the wrong people…prostitutes, greedy cheaters, traitors, rough, angry blue collar types, beggars, deformed people, individuals with disgusting diseases, terrorists, and  soldiers of the occupying super power. He deliberately reached out to people that his … Continue reading

The Skinny on Tithing, Giving, and Offerings

Churches didn’t just come up with the offering idea, as a way to keep things going. The idea of religious donations has a long history. Tithing, or giving one tenth of your income is a very ancient practice, even predating the Mosaic Law. Abraham tithed to the mysterious King Melchizedek, … Continue reading

A More Normal Way of Being the Church

So, what does this “free range believer,” this “being the church, rather than going to church” look like? How can it have a relational aspect? You are free to focus on the people in your world by taking time to notice them, engaging with them whenever you can, loving them unconditionally, … Continue reading