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

Social Issues, Theology

The one sin we can’t fess up to

For Black History Month, I'm making more of an effort to read books by people of color (something I should be doing more of anyway). In rereading I'm Still Here by Austin Channing Brown (because it's just that good), this passage stood out to me: White people desperately want to believe that only the lonely,… Continue reading The one sin we can’t fess up to

Social Issues, Theology

Maybe we need more foolish hope

I used to feel ambivalent, sometimes even frustrated, when friends would share on social media that they were expecting. Hear me out. Trump was still fairly new to the White House. Hate crimes were increasing all over the country. White nationalists were becoming emboldened in revealing their hateful agendas. Scientists released a grim report on… Continue reading Maybe we need more foolish hope

Theology

Humanity is not all right

I am still asked from time to time why Judaism wasn’t “good enough” for me to keep it as my religion. A common misunderstanding when it comes to religious conversion is that it’s all about what fulfills me at a personal level, or makes me happy. I did not leave Judaism because it wasn’t making… Continue reading Humanity is not all right

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, 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

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