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Out of the Mouths of Babes: Sophie Saves God

“Teach your children well.” The words to this simple, beautiful song have been on a continuous loop in my head recently, perhaps due to my first-born daughter, Sophie, starting kindergarten! She’s growing up so fast! And like all parents, I sometimes wonder how well I am teaching her, how well I am preparing her for the challenges and transitions she will face in life. Most especially, I wonder and ponder a ...

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Rock, Paper, Scissors … GOD! – Children and a Nonviolent Reading of the Bible

Last April, my family moved to Eugene, Oregon. Eugene is located in Linn County. This is all you need to know that important fact: Linn County is the “Grass Seed Capital of the [FREAKIN] World.” Guess who is allergic grass seed? Yeah, that’s right. Me. My face has been a hideous mess of goopy sludge emanating from my nose and eyes. I’ve tried everything soothe my pain. Claritin. Allegra. Zyrtec. Nothing wor ...

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Robin Williams on the Ultimate Christian Gift

I hesitated to write about the tragic death of Robin Williams. I know very little about clinical depression, so I fear saying something stupid or ignorant about it – and please forgive me if I do. The better part of wisdom is to stop blogging and learn from the experts about depression. And I’d like to begin with a disclaimer: I’m interpreting what Robin Williams said about God. But please, don’t misunderst ...

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Jesus is at the Border: Immigration, Barriers, and God’s Economy

I am not a politician, so I’m not an expert on immigration policies. I am not an economist, so I’m not an expert on the economic benefits or burdens of immigration. But I am a public theologian. I try to understand how we can participate with God in setting things right, healing the world, and reconciling human beings with one another, with the world, and with God. How is God setting things right? Jesus, in ...

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For God, Country, and Coke

The highlight of the Super Bowl for me was Coca-Cola’s America is Beautiful commercial. The images of the American landscape are amazing and the song was beautiful. At first I was a bit confused by the different languages singing America the Beautiful (I’m slow…), but I caught on about halfway through. When the commercial ended, I looked over at my wife and said, “Wow. That was beautiful…Not worth four mill ...

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Finding God in the Mess

Despite years – and I mean YEARS – of therapy, I still run like a madwomen from my own feelings of sadness, especially during the holidays. Denial has always been my favorite coping mechanism. So this weekend, when my holiday spirits started to dip, instead of looking inside for the cause I made a mess of things by finding fault with everyone around me. My husband said the stupidest things; my kids seemed u ...

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God and Santa: A Story for Preschoolers

When I was four and five years old, my parents hung our stockings up at the beginning of Advent. Each morning, my younger sister and I would run down to the rec room to see if Santa had left us anything during the night. Finding an empty stocking was a huge relief, because the only reason Santa would leave us anything before Christmas was if we had been bad. Bad children would get a warning, you see. An oni ...

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Rob Bell, Oprah Winfrey, and Christianity’s Identity Crisis

Christianity is facing an identity crisis that boils down to one question: Who is God? It’s the question that Rob Bell tackled in his latest book What We Talk about When We Talk about God and it’s the question Rob and Oprah Winfrey discussed yesterday on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. (You can watch the full episode here.) Rob and Oprah sum up the crisis at the beginning of the interview: Rob: For many people…G ...

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Strange Fire: John MacArthur, Mark Driscoll, the Holy Spirit, and the Satan

I first heard about the Strange Fire controversy when my Twitter feed started tweeting up a storm on Monday. The drama centered on a confrontation between two conservative mega church pastors, John MacArthur and Mark Driscoll. Most of my Twitter friends are theological liberals, and we liberals love it when our conservative brethren get in fights. Woo-hoo! A scandal! This scandal, like most scandals, was ov ...

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Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Nadia Bolz-Weber

One odd way that we all keep up with the Kardashians is in the extraordinary effort we put into maintaining our own personal "brand." The reaction of Khloe to recent allegations of drug addiction against her husband, NBA player Lamar Odom, is a Kardashian case in point. In reporting on this newsworthy event (sarcastic sigh), Huff Post speculated as to why Khloe was continuing with business as usual, posting ...

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