The Invisibility of Progressive Christianity

Every so often, I’ve heard an argument that goes like this:  “the press only talks about the Christians vs. the gays as if all Christians are against being gay.  Don’t they know that there are Christians who support gays?” The frustration comes from being ignored by the wider culture, especially the media.  When we think of Christians, we are more likely to think of evangelicals or Catholics, but never liberal Protestantism.  This has long been a problem.  Some, including former evangelical-turned liberal Christian Randall Balmer, think there is a conspiracy afoot inspired by groups like the Institute for Religion and … Continue reading The Invisibility of Progressive Christianity

What Does It Mean to Be Prophetic, Part Three

It was two years ago, that I wondered aloud what it meant to be prophetic.  I’ve heard that phrase a lot in many of the progressive circles I’ve been in, but I’ve always wondered if what is called prophetic is nothing more than espousing your ideology and wrapping it up in God-language. What does it mean to be prophetic?  The reason I ask is that I think a lot of folks have an idea what it means to be prophetic that I think is a bit wrong.  I will see a pastor who will get up and talk about some … Continue reading What Does It Mean to Be Prophetic, Part Three

Repost: I Miss the Old Mel White

The positive Mel White of old the “SpongeBob Squarepants of the gay community” is long gone. What’s left is a man that’s pretty pissed off at the church and when I say church, I mean the whole church. Continue reading Repost: I Miss the Old Mel White

“Welcoming Every Member of the Body”

As many of you know, besides my duties as the Associate Pastor at First Christian in Minneapolis, I also work as the Communications Specialist for the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area.  I worked with the Presbytery’s Disabilities Concerns Taskforce to put together a special issue InPrint, the bimonthly newsmagazine I put out.  There are several good stories in this issue including one by me on being a pastor with autism.  I wanted to share it with others and feel free to share.  It’s great to work with others who are trying to make sure that all really are welcomed … Continue reading “Welcoming Every Member of the Body”

What Does the Lord Require?

A few weeks back, I happened to be browsing the religious website Patheos and came accross a blog post by Greg Garrett called “God Commands Compassion, Not Evangelism.”  The title fascinated me and the excerpt was even more interesting: “Christianity is not about praying in a certain way, or believing a certain thing, or making converts, or building a nice cabin at church camp.”  The excerpt spells out what this post is about but here is a part: In my book The Other Jesus, I talk about how Christians are called to do more than praise God, although I believe … Continue reading What Does the Lord Require?

Autism and the Ministry

From the blog, Autistic Me: Following a panel discussion I was asked if my autistic traits made me a better teacher. I replied, “No. They are a disadvantage for much of what I teach.” The mother asking the question was puzzled. I don’t believe I offered the answer she wanted. This led me to ponder the question and the answer further. I teach a literature-writing course this semester, “The Study of the Essay.” The course is a survey of major essayists and requires students to write personal essays and reflections weekly. The essay is by nature an author’s attempts to … Continue reading Autism and the Ministry