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Sermon: Advent Hope: The Works of Darkness and the Armor of Light

When I was in college, one of my best friends had a poster in his room that said, "Stay awake! Jesus is coming.” I hated that poster. The words come from both of our New Testament readings this morning. (Matthew 24:36-44 and Romans 13: 11-14.)  Both readings admonish people to stay awake, and the fact that I hated my friend’s poster might give you a sense about my feelings for how these passages are usually ...

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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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The Nonviolent Atonement: Brian McLaren and James Alison on Violence, God, and Mimetic Theory

I’ve been excited to tell you this ever since July… The much anticipated conversation between Brian McLaren and James Alison has been posted! You can listen to the podcast over at Homebrewed Christianity by clicking here. I first need to point out that this recording never would have happened without Tripp Fuller and Bo Sanders of Homebrewed Christianity. At the last minute we were scrambling to find a way ...

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The Bible and Movies and Violence – Oh My!

This Thursday I’ll be interviewing Gareth Higgins on the Raven Foundation’s Voices of Peace radio show. Gareth is the founder of the very popular Wild Goose Festival. If you attend this summer, you will meet Raven friend James Alison, who will talk about his latest project, Jesus the Forgiving Victim: Listening for the Unheard Voice. Gareth is also a film critic and analyzes films from a Christian point of ...

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James Alison and Interpreting the Violence in the Bible (Video)

Suzanne Ross and her son Don sat down to discuss Catholic theologian James Alison and his writings on Biblical scholarship and atonement. This is a follow-up to a video from last week where Don explores Alison's take on the Trinity in his book, The Joy of Being Wrong. Don, a self-described non-Christian, and Suzanne, Raven Foundation's co-founder and a former director of Christian education, come at Biblica ...

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Sermon: The Trinity and God’s Nonviolent Atonement

Those of us who believe that God is non-violent need to reclaim the Trinity because it describes God as an eternal dance of joy, where there is mutual giving and receiving in the spirit of love. In fact, the doctrine was based on a letter in the Bible that states that God is love. What the doctrine of the Trinity helps us understand is that for God, love isn’t so much a noun as it is a verb. ...

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The New Normal? Jason Collins, Gay Christians and Same-Sex Marriage

Can you be a "good Christian" and support LGBT rights and same-sex marriage? When NBA player Jason Collins announced this week that he's gay -- the first active, professional American male athlete ever to do so -- the public reaction was overwhelmingly positive. ESPN on Jason Collins & Scripture Writers like ESPN's Tim Keown noted just how un-noteworthy and "normal" the announcement is. "It's a big worl ...

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Gay, Catholic, and Loving the Church

How do you live peaceably within an institution you love that does not love you back? As an openly gay Roman Catholic priest, James Alison lives that question. Yesterday, James was in a televised debate on the British show Versus where he was asked, “Is the Catholic Church redeemable?” He was also asked why, as an openly gay man, he hasn’t left the church. His answer to those questions is found in Christ, w ...

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Why You Should Pray Like a Six Year Old Boy

It was a proud moment in the Ericksen household. The five of us sat down for lunch and my six-year-old Boy said, Let’s pray. This is every pastor’s dream. Usually I have to coerce people into prayer. Now my Boy is offering to pray. With great pride and a smile on my face I said, Yes my Son. Will you lead us in prayer? He took a pensive moment and agreed. We bowed our heads, closed our eyes, and then … this ...

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