Sermon In Response to the Dallas Shootings

This is different, isn’t it? We’ve been here before. We’ve been in church, the Sunday after some mass shooting…somewhere…and we’ve viscerally felt the horror and the shock. You’ve heard me preach on those Sundays. But this is so different. This is our home. Our city. Violence toward our police. In our downtown, where some of […]

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Signs That Are More Than Ink On Paper

When I was a kid, there was a program called “Helping Hands” that was supposed to help kids feel safe. The idea was that families would put a paper sign inside the front windows of their house. The sign was a very simple hand print. The theory was that if a kid was ever walking […]

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Dear American Christians (Part Two)

Dear American Christians, I wrote you earlier this year about much the same thing I will say today. And, in truth, I’m not really speaking to all American Christians. Just those who believe they are being persecuted for their faith. Primarily, White Evangelical Protestants. A poll in 2014 show that you, White Evangelical Protestants, believe […]

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What Is Scapegoating?

The scapegoat is an ancient religious ritual that has been brought forward into modern times by our media culture. The scapegoat was a ritual animal that was either sacrificed, or driven from the community, bearing the sins of the entire community. The following is taken from Myth Encyclopedia: Myths and Legends of the World “The […]

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I am not Charlie. I am not AFDI. I am not a Shooter.

In the wake of a shooting last night, at an anti-Islamic event that took place in Garland, I am drawn to this section of the powerful Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi: “O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; […]

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Gethsemane

“Gethsemane” has always been my favorite song from “Jesus Christ Superstar.” In fact, I’d have to say it ranks as one of my top ten favorite all-time songs, period. Today is pretty much the day of the year to remember it. No better time than Maundy Thursday. I first encountered the song, and JCS, as […]

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Brian Williams, Chris Kyle, and “The Moral Outrage Machine”©

Brian Williams has not survived the kerfuffle over his helicopter ride in Iraq. And, personally, I think that is a shame. As has been said many times the past few days: The only person ever held accountable for lies related to the Iraq War. Yes, what he did was terrible. And I’ll absolutely admit that […]

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Friends of Alexamenos (An Easter Blog)

To be a Christ-follower is to look foolish to the rest of the world. We tend to believe that this is a relatively modern thing. It is not. The earliest use of the name “Christian” was to derisively mock those who followed Jesus. And then, there’s this. This drawing is from a building in ancient […]

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The Terrifying Thing about Good Friday

Whatever you think of the “necessity” of Jesus dying, the facts are that he was crucified. That is how he died. That a figure named Jesus was likely crucified is one of the most historically provable facts about him, in that it’s testified to by several external historical sources. As Borg and Crossan remind us […]

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Confronting Atonement Theology

What Is Atonement Theology Anyway? The basic idea of Atonement Theology posits that Jesus’ death was necessary in some tangible, cosmic way, as a “sacrifice” for the sins of humanity. Further, it suggests that this sacrifice, and this sacrifice alone, is the “salvific” work of Jesus; the moment that Jesus’ earthly ministry is complete. (The […]

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