NOFX’s 2003 album, War on Errorism, includes a song called “Separation of Church and Skate.” It’s not their best album but its commercial success (and more radio-friendly content) earned it a fair amount of radio play. “Separation…” asks the important question, “When did punk rock become so safe?” If you know NOFX and their catalog … Continue reading Danger Church
At no place in Christian tradition is efficiency a virtue if exercised at the expense of the patient nurturing of souls. The Christian enterprise is one of human nurture. The abundance of agricultural imagery in the Gospels is not an accident of a rural culture. During the Roman occupation of Palestine, there was a robust … Continue reading Efficiency is Not Your Friend
Richard Rohr, the renowned Catholic thinker and writer, wrote, “Most Christian ‘believers’ tend to echo the cultural prejudices and worldviews of the dominant group in their country, with only a minority revealing any real transformation of attitudes or consciousness. It has been true of slavery and racism, classism and consumerism and issues of immigration and … Continue reading Of Church Growth and Metastasis
On an autumn evening in 1961, Guildford Cathedral in Surrey, England hosted a unique service of thanksgiving. The Triumph Owners Motorcycle Club sponsored a service of dedication for the blessing of club member's motorcycles. It's a common practice these days for ministers of all varieties to bless new vehicles but at this time and place, … Continue reading For the Peace of the Whole World
It is a rare occasion I find myself quoting Louis Farrakhan but this is one of those occasions. He is quoted as saying, "There can be no peace without justice. There can be no justice without truth. And there can be no truth, unlesssomeone rises up to tell you the truth." It's the first sentence … Continue reading Justice: Enemy of Peace?
Suffering has become a thing to be outsourced, not eliminated. The healthcare debate of the past several years is a perpetual reminder of this. We have become so good at choosing those who will suffer that we have developed a sophisticated rhetorical apparatus for convincing them they should be grateful for the honor. Shirley Jackson's … Continue reading Designated Suffering
Watching the United States, as we have known it, unravel isn't easy. All of that democratic idealism that has strengthened American society for two hundred years is crumbling in the wake of perpetual bed-shitting by our duly elected governors. There is no doubt that Christian nationalism is contributing to this unraveling. There is no shortage … Continue reading The Real Enemy
I admire photographers. It takes a creative eye, intuition, and some dumb luck to capture images like this. I can't express how patently disrupting this picture is. A completely unfazed Czech Girl Scout is staring down what looks to be either a skinhead or Antifa activist. And this would be enough. But look more closely … Continue reading The Eye of Human Civilization
As I wrap up my sixth year teaching the Bible to undergrads, I am reflecting on what the Bible is and where it fits in the great scheme of things. Mind you, this is not wistful reflection as if I were coming to the end of a career, pondering the meaning of my life's work. … Continue reading 1. 2. 3. 4. I Declare a Bible War.
I found a piece of scrap paper stuffed into a book I am reading, as is common for me. On the paper was a quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a twentieth century French writer and poet. It said: "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't … Continue reading Building Ships