On Praying for Donald Trump

As I write this, Vice President Mike Pence is addressing the the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. Some Southern Baptists aren’t too happy about that. As John Fea reported, a Virginia pastor named Garrett Kell found the invitation to Pence so tone-deaf and divisive that he recommended replacing that speech with a time … More On Praying for Donald Trump

What Did Evangelicals Think of Michael Curry’s Royal Wedding Sermon?

Did leading evangelicals pointedly ignore the sermon preached at Saturday’s royal wedding, by Episcopal Church presiding bishop Michael Curry? One religion reporter thought so, at least based on some quick social media research: I checked a dozen of the most influential evangelicals on Twitter. Not one mentioned Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon-heard-round-the-world. I’m not sure they … More What Did Evangelicals Think of Michael Curry’s Royal Wedding Sermon?

The Boston Declaration

I’ve lost track of the number of Christian declarations, confessions, and other statements that have come out this year. But I encourage you to read one more, just released today: The Boston Declaration. Subtitled “A Prophetic Appeal to Christians of the USA,” it begins: As followers of Jesus, the Jewish prophet for justice whose life reminds … More The Boston Declaration

How Many Americans Are “Spiritual, But Not Religious”?

I’ve described my current research project as a “spiritual, but not religious” biography of Charles Lindbergh. A non-churchgoer who never identified with any particular religion, the famous aviator nonetheless read religious texts, lost much of his early faith in science and technology, and grew increasingly interested in matters spiritual and supernatural. In part, what drew … More How Many Americans Are “Spiritual, But Not Religious”?

What Has Wittenberg To Do with Addis Ababa?

Tomorrow’s 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses has inspired so many books, articles, blog posts, and other reflections that you might think there’s nothing new to say about the Protestant Reformation. Until, that is, you’re prompted to consider its relationship to African Christianity, both historical and contemporary. First, the history — courtesy of McCormick … More What Has Wittenberg To Do with Addis Ababa?

“I Can’t Hold Out Forever”: RIP Tom Petty

Some days are diamonds. Some days are rocks. Breaking: Tom Petty has died, family announces in a statement pic.twitter.com/Fca6emZwXc — Jon Passantino (@passantino) October 3, 2017 What a terrible way to end a terrible day. I don’t even know how to write anything new about mass shootings at this point. So instead I’ll mourn an … More “I Can’t Hold Out Forever”: RIP Tom Petty

The Assault at Wheaton… and the Importance of Interfaith Engagement

By now, I suspect most of my readers have read about an incident involving students at Wheaton College, perhaps the leading evangelical institution of higher learning. As first reported by the Chicago Tribune, five members of Wheaton’s football team assaulted one of their teammates in March 2016. The victim transferred to another school, while the … More The Assault at Wheaton… and the Importance of Interfaith Engagement

The Nashville Statement: Theology for the Age of Trump

On Tuesday the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) released the so-called Nashville Statement, “in the hope of serving Christ’s church and witnessing publicly to the good purposes of God for human sexuality revealed in Christian Scripture.” There were enough instantaneous hot takes as it was, so I thought I’d let the dust settle … More The Nashville Statement: Theology for the Age of Trump