Blog

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

Theology, Writing & Publishing

When words fail, liturgy speaks

I've lost loved ones from suicide and cancer. I've written a book about living with unresolved pain and suffering. And yet, I think I'm more of an "expert" (I use the term loosely) on what not to say to hurting people rather than what to say. It's a lot easier to be dismissive or insensitive… Continue reading When words fail, liturgy speaks

Theology

What toxic Christians tell us about Jesus

From time to time, I read blogs by atheists and skeptics as a way of keeping tabs, so to speak, on the current image of Christians. This is one way I try to better myself so I'm not "one of them" - one of the believers that gives Jesus a bad name by my example.… Continue reading What toxic Christians tell us about Jesus

Theology, Writing & Publishing

The gospel of “self help”

There’s a lot of advice out there about how to conquer your problems and live your “best life.” I’ve never been entirely certain about what that means. How to become rich and famous? How to be great-looking and best dressed? I have no idea. Just perusing the Self-Help section at Barnes and Noble, I notice… Continue reading The gospel of “self help”

Theology

Reckoning with anti-semitism on Good Friday

I feel like I should be more upset that I'll be spending my first Easter as an official Anglican at home this year (thanks, coronavirus). But while I look forward to the hope of resurrection, the entire Easter season carries baggage of anti-Jewish rhetoric from even the most progressive of Christians for me to get… Continue reading Reckoning with anti-semitism on Good Friday

Theology

Sharing toilet paper with Jesus

I pre-ordered Laura Fabrycky's book, Keys to BonHoeffer's House, back in January, and was fortunate to have my local independent bookstore ship it to me last week despite being closed due to the coronavirus. I haven't been able to put it down since I pulled it from my mailbox. Bonhoeffer, a theologian living in Nazi-occupied… Continue reading Sharing toilet paper with Jesus

Theology

Theology in the time of Covid-19

There are many great theological takes out there about leaning in to God during this unusual period of self-isolation and fear in the time of Covid-19. But for every great theological take, there's always several bad ones that spring up as well. There is no religious tradition that is immune to bad theology, but since… Continue reading Theology in the time of Covid-19

Theology

The way we talk about Pharisees, and why it matters

With the Lenten season coming up, it's time to discuss something that's been on my mind for a while: Pharisees. Odd, I know -- that's not something that normal people think about, except perhaps how not to be one of them: those hostile, unbending, legalistic Jews of the 1st century. The ones who scolded Jesus… Continue reading The way we talk about Pharisees, and why it matters