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Theology

Yes, Theology Matters

My “Theology Matters” shirt never fails to spark conversation or earn me funny looks. But I’m sure it’s frequently misunderstood. I’ll give you a hint: "Theology matters" is not making a statement about Christian supremacy. Religion News Service has an article describing how many American Christians are ambivalent about social justice. Their faith doesn’t motivate… Continue reading Yes, Theology Matters

Social Issues, Theology

Grace for the fascist and the baby killer

I was talking to a friend recently about whether it's right to avoid people in my life who still ardently support Donald Trump, as a grown-up way of following the rule we all learned in kindergarten: "If you have nothing nice to say, then don't say anything at all." For me, the best way to… Continue reading Grace for the fascist and the baby killer

Theology

“Christian privilege” is about culture, not discipleship

Wikipedia defines "Christian privilege" as follows: Christian privilege is any social advantage that is perceived to be bestowed upon Christians in few societies. This arises out of the presumption that Christian belief is a social norm, that leads to the marginalization of the nonreligious and members of other religions through institutional religious discrimination or religious… Continue reading “Christian privilege” is about culture, not discipleship

Social Issues, Theology

Coronavirus and evangelical fear of uncertainty

Evangelical discomfort with uncertainty has become clearer to me in the few months that Covid-19 has ravaged the planet. For a community of people that are supposed to be "set apart" from the world -- that is, to exercise discernment and caution in all things -- it is evangelical Christians that are the most likely… Continue reading Coronavirus and evangelical fear of uncertainty

Social Issues, Theology

Theologically conservative, politically progressive

I recently asked my followers on Twitter who else considers themselves theologically conservative and politically progressive. The number of people who identify this way is validating. Typically, we expect people to believe and act like single tickets all the way down: theological conservatism equals political conservatism, and likewise for more liberal Christians. I have never… Continue reading Theologically conservative, politically progressive

Social Issues

The hard but necessary conversations we should be having

A college friend recently posted on Facebook that while she doesn't limit her friendships to people who view the world exactly as she does, she will cut people off who are intolerant or outright hateful (basically, she's describing the same boundaries that I outlined in this post). At the time we met, she was (and… Continue reading The hard but necessary conversations we should be having

Social Issues, Theology

The intersection of faith and colonialism

I've been rereading Mark Noll's The Civil War as a Theological Crisis. It's a relatively short book, but packed with information that all Christians should be educated about. The "theological crisis" in the title that led to civil war was, obviously, about slavery -- and whether or not the Bible justified the slave trade. Christians… Continue reading The intersection of faith and colonialism

Social Issues, Theology

Racism and the importance of communal repentance

One Jewish concept that carried over into Christianity is that of communal repentance. In ancient times, the sins of a community were atoned for with blood sacrifices. Today, communal repentance takes place one day a year on Yom Kippur, where Jews gather in synagogue to recognize the sins that were committed during the past year.… Continue reading Racism and the importance of communal repentance

Social Issues, Theology

When social justice is controversial

I never thought I'd see a day where, of all things, social justice becomes an issue of controversy among Christians. In an official statement published by a group of conservative evangelicals, heralded by pastor John MacArthur, social justice is "a distraction from the gospel": “Evangelicalism’s newfound obsession with the notion of ‘social justice’ is a… Continue reading When social justice is controversial

Theology

Faith and intellectual curiosity

Growing up Jewish, you can imagine the many hurdles I had to jump through in order to grow comfortable enough with the Christian faith to start considering myself one (see my memoir). Contending with Jesus being more than just a prophet was one thing; contending with certain Christian subcultures was something else altogether. In my… Continue reading Faith and intellectual curiosity