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Thanksgiving and a Theology of Despair

Are you feeling pressure to be thankful? We are in the midst of the Thanksgiving season. I’m reminded everywhere I go to “Be thankful!” Well, call me the Scrooge of Thanksgiving, but I’m just not feeling thankful. The more someone tells me to “Be thankful!” the more I feel a sense of despair. Be thankful? In the midst of Ferguson, Missouri? Jim Wallis writes over at Sojourners that, “Many black families wok ...

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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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What ISIL Beheadings Can Teach Us about God and The Cross

What’s the difference between a beheading and a crucifixion? I ask the question as a Christian because we profess that a method of execution every bit as shocking, and perhaps even more cruel, than the beheader’s axe is the vehicle of our salvation. If we do not reflect upon the difference (and the disturbing similarities) between our veneration of the cross and the state support of the beheader’s axe by th ...

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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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Book Feature Friday: Pascale’s Wager by Anthony Bartlett

"I cannot know what darkness is, because it’s just darkness, but love can know it, and love always goes on regardless. Love is searching for endless love and it searches all the way around the empty universe until it meets itself coming back."  -- Pascale's Wager Some days I am tempted to despair. As I write, massacres are taking place in various corners of the world, global warming is rapidly encroaching u ...

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Two Things the Hobby Lobby Case Tells Us about Politics and Being Christian

Since the Hobby Lobby case, I have learned two things about being Christian. First, being Christian means that you are right and that the other side is not only wrong, but a detriment to American freedom. Conservatives are boasting that their victory over liberals is a “welcoming gesture not only toward religious freedom, but also freedom of conscience.” The blog Seasons of Grace asks that we join the autho ...

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Elliot Rodger and Boko Haram: Addressing and Correcting Violence in Religion and Building a Culture of Peace

In my most recent article, I let readers glimpse into my inner world of confusion and anger and my struggle to follow Jesus as I searched my heart and mind for a way that might help the Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram that would not exacerbate the violence.* A post-script promised an upcoming article exploring ways to create a culture of peace. In the wake of the horrific mass killing by Elliot Rodge ...

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David Brooks and Religious Hostility: Tasting Goodness

In his column for the New York Times called Alone, Yet Not Alone, David Brooks laments the “strong vein of hostility against orthodox religious believers in America today, especially among the young.” Even more disturbing for Brooks is that in his experience, the opinion of young people is too often justified. He observes that religious believers can be “judgmental,” “hypocritical,” “old-fashioned” and “out ...

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Islam and Positive Mimesis

Islam implicitly challenges this duality of the archaic sacred through Tawhid, Islams most fundamental theological doctrine. Tawhid refers to the absolute oneness of God. Islamic scholar Michael Sells states that Tawhid refers to the “interior unity of the deity, that in God all the attributes—such as seeing, hearing, knowing, and willing—are in some sense one” (Approaching the Qur’an, 19). If God’s interio ...

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