New from me at Relevant: Faith Involves Your Brain, Too

This is my first time publishing at Relevant, and I’m pretty excited about it. Check it out:

I don’t like devotional books.

I rarely get swept up in emotional worship experiences.

And as much as I’ve wanted to be the girl who sings with her arms raised, eyes closed and heart full of joy, I just end up fixated on whether or not I’m flashing sweaty armpits to everyone around me (spoiler: I probably am).

For years, I participated in small groups and Bible studies feeling like there must be something wrong with me. I couldn’t connect to the kind of devotional, emotional spirituality so many of my friends seemed to enjoy; and most of the time I’d rather study the details of Paul’s arguments about justification than meditate on a Psalm.

Then I came across an essay by C.S. Lewis called, “On the Reading of Old Books,” and it completely changed my perspective. “For my own part, I tend to find the doctrinal books often more helpful in devotion than the devotional books,” Lewis wrote, “and I rather suspect that the same experience may await many others.” Years of worry that I was unspiritual or a bad Christian began to melt away. Lewis continued:

I believe that many who find that ‘nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hands.

Swap the pencil for a laptop and the pipe for a beer and he’d nailed my experience exactly. But if C.S. Lewis of all people was on my side, why did it seem like we were hanging out alone?

Read the whole thing here.

(Source: hipsterlibertarian)

Join my email list?

Hey, all. In an effort to be a More Official Writer And Stuff, I’ve made an email list. I’ll email once every week or two with an update on my latest writing, my book project, and a curated list of good reads from around the interwebs in three categories: politics, culture, and church.

I promise never to be annoying to give your contact info to anyone else, and I’d love to have you sign up!

To do them justice, the people who crucified Jesus did not do so because he was a bore. Quite the contrary; he was too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have declawed the lion of Judah and made him a house cat for pale priests and pious old ladies.
Dear American Evangelical Christian community: You are a bull in a china shop. Christ only cleansed the temple once. Be careful thinking we should throw the equivalent of theological temper tantrum every 20 seconds.
nakedpastor:

#worldvision reversed their decision! CARTOON and COMMENTARY “World Vision’s Bold Move to Buckle” READ MORE —->
http://nakedpastor.com/2014/03/world-visions-bold-move-to-buckle/

This whole saga was so sad and so morbidly fascinating. I can’t help but conclude that where we’re left post-reversal is far worse than if they’d never done anything in the first place. No matter where you come down on the question of whether same sex relationships are sinful, it is undeniable that we have just played out a national drama of pettiness and callousness.
I also can’t help but look at the reversal in light of the original announcement’s language:

We’re not caving to some kind of pressure. We’re not on some slippery slope. There is no lawsuit threatening us. There is no employee group lobbying us. This is not us compromising. It is us deferring to the authority of churches and denominations on theological issues. We’re an operational arm of the global church, we’re not a theological arm of the church.

The same could certainly not be said now.

nakedpastor:

 reversed their decision! CARTOON and COMMENTARY “World Vision’s Bold Move to Buckle” READ MORE —->

http://nakedpastor.com/2014/03/world-visions-bold-move-to-buckle/

This whole saga was so sad and so morbidly fascinating. I can’t help but conclude that where we’re left post-reversal is far worse than if they’d never done anything in the first place. No matter where you come down on the question of whether same sex relationships are sinful, it is undeniable that we have just played out a national drama of pettiness and callousness.

I also can’t help but look at the reversal in light of the original announcement’s language:

We’re not caving to some kind of pressure. We’re not on some slippery slope. There is no lawsuit threatening us. There is no employee group lobbying us. This is not us compromising. It is us deferring to the authority of churches and denominations on theological issues. We’re an operational arm of the global church, we’re not a theological arm of the church.

The same could certainly not be said now.

(via murphisthinking)

New from me at ReKnew: Culture War Neighbors

My followers who are Christian anarchists know how much I’m squealing like a little kid getting ice cream right now: I’ve got a piece up at ReKnew, Greg Boyd’s site! Check it out:

But “neighbor” isn’t a favored term of the culture wars, is it? Caught up in inflammatory rhetoric—in accusations of hate speech and sin, of immorality and inflexibility—it’s all too easy to see our cultural foils as anything but our neighbors. Yet whatever we decide about politics and the Bible’s teaching on these topics, “love thy neighbor” must be our main culture war tactic. Because even if they’re wrong on every issue, people on the other side of the culture wars are people Jesus died to save.

And we have not been patient, we have not been kind.

We have envied, we have boasted, we have been proud in our own righteousness.

We have dishonored others, we have been self-seeking, we have been easily angered, we have kept many records of wrongs.

We have taken pleasure in the failings of our opponents and made the truth serve our purposes.

We have placed political victory above forbearance, trust, hope, and loyalty.

Lord, have mercy.

Read the rest here.

(Source: hipsterlibertarian)

The most remarkable thing about the Pope is that what he is doing should not be remarkable. He is simply doing what Popes and Christians should do – care for the poor, critique inequity, interrupt injustice, surprise the world with grace, include the excluded and challenge the entitled.

credo [ˈkɾeːdoː] — a statement of belief; Latin: "I believe."