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Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

February 2012 Archives

Sermon Karaoke? Yes!

What if the Shakespearean-slow death of the mainline church in America were really an opportunity? I think it is.  In fact I would venture to say that the possibilities for new life for God’s people and the world are breathtaking. […]

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The Gospel According to Joe

The other day the blog, “Real People, Real Lives, Real Spirituality,” asked where I feel most “spiritually connected.”  (You can find the interview and others of ordinary people trying to make sense of life at the intersection with God here: http://blog.spiritualbookclub.com/). […]

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Lenten Lift-Off

The following two resources for Lent come from FB friends Kara Root, pastor of Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Nadia Bolz-Weber, who pastors House for All Sinners and Saints, in Denver, Colorado.  The first is a […]

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The “Wheat,” The “Tares,” and Church “Purity”

Apparently conservative theologian and proponent of “masculine Christianity” John Piper is at it again. (Whatever happened to “Christian hedonism,” to borrow Piper’s own term, anyway?  This Piper seemed like a guy I could have a beer with.) Today Piper tweeted […]

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“The Uncertainty Principle”

The “uncertainty principle” in quantum mechanics is this: “increasing the accuracy of measurement of one observable quantity increases the uncertainty with which another conjugate quantity may be known.” I suspect we see this principle play out not just at the […]

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“Ashes to Go”

Jesus died in the open air.  He didn’t die in a temple. When we remember our own brokenness and death and receive ashes on our foreheads, we should be doing so in the open air, not in the recesses of […]

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The Only Begotten Son: Jesus Epithets Continued

“No one has ever seen God; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, has declared him.” John 1:18 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him […]

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One Lousy Prayer’s Thoughts on Prayer as Spiritual Formation

It is hard to be honest as a minister about the fact that I am not very good at praying. Sure, I do it.  Most mornings these days I sidle up next to Jesus with a cup of coffee and […]

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“Serenity Now!”: Managing Anxiety

My two-year-old has discovered how to crawl through the ladder rungs of the bunk bed she shares with her brother.  She likes to demonstrate her new-found talent after a drawn-out bedtime routine of bath, books, prayers and hugs.  Until recently […]

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“Exorcise Wall Street”

Author and activist Shane Claiborne has recently proposed an “exorcism” of Wall Street (as opposed to an occupation).  Claiborne takes the story of Jesus’ exorcism of the demon-possessed man, “Legion,” as biblical precedent for the idea.  What do you think- […]

God May Still Use the Church for God’s Mission. Maybe.

Yesterday’s exchange with a stranger on Facebook who saw Kevin Carter’s Pulitzer Prize winning picture and my accompanying prayer and proceeded to explain why my prayer, with its inappropriate, “Mother-Spirit” language, would not be heard and why I, an “unsaved […]

Another Reason Why I Am On Occasion An “Agnostic Christian”…A Response to My Last Post

By way of an update, I received the following comment in response to my last post, and have decided to keep the identity of the person who wrote this private (although their response was shared publicly).  Apparently my gendered language […]

An Agnostic Christian’s Valentine’s Day Prayer

Forgive me, Father God, for seeking shelter in the statistics, so that I might never have been obliged to know that somewhere in the middle of the Sudan, an abandoned child bowed down to You in starvation, waiting to become […]

“Leaders Who Last”: A Review of Dave Kraft’s Book, for Feedback

I mentioned that fellow saint and sinner Tammy Perlutter’s review of Dave Kraft’s book, Leaders Who Last, was one inspiration for my last post. Here it is for your feedback.  You can find more of Tammy’s musings at her blog, “Raggle-Taggle.” […]

If Jesus were a CEO Pastor…

If Jesus were a CEO pastor, then… …before the sending out of the disciples, he would have canvassed the neighborhoods around Palestine before devising a marketing strategy (Matthew 10). …he would have sent the disciples out, in the spirit of […]

“Terminator and Jesus”

This video, which came out some years back, lends some humor to all the Internet buzz around “masculine” versus “feminine” Christianity.  I stumbled on it thanks to David Lumley, who posted it on friend Michael Frost’s FB page.  (Thanks, David!) […]

The Heresy of Masculine Christianity: A Response to John Piper

The other day my son’s pre-K teacher commended him for continuing with his work when the other kids around him were goofing off.  My son had gone on dutifully coloring away with his crayons when he could have been lured […]

“The Toil of Freedom,” in Honor of Black History Month

“How do we embrace the toil of freedom?” That is the question that friend, screenwriter and producer Okorie Johnson sets out to answer in his forthcoming film, “Canopy.” As an introspective look at how one particular African American struggles to […]

“The Lamb of God”: Jesus Epithets Continued

“Look!, [John the Baptist] said.  “There’s God’s lamb!  He’s the one who takes away the world’s sin!” -John 1:29 “God is angry with us every day,” someone exclaimed to me the other day. And if truth be told, there was […]

“The Making of a Girl”

This video is an intimate look at the systemic nature of the commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking of women and girls.  The woman in the video who is narrating the story is herself a survivor of sexual exploitation, and […]

Just How Open-Minded is “Progressive” Christianity?

Fellow Saints and Sinners, I am re-posting the following response to the video I just shared with you, which poses the question, “Can prayer be social justice?” When I shared the video with the Facebook community, “Christians tired of being […]

Food for Thought: Prayer as Social Justice? World Prayer Assembly, Jakarta

20,000 children will lead the May 2012 World Prayer Assembly in prayer for the world. Wow. Which begs the question: can prayer be social justice?  After watching this video sent on by organizers of the May 2012 “World Prayer Assembly” […]

In Defense of Rob Bell’s “Love Wins”

Apparently Rob Bell’s best-selling Love Wins and its ambivalent stance towards an “eternal” hell (as “eternal” has historically been interpreted by evangelicals at least) continue to send ripples.  Two authors, author of Crazy Love Francis Chan and senior managing editor of Christianity […]

“Is he the Messiah or not?”: Jesus Epithets Continued…

“The law, you see, was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus the Messiah.” -John 1:17 “The Messiah”- and here I resort to  consulting trusty exegetical companion N.T. Wright- literally means “anointed one,” and in theory can be […]

Previous Posts

Being There: A Eulogy to Our Dog Carter
Today our canine companion of 15 years—about the length of our marriage—died. He passed away peacefully at the age of 17 with his closest family around

posted 10:42:39pm Mar. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Author Marilynne Robinson Live: On Soul Vs. Mind and Why It Matters
My favorite contemporary author Marilynne Robinson was in town this week speaking at an event hosted by Emory's University's Carlos Museum. She was speaki

posted 10:26:54pm Mar. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Dying Stanford Neurosurgeon—On Heidegger, Graham Greene and Time
I'm finally emerging from hibernation on my latest book project, this one now definitively titled The Recovery

posted 1:27:02pm Mar. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Writing Sabbatical—and "The Departure of the Prodigal Son"
I'm sorry: my absenteeism at this intersection can be attributed to a number of things lately, the most pressing of which is my forthcoming book with author and Christian addiction specialist Jonathan Benz. The book (Prodigal Church or a version of it) is now officially under deadline and by April 1

posted 10:55:10am Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Restless Soul Hall of Fame: Sister Corita Kent
Since NPR's recent segment, Sister Corita Kent has come to mind a few times this week as someone who d

posted 10:23:30am Jan. 16, 2015 | read full post »

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