Set Down Your Mantle

Thanks to Cheryll Fong, Joyce Denham, Pastor Matt Kennedy, and all my other wonderful hosts this past weekend at Minneapolis’ Bethlehem Covenant Church. We discussed the Pietist Option on Friday night and Saturday morning, then I preached this sermon on 2 Kings 2:1-15 at worship services on Sunday. Don’t let anyone tell you that God … More Set Down Your Mantle

The Spiritual Dangers of Living under the Trump Administration

As a result of Trump’s election conservative Christians (a larger group than evangelicals, but including most of them) will see fewer trespasses on institutional religious liberty from the executive branch. They will be able to support judges more amenable to their rights. They will be welcomed at the White House and have access to the … More The Spiritual Dangers of Living under the Trump Administration

Habitation and Homelessness: My Sermon on Citizenship

Having offered some unsolicited homiletic advice last Saturday, I thought today I might share a rare example of my own preaching: a sermon I delivered last month in Denver, to set up a four-class series at Covenant Village of Colorado on the history of Christians engaging with the wider culture. For the Sunday evening vespers service, I meditated … More Habitation and Homelessness: My Sermon on Citizenship

“Tell It Like It Is”: How Pastors Can Respond to Election Day

Let me talk to pastors for a moment. (Though their congregants might want to listen in.) Sisters and brothers – Now that candidate Trump has become president-elect Trump, I know that many of you are struggling with how you’re going to preach tomorrow morning. Unsettled yourselves, you know that you’ll soon look out at the expectant faces of people feeling … More “Tell It Like It Is”: How Pastors Can Respond to Election Day

“Tell It Like It Is”: How the Church Should Respond to Trump

During our travels over the holiday weekend, we visited a church and witnessed an odd, telling moment. Looking for a negative sermon illustration at one point, the pastor spontaneously mentioned “the presidential candidate who says he doesn’t need God’s forgiveness.” As best I can recall, the pastor didn’t even say Donald Trump’s name, but he clearly thought he had crossed … More “Tell It Like It Is”: How the Church Should Respond to Trump

Best of The Pietist Schoolman: Birmingham Revolution

For Martin Luther King, Jr. Day… Here’s a series of three posts I wrote in the summer of 2014, inspired by Ed Gilbreath’s Birmingham Revolution, on King’s famous letter from a jail in that Alabama city. Gilbreath (author of Reconciliation Blues and executive director of communications for my denomination) provides enough biographical and historical context that I began to realize just how little … More Best of The Pietist Schoolman: Birmingham Revolution

Is Cornel West (or Michael Eric Dyson) a Prophet?

When the editorial staff of The New Republic resigned last year in a clash with new ownership, I pretty much resolved never to read the venerable magazine again. But I’ve found myself clicking those links again, most often when they address a topic that was never exactly a strength of the old TNR: religion. Most of this is thanks to … More Is Cornel West (or Michael Eric Dyson) a Prophet?

That Was The Month That Was: Christianity

One last month-long set of links covers posts and articles on Christianity. That Was The Week That Was will return next Saturday. • Why kick off a list of links on Christianity with Miles Mullin’s Anxious Bench post on American Sniper? Because Clint Eastwood’s Iraq War film “raises questions about the thinness of American Civil religion, a religion in which the … More That Was The Month That Was: Christianity