I should probably hand over my Protestant membership card (assuming I ever had one) for how much thought I've given to the Eucharist lately: just how essential is it to Christian worship? Is it the literal body and blood of Christ, or purely symbolic? Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist by Brant Pitre… Continue reading A Jew-ish perspective on the Eucharist
Note: I didn't personally know Rachel Held Evans, and I am just one of many, many Christians and fledgling writers who benefitted from her work and the generosity of how she used her platform. Because I am currently writing a book about how American Christianity perceives suffering, I'm grappling with the question of "Why her?"… Continue reading Why Rachel?
Every time I hear about an act of anti-semitism, I can't help feeling a conflict of loyalties. Do I mourn as a Christian, or as a Jew? Can I grieve as both? Is that possible? In college, some well-intentioned friends quoted Galatians 3:28 to me when I expressed uncertainty about where I belonged: "There is… Continue reading I am both/and
I was tempted to make popcorn as I scrolled through intense Twitter debates over Easter weekend about whether it’s necessary to have a literal resurrection of Christ- and whether those who see it as metaphor "count" as Christians. I was under the impression that a literal resurrection was one of those "non-negotiables" when it comes… Continue reading How essential is the resurrection?
The day of Easter is the culmination of the story of God's plan for salvation -- a reminder that death does not have the last word. But before Easter, a happy day is festivity, comes Good Friday: a day of darkness when Jesus was crucified, and the Jews were blamed for it. Good Friday is… Continue reading The trouble with Good Friday
Some Christians complain about having to experience any discomfort at all. Others seem unable to get enough of it – or they’ve experienced so little genuine suffering that they have to create it. I can’t help but think of Kim Davis: the county clerk from Rowan County, Kentucky, who in 2015 refused to issue marriage… Continue reading American Christians and “Persecution Envy”
I don't consider myself a conservative or progressive Christian. I'm not sure what each label fully entails, but I do know I hold views that satisfy -- and irritate -- both groups. With that in mind, you can understand why it took me the entirety of my twenties to find the right denomination and church.… Continue reading Who am I offending, and why?
When I read my friend Neil's blog post, The Christian Finish, I couldn't help but think of "Christian Instagram culture" -- the types of posts that feature open Bibles next to mugs of coffee (guilty), with a story of hardship and how God came through in the end. As you know, being an Episcopalian and… Continue reading Inspiration for wealthy evangelicals (and no one else)
I once had a high school English teacher who told the class we could argue in our term papers that Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is about a cheese sandwich, and get full credit...if we could make a credible case for it, using textual and historical evidence. As far as I'm aware, no one wrote a… Continue reading On having a “flexible faith”
Harold Kushner's book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People, is a beloved classic for people of all religious backgrounds. For those who haven't read it -- or read it a long time ago and need a refresher, since the book is nearly 40 years old -- Kushner asserts that God wants to prevent suffering… Continue reading Two theologies of suffering