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

To build a table or a fence: thoughts at the end of the Trump administration

I don’t know about you, but the last four years of Donald Trump completely upended my life. I learned that a few close childhood friends secretly believed I was a moral monster for not being a single-issue voter. I saw blatantly racist posts on social media from people I once respected. My social world has… Continue reading To build a table or a fence: thoughts at the end of the Trump administration

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

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

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