We Are Not the Samaritan: A Jesus Story Deconstructed

In the narrative account of Jesus's life written by a physician named Luke, Jesus delivers the most famous story of roadside assistance ever recorded. According to the parable, a man is attacked by robbers and left for dead. His broken body is ignored by two religious men traveling the same road. He is eventually rescued and…

Christians and Violence: Seven Tough Questions and Responses

The first time I heard about Christian nonviolence, I thought it was ridiculous. My struggle with Christian nonviolence was a result of the multitude of questions the stance generates. I gradually came to learn that these questions were normal. It's what happens when you're entire paradigm shifts on such a comprehensive issue. I grew up…

A Biblical Case for Christian Nonviolence

On December 4, 2015, Jerry Falwell, Jr. - the president of Liberty University - stood in front of 10,000 Christian students and faculty members during a weekly chapel service and said, "If more good people had concealed [handgun] carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in." Falwell was referencing the terrorist…

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…

Eight Books That Will Blow Your Mind and Challenge Your Faith

About a year and a half ago, I changed how chose which books I read. Prior to my decision, I read books purely for knowledge - reading became a way to obtain intellectual insight into the mysteries of God and faith. And I soon found myself losing the joy of reading. Because reading became a…

Thoughts on Sex, Vulnerability, and Spirituality After a Year of Marriage

It's been a year since I've become one flesh with my wife. We married in a muggy parlor room in a historic home surrounded by friends and family after our wedding venue was flooded by a torrential downpour the day before our wedding. "And the two became one flesh" is one of the Bible's favorite…

Love at the Table: The Gift of Hospitality in an Era of Isolation

Despite near-limitless opportunities for connectivity, millennials are finding themselves in a world of increasingly dire social isolation. Popular television shows like Friends, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, and New Girl depict modern urban life as an endless parade of zany misadventures, unannounced visitors, and group hangouts. No one is ever bored. No…