If We Desire Racial Equality, We Need To Change the Way We Teach American History

During the third night of the famous Lincoln-Douglas Debate of 1858, Abraham Lincoln delivered a declarative statement to finally quell speculation that he was in favor of racial assimilation: “There is a physical difference between the white and the black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social…

Waking Up: Christianity, White Privilege, and the Dark Side of American History

According to a 2016 Barna research study, only 56% of white evangelicals believe that people of color are put at a social disadvantage as a result of their race. However, according to the same study, 94% of white evangelicals agreed with the statement "Christian churches play an important role in racial reconciliation." While white evangelicals…

A Better Way to Read the Old Testament

The Old Testament is a formidable beast. Maybe you're discouraged by the mind-numbing genealogies, dietary restrictions, temple blueprints, and obscure prophecies. Or, maybe you're turned off by the graphic violence and apparent endorsement of slavery and oppression against women. Or, you're tripped up because no one in the Old Testament seems concerned about the afterlife.…

The Flag and the Cross: The Religious Seduction of Politics and Power

Was Jesus a conservative? A liberal? If he could, would he have voted Democrat or Republican? Would Jesus have even voted? Would he have had anything to do with modern politics, at all? Or is there more going on in the Gospels? Are we even asking the right questions? I think the answers to these…

Scandalous Grace in an Era of Moral Outrage and White Supremacists

During Super Bowl XLVII, the Coca-Cola Company set the internet on fire. The one-minute ad titled "It's Beautiful" aired during the pregame commercial break, and by the end of the night, public response to the ad quickly outpaced interest in the game itself (a 43 - 8 blowout win for the Seattle Seahawks against the…

Less Is More: Reclaiming Christian Simplicity from the American Dream

Our stuff is killing us. The average American home includes more than 300,000 individual items. Our closets average 103 individual items per person, even though we only wear twenty percent of our wardrobe with regularity. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Americans collectively spend more than $1.2 trillion on nonessential goods. The…

Dark Days, Starry Skies: Hope in the Aftermath of the Presidential Election

In the poetic opening of Genesis, the Bible says God formed man out of the dust. Dust. Cosmologist Carl Sagan famously said, "We are made of starstuff." Stardust. It is both incredibly humbling and beautiful to recognize the God of the cosmos crafted our bodies out of the same material found at the heart of…

The Evangelical Case Against the Candidacy of Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton is a liar. She repeatedly told the Justice Department she did not have any classified information on her private email server, which proved to be incorrect. Benghazi is a mess - on both ends of the political spectrum. No doubt. Four Americans died during the attack, and House Republicans have spent an incredible amount of time…

Conscientious Objection: Why I’m Reluctant to Vote

I can’t be alone. I’m watching the same news reports, interviews, debates and conventions and thinking, “Are you kidding me?” And then I sit in a church pew or scroll through my Facebook newsfeed, looking toward the people whom I respect and raised me and I think, “What is going on here?” It feels as…

Bleed, America: The Decline of Empathatic Discourse and How to Reverse It

On Thursday, July 7th, two very different - but interconnected - events occurred and much of the United States had not only a front-row seat to the carnage, but also an opinion. Straddled by two police officers, I watched four bullets punch into Alton Sterling’s chest. In the unflinchingly graphic cellphone video, he twitched and…