Theology

Of rosaries and car accidents

I got my Covid vaccine yesterday, and almost didn’t live to tell about it (or post the obligatory selfie). I’d just gotten off the highway exit for the Walmart pharmacy. The traffic light was green, and I had my own lane to turn right. A semi truck was distantly behind me, and I sped up… Continue reading Of rosaries and car accidents

Theology

“Christian seders” expose our need for liturgy

Within the last few decades, “Christian seders” have become a trend. But the traditional matzah is broken in three parts to represent the Trinity, and the cup of wine becomes Christ’s blood. This is, needless to say, not how Jews intended for these symbols to be used. Many Jews find this modern practice offensive, if… Continue reading “Christian seders” expose our need for liturgy

Social Issues, Theology

Give me a church that offends

Give me a church that regularly offends my sensibilities; one that overthrows my preconceived notions of how the world works. Give me a church that loves me enough never to coddle my harmful choices but confronts me gently with necessary truth. Give me a church that fears for my soul more than my reputation. Give… Continue reading Give me a church that offends

Theology

Memo for a weary world

I used to joke that if you ever want to know what loneliness feels like, try being a Jew at Christmas. But now there’s a new version of the joke that’s a lot less funny: if you want to know what loneliness feels like, try being in the midst of a pandemic during the holiday… Continue reading Memo for a weary world

Social Issues, Theology

A time for unifying, a time for dividing

I’m torn between two types of people I want to be: one who shows grace to those with differing opinions, and one who is firm in both conviction and setting healthy emotional boundaries. How can one be both in this era? Yet Another Identity Crisis For me, this is another Jewish-versus-Christian issue, where both sides… Continue reading A time for unifying, a time for dividing

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

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