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The Shooting Death of Michael Brown: A Necessary Evil or Just Plain Murder?

I want to discuss something fundamental, disturbing and largely invisible about human society that the ongoing events in Ferguson, MO are bringing into view. As you know, a young black man, Michael Brown, was shot dead by a uniformed police officer this past August and a Grand Jury decided not to indict him for murder, voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter. They decided that Brown’s death was a ...

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Violence Nevermore!

Happy Halloween, Dear Friends! Tonight, for a spooky edition of Book Feature Friday, I decided to do things a little differently. As it is Halloween, my article tonight is going out in costume -- disguised as a parody of the original Raven by model-obstacle  famous master of poetic horror, Edgar Allen Poe. Just have fun with it friends; it's my "treat" for you this Halloween! Once upon a midnight dreary I w ...

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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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The Courage To Disarm

The Ferguson tragedy, like all those that preceded it and all that will follow — involving the trivial and panicky use of lethal force, by the police or anyone else — stirs up questions the social status quo doesn’t dare face.   My sister, Sue Melcher, put it this way: “I find myself also nauseated that another issue never seems to enter the discussion: the issue that a highly trained officer could mak ...

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Deep Justice In Ferguson

Black ’hood, white cops. “Get the fuck on the sidewalk.” And so it begins, and begins, and begins. An African-American boy dies for walking in the street — for yet one more insanely small transgression. Protesters cry for justice. The legal bureaucracy hunkers down, defends itself, does what it can to paint the deceased 18-year-old, Michael Brown, as a bad guy. Sides harden in the media. Once more it’s us v ...

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The Water of Life

I’m thirsty. Indeed, I’m overwhelmed by thirst, thinking about those who lack access to clean water. I’m thirsty for a different world. “In Gaza, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians lack water, including those living in hospitals and refugee camps,” Sarah Kendzior wrote in Al-Jazeera last week. “On July 15, citizens of Detroit held a rally in solidarity, holding signs that said ‘Water for all, from Detroi ...

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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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July 4th and the Table of Demons

On July 4th I will be attending the annual party at my son and daughter-in-law’s home. They will be serving up smoked chicken and spare ribs while fireworks from neighboring towns inscribe a nearly 360° circle around their backyard. While we are waving our flags with differing degrees of enthusiasm, one member of my family will not be with us: my sister the Jehovah’s Witness. As much as we’ve tried to persu ...

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Same Sex Marriage, the Supreme Court, and Three Reasons Christians Should Not Marry

What Paul said is true, “those who marry will experience distress,” but those who marry will also experience great joy. Christian marriage is about two people reflecting the unconditional love of God to the world. We need more people doing that. The Supreme Court’s decision last week was a sign that God is making this institution new. And I say thanks be to God. ...

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Star Trek: Into Darkness and Changing Course

Star Trek: Into Darkness is a fascinating and complicated story that is well worth watching. Instead of providing a summary, I want to explore three related aspects of the movie that have to do with mimetic theory: sacrifice, blood, and hope for a more peaceful future. Live Long and Prosper – The Sacrificial Formula In a reference to my favorite Star Trek movie, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the current ...

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