“To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.” (Titus 1:15) Every liberation is followed by a new oppression, or so it would seem in the light of history and human relationships. From Egypt to Babylon … More Our Experience and Our Interpretation of the World Around Us
I am catching up on things I did not have time to do this October, even as I close up the last little loose ends of a busy, busy month. The things that happen in October embody some of the dreams I have for the rest of the world. A growing group of my friends and … More A Jew and a Gentile walk into a Cigar Shop…
Burning Man is happening in just a few days. Apparently, those in charge cannot imagine the event without me. I have passed on my tickets, but they keep sending me verification that my ticket will be waiting for me a Will Call when I get there. Oh my, don’t tempt me Burning Man peeps! In … More Burning Man is Just Days (and 2,945 miles) Away
May the Farce be with you. We watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We were surprised. We were laughing. Some of us were crying. Some of the audience around us clapped and cheered when familiar faces and gadgets appeared. Star Wars is an institution of important childhood memories for many people today. Somehow the cheesy, the … More The Farce Awakens!
“Open thine arms and receive, too, thy son Don Quixote, who, if he comes vanquished by the arm of another, comes victor over himself, which, as he himself has told me, is the greatest victory anyone can desire.” – Sancho Panza, squire to Don Quixote Don Quixote’s name entered English vocabulary as an eponymous adjective in … More We Are Don Quixote: belief and madness
On the day after the atrocities in Paris, which left over 120 dead and a yet uncounted number wounded, I am roiling with anger. Moments like these make the old adage, “the pen is mightier than the sword” seem impotent and frail in the face of tragedy. I tracked the events last night from the … More An Islamic Distopian Nightmare: #JeSuisCharlie #JeSuisParis
The Million Student March is happening today. It feels like an extension of the Occupy movement. In fact, at UMass Amherst some students were occupying the student union building – probably because it has been raining. Websites have been running updates from the marches around the country, but it seems well under the hoped for … More Million Student March: are the mixed messages saying nothing?
As an Evangelical/Pentecostal pastor (some would say I am post-Evangelical/post-Pentecostal, but I would beg to differ), I believe there are some things about raising our voices for causes we can learn from the activities of Christianity. These are powerful lessons for our current political and social causes. Evangelical Christianity has been one of history’s boldest … More The Downside of Raising Our Voices (Lessons from Francis of Assisi): Blog Action Day Post
One man’s culture is another man’s cult. At least that has been my experience. This is the mildly famous sign from in front of our church’s former location at The Vault in downtown Salem. I say “mildly famous,” because every tourist season people from around the world would stop, and stare at the sign. Many … More One Man’s Culture is Another Man’s Cult
Thank you to everyone who joined the party, and helped bring Burning Religion to life. In the next 30 days, information will be forthcoming about the release of the book. For those of you, who are interested in pre-ordering Burning Religion, the pre-ordering will be available soon. Actual release date for the ebook is slated … More Burning Religion is Funded!
Pope Francis visited Cuba. Raul was impressed and joked that he considered returning to his Catholic roots. Yet, even as the meetings in Cuba were meant to become inspirational, Cuban dissidents were blocked from visiting the Pope, and leaders were arrested and detained. Politics and religion meet again, and they do not kiss. They fight. … More The Pope and the Castros
This reading comes from one of many tall tales called The Adventures of Gwyn Dee. These tales form a small book within a book, which are designed to model a contemporary version of the absurd medieval works of Cervantes or Rabelais, in which Mikhail Bakhtin saw an ambivalent mocking humor turning the world upside down. Along with … More Burning Religion Reading #7: The Inquisition
This article posted by Scott McKnight in Patheos about anger in politics, highlights one of my primary theses behind Burning Religion. The polarization of complex issues in both politics and religion turns what should be a robust discussion of both worlds into banal, yet simultaneously frustrating and heated topics. We vacillate between being bored and not wanting … More What do Politics and Religion have in Common Today? Anger.
Yes! You too can host a Burning Religion Party! I am launching “Burning Religion: navigating the impossible space between religion and secular society” in October. It is the culmination of three years of study and writing, and 30 years of pastoring, and missional activity in the places most Americans would rather not visit. I currently … More Burning Religion Parties!
“IF COMMENTATORS ON THE contemporary situation of religion agree about anything, it is that the supernatural has departed from the modern world.” – A Rumor of Angels, Peter Berger, 1968 Peter Berger is the eminent sociologist of religion in our world today. He is the President Emeritus of Religion, Sociology and Theology at BU. In 1968, … More What if We are Wrong About the Impending Demise of Religion?