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Repent For Lent: Renewing Our Minds With Mimetic Theory – Holy Week (Poem)

Dear Friends, For a final "Repent For Lent" post, I offer a Palm/Passion Sunday Meditation that I delivered two years ago in the form of poem. These are some Girardian reflections on how Christ "takes away the sin of the world" by his death. The resurrection is crucial, but during Holy Week, I want to leave us in the dark and terrible recognition of our sin as we "look upon the one we've pierced." Still the ...

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Ted Cruz and God’s Political Subversion

Ted Cruz became the first major candidate to declare a presidential run for 2016. His formal announcement came this morning at Liberty University, the largest Christian university in the world. Cruz’s announcement at Liberty University was an important political strategy. Cruz is the poster child of the Tea Party movement. He wants to spread his influence by appealing to evangelicals. There is no better pla ...

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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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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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Bill O’Reilly, Brian Williams, and Jesus: On Goodness and Love

I’m cringing as I write this. That tells you a lot about me. When it comes to politics and theology, I identify as liberal. I firmly believe that Jesus wanted everyone fed, wanted universal health care, and that the Kingdom of God is about politics. It’s about structuring our personal and communal lives in a nonviolent way that ensures everyone has food to eat, debts are forgiven, and healing is freely prov ...

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Book Feature Friday – Marcus Borg and the Unholy God

Marcus Borg, a bestselling author and prominent Jesus scholar, died last week. I read the news on my Facebook feed as many of my progressive friends lamented his death. Borg’s influence is unparalleled in progressive Christian circles. He was a scholar with the rare ability to speak to academics and to the masses. Many in my mainline denominational church claim that Borg helped them to remain Christians. Hi ...

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Bible Matters: Lamentations: Political Protest, Grief, and Transforming Theology

Lamentations comes from the word “lament” which means a “passionate expression of grief or sorrow.” (For the entire Bible Matters series, click here.) The book was written during the Babylonian exile, a traumatic time for the ancient Jews. Jerusalem was conquered, the temple was destroyed, and many people were exiled throughout the Babylonian Empire. Lamentations is about grief. It implores us to express ou ...

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Why God is Sending Christians Straight to Hell

So much of Christianity has become about avoiding hell. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned as a hospital chaplain, it’s that God is sending Christians straight to hell. Christians need to stop thinking of heaven and hell as primarily places we go after we die. Heaven and hell are primarily realities that we experience here on earth. Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is among you.” For Jesus, the kingdom of ...

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America’s Leading Historian on the First Thanksgiving and Faith

We recently had the great honor of talking with Dr. R. Tracy McKenzie about his book The First Thanksgiving: What the Real Story Tells Us about Loving God and Learning from History. Read my review of Tracy's book here. Tracy McKenzie is professor and chair of the Department of History at Wheaton College. His book The First Thanksgiving: What the Real Story Tells Us about Loving God and Learning from History ...

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Kevin Miller on Hell, Universal Salvation, and Mimetic Theory

Hell. The concept has come under fire. Fortunately, Kevin Miller is here to put out the flames. Kevin is the star and director of the critically important documentary Hellbound?, where Kevin interviews a diverse group of pastors, theologians, social commentators, and musicians. Kevin also blogs at his excellent website, Hellbound?: Exploring Faith and Film, Good and Evil. In the interview, Kevin brilliantly ...

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