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Advent: The Faith to Scream “It’s Not Okay!”

She sat in total shock. Her head rested in her hands as her long hair hid her face. She was silent for forty-five minutes. And then the river of tears began to flow. It was the most traumatic event I’ve experienced in ten years of ministry. The pain and distress of a murdered family member were unbearable. As she wept uncontrollably, her sister stepped into the void to hold her. “It’s okay. It’s okay,” her ...

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American Values: Why the Torture Report Didn’t Go Far Enough

Last Tuesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released its report of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques following 9/11. The report is a 500 page summary detailing the CIA’s techniques and reveals the absurdity of the term “enhanced interrogation technique.” Enhanced interrogation technique is a soft, friendlier term that intentionally hides and sanitizes the truth that we tortured people. And, in ...

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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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Think Big or Die: Why Global Disarmament Must Be On The Table

A proposal for worldwide disarmament in which every nation in the world demilitarizes by eliminating all defense spending is considered a non-starter. Deemed impractical, impossible, and downright dangerous, global disarmament is dismissed out of hand by the very people responsible for creating peace and security in our world. Diplomats, politicians and military professionals insist that we must invest in d ...

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On Sheep and Goats: Division and Judgment in Ferguson and Beyond

We are not sheep. We are not goats. We are children of our heavenly Father, brothers and sisters enfolded in the embrace of Love, and we must remember that before we destroy ourselves. The Christ the King Gospel (Matthew 25:31-46) from Nov. 23 and the tragedies in Ferguson, Mo. – both the shooting of Michael Brown and the failure to indict Darren Wilson – have mutually illuminated each other and awakened th ...

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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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The Oracle of Certainty: From Ancient Athens to ISIS

Thank the gods we don’t believe in the utterances of oracles anymore. We don’t search for omens in the entrails of sacrificed animals or believe that women in drug induced trances can foretell our destiny. Because the ancient Greeks fell for this superstitious mumbo jumbo, they were led into two disastrous wars that had devastating consequences. The great anti-war playwright Euripides offers his critique of ...

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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 Rise of ISIS and the Immoral Equivalency of War

The Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore by Jay Sekulow is an extended essay attempting to draw a stark distinction between good guys (the U.S. and Israel) and bad guys (ISIS and Hamas). The author’s sole purpose is to justify the destruction of the bad guys by the good guys in good conscience and without remorse. That Jay Sekulow fails in his task is in no way due to the fact that real goodness and evil ...

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