Theology

Connecting to Jesus by strawmanning Judaism

I understand the appeal of Messianic Judaism to Protestant Christians: it seems like a way to connect with the Jewish roots of Jesus. It helps provide context for Jesus’ parables. It also functions like an insider’s guide to evangelizing the Jewish people. Unfortunately, MJ theology not only misrepresents ancient Judaism – it’s offensive to traditional… Continue reading Connecting to Jesus by strawmanning Judaism

Social Issues, Theology

Can anger be holy?

People of color are often used to hearing that they sound angry all the time. The "angry black woman" stereotype is especially common. What you may not know is that "angry Jewish woman," or simply "angry Jewish people," is also a Thing. And I'm one of them. In an unexpected way, the Trump era has… Continue reading Can anger be holy?

Social Issues

Jesus and relational boundaries

In many ways, my husband Josh and I are opposites. Despite both of us being Christians, introverts (well, he's more of an outgoing introvert), and passionate about cats, he attends an evangelical megachurch -- I attend a small Episcopal one. He finds liturgy "weird"; I love it. He's politically independent, but holds views that lean… Continue reading Jesus and relational boundaries

Social Issues, Theology

They should know us by our love, not our dismissal of black suffering

You've probably seen the viral video by now, or at least heard about it: white police officer Amber Guyger being hugged by the brother of the black man she killed when she entered his apartment, claiming it was her own. Brandt Jean told her, "If you are truly sorry, I know I can speak for… Continue reading They should know us by our love, not our dismissal of black suffering

Writing & Publishing

Redeeming September 25th

September 25th is a dark day in my life. I was sitting at my father's hospital bed with my mom and brother, watching as his breathing grew more labored until, finally, he stopped altogether. David Joseph Caplin died at around 11am on the morning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, 2014. Not long before… Continue reading Redeeming September 25th

Theology, Writing & Publishing

When hope is hard to find

It's a little uncomfortable when friends ask you in front of people you don't know how your new book is coming along, when the topic is suffering. What kind of person writes about that? It's not the kind of thing you want to broadcast if you're just being social at a party (not that I'm… Continue reading When hope is hard to find

Theology, Writing & Publishing

“Spinning Crap Into Fertilizer” now available for pre-order + introduction

This isn’t one of those books in which I assure you, from the comfort of my safe, suburban home, that everything happens for a reason. This isn’t one of those books that treats Christianity like a self-help regimen, in which I promise that if you live a certain way, you will earn Jesus Points that… Continue reading “Spinning Crap Into Fertilizer” now available for pre-order + introduction

Social Issues, Theology

When we are the reason they left

Not long after "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" author Joshua Harris announced he is no longer a Christian, Marty Sampson, a songwriter for the Christian band Hillsong, did the same thing. In my social media feeds, people have expressed fear that their favorite Christian artist, author, or speaker might be next. As if deconversion is a… Continue reading When we are the reason they left

Theology

Why you can’t divorce suffering from the gospel

Some time ago, I read a tweet by someone who claimed that Christianity should not exist among indigenous groups. In other words, if violent missionaries did not threaten minorities to convert on pain of death, then none of them would be Christian today. They would have no reason to be. Much to my surprise, this… Continue reading Why you can’t divorce suffering from the gospel

Social Issues, Theology

ICE raids and “real” Christians

Some people say that actions matter more than belief. My Jewish upbringing taught me the same thing. A loving God, I learned, would judge people by the way they treated others than whether they followed the correct religion. I'm torn about this. The thing is, theology matters -- it matters a lot. Theology shapes what… Continue reading ICE raids and “real” Christians