The Fear of Certainty

Ever wonder what is behind the certainty that some Christians claim they have about things that are impossible to verify? Obviously, it takes faith to be a person of faith. But, I am thinking about folks who claim they understand God’s position on every point of doctrine and every contemporary… Continue reading


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 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

Some People are Asses

PPerhaps, the best (and worst) thing about being a pastor was the people. Probably, everyone could say the same thing, not just pastors and church-going folks. But pastoring a small church is a relationally intensive endeavor. I loved so many of the friends I made in those years as a pastor,… Continue reading

The Man of God Myth

It is hard to find grace when it is desperately needed, like when a pastor or other spiritual leader is discovered to have been abusive toward those who looked up to him and depended upon him. How can you possibly pull together an appropriate balance of accountability and restoration in… Continue reading


Spiritual formation not all relationally oriented. We are personally responsible for our own growth and nurture.  We have to take care of ourselves, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Nobody else can or will do that for us. It is our personal responsibility. If we don’t do it, we will not… Continue reading

How Spiritual Formation Does Not Happen

  This post is a continuation of a previous article, “You need to Get Plugged In” It is  my response to the typical church, programmed-based approach to spiritual formation. It treats people like cattle to be herded through a process with the other cows. That ignores one of the basic characteristics of God.… Continue reading

Stupid Faith

Stupid is as stupid does. Thank you, Mrs. Gump for cutting through the crap with your profound wisdom. Let’s exegete the text. The emphasis is on the verb, “does.” Forrest’s Mom was reminding her mentally challenged son that his behavior was more important than his IQ. Therefore, below average intelligence… Continue reading

Spiritual Wal-Mart

Image by arellis49. Creative Commons A few years ago, I sat at the table in the local state employment center as the workforce development case worker explained how the Worker Investment Act (the stimulus) grants awarded to re-educate laid-off workers. I took note of who was there. It was mostly males… Continue reading

When You are No Longer a Member of the Club

Image by epiclectic. Creative Commons. When I was doing Communitas Collective, I found a lot of people in their thirties and forties were pulling the plug and saying “enough,” as they walked away from the institutional church they had known for so long. Often they were blindsided by the sudden… Continue reading

When You Leave the Institutional Church

Image by t0xicsunshyne. Creative Commons. De-toxing, de-constructing, re-constructing, healing, and sorting things out, takes time. So, be patient with the process. Be patient with yourself. I missed the extended family the church provided. I missed the sense of validation and destiny that caused me to feel I was doing something significant,… Continue reading

Worship: An Exercise in Superiority?

  Image by Jason Wohlford. Creative Commons. For many years, I approached my faith from a fundamentalist perspective which placed a lot of emphasis on being right. The downside to that perspective is the latent sense of arrogance and exclusivity that holds that everyone who believes a little differently is… Continue reading

When Worship Rocks

Image by Kelly. Creative Commons. When I would visit my black, Pentecostal pastor friend’s church, I would leave feeling like I had been put through an emotional ringer. It was draining, but cathartic. They had awesome, emotionally intense music, singing, playing, praying, dancing, and swaying. There were times of reflection and… Continue reading

Was Jesus Political?

The Evangelical church became a political force in the eighties. Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson began articulating a “Christian position” on issues of national interest. Interestingly, it was always the same as the Republican position. They began with moral issues, moved on to “family values”, and eventually had… Continue reading

Introducing, “An Irreligious Faith”

You probably know that I have written a book entitled, An Irreligious Faith that is currently being edited and will be published soon. This book is the fruit of my 25-year search to find a church that is that is relevant in today’s culture, truly compassionate toward outsiders and those… Continue reading

What’s the Difference Between Jesus and Christianity?

One cannot help but see the stark contrast between Jesus and present day Christianity. It is almost as if they are two different faiths… one separated, cloistered, its own subculture; the other, on the streets, in the slums, and bars. One, trying to be holy through self-improvement and dissociation, the… Continue reading