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Repent For Lent: Renewing Our Minds With Mimetic Theory – Swords

Apologies, Friends, for the absence of this column last week. If part of Lent is about finding blessings through suffering, then I was given a prodigious opportunity to do just that while recovering from the stomach flu! In the midst of my struggle, I found many reasons for gratitude, including the fact that my family remained well, my husband was able to take care of me and we were both able to care for ou ...

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My Biggest Concern for My Gay Son is Religion: On Being Catholic and Gay

I recently wrote about a former member of my church youth group. She was everything that a youth pastor could ask for in a student. She was kind, welcoming, smart, funny, and she took following Jesus seriously. And I’ll never forget the day that she told our youth group that she is a lesbian. Fortunately, she continues to be a faithful follower of Christ. I’m a proud member of the United Church of Christ. W ...

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Is God the Biggest Serial Killer of All Time? – A Response to the Friendly Atheist

The Friendly Atheist is one of the most influential atheist blogs on the Internet. The website’s 10 bloggers have contributed to CNN, Fox and Friends, NPR, the Washington Post, and the USA Today. You may be surprised to read this, but I owe the Friendly Atheist a personal debt. My atheist brother invited me to officiate at his wedding ceremony with this condition, “As long as you don’t say anything about Go ...

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Prayer And Supplication

  “Well, you just need to go and pray about it.” This phrase can mean thousands of different things to thousands of different people. Within Christianity, it is probably the most oft-used piece of advice anyone “struggling with sin” can hear. In some theological circles, like Pentecostal for instance, prayer is the only ‘medicine’ used during snake-handling incidents.[1] If the bite victim dies after s ...

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Repent For Lent: Renewing Our Minds With Mimetic Theory — Family

Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. – Jesus (Luke 14:26) Well, let’s jump right in, shall we? For the rest of my “Repent for Lent” series, I aim to wrestle, like Jacob in the Jabbok, a blessing from some of the most difficult scriptures in the Gospels. This week I chose Jesus’s shocking words on f ...

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Don’t Tell Me that God Is In Control: On Sovereignty, Tragedy, Sin

“God is in control.” The statement comforts many people because deep down we know that we are not in control. We can do everything we can to protect ourselves and our families, but we know that despite our best efforts, tragedy can strike at any moment. And so it’s comforting to believe that if we aren’t in control, Someone else is. But something inside of me recoils whenever I hear the phrase, “God is in c ...

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Repent For Lent: Renewing Our Minds With Mimetic Theory – Original Sin

Original Sin. For many progressive Christians, these two words are vulgar and repellant. Some consider the belief in an inherent evil to be a self-fulfilling prophecy; that is, they hold the doctrine of original sin itself to be a human-made evil, responsible for dehumanizing others and at the root of all manner of atrocities. Tracing back to Genesis 3, the story of “the fall,” sin appears to originate with ...

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Repent for Lent: Renewing Our Minds With Mimetic Theory – Introduction

  Repent! It’s a word Christians will probably hear a lot for the next 40 days as we settle into the liturgical season of Lent, following our Lord on the path to eternal life that lies beyond the wilderness of temptation and death. For many, this word rings of shame, fear, or maybe resentment. It can conjure images of an angry god pointing an accusatory finger and giving a final warning to us to cease ...

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Relaxing into Lent: Identity and those Voices in Your Head

The Christian journey of Lent is upon us. Lent commemorates Jesus’ journey into the wilderness. After his baptism, where Jesus heard the voice of God say to him, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased,” Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. After 40 days of fasting, he was tempted by the devil. In good mimetic fashion, Jesus had received his true identity from God at his baptis ...

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Chapel Hill, Atheism, and the Worship of Violence

It’s been a few days since the tragic murder of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The lives of Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were cut short. They were murdered, shot in the head, by Craig Hicks. Hicks is an avowed atheist. Prominently displayed on his Facebook page is a meme that claims, Of course I want religion to go away. I don’t deny you your right t ...

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