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”
Ever since the kerfuffle at the March for Life last week between a group of Catholic school boys in MAGA hats and a Native American veteran, I've been thinking a lot about symbols -- how they get their meaning, and how the same object or slogan can mean different things to different people. I know… Continue reading MAGA hats and the importance of symbols
My phone pinged with an email notification from my freelance editor at Patheos, regarding the news of Mike Pence honoring the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting victims by inviting a Messianic rabbi to say a prayer at a rally. Naturally, that prayer invoked mentions of Jesus -- or rather, as he is known in Messianic circles, Yeshua… Continue reading The inherent deception of Messianic Judaism
Being misunderstood sucks. I'm not a big people-pleaser by nature, but it does bother me when I'm disliked for the wrong reasons. This doesn't happen too often, but the following scenario has happened to me more than once: New Jewish acquaintance: "So you grew up Reform, but then converted?" Me: "Basically, yeah." Them: "So you're… Continue reading Christians: let the Jews speak
After my Episcopal church service I went to my husband’s evangelical church to wait for him in the cafe like I usually do. When I stepped out to use the restroom, I heard the sermon topic introduced. It was about Potiphar’s wife. The one who falsely accused Joseph of rape. THIS weekend of all weekends.… Continue reading Potiphar’s wife and #MeToo
Every now and then, when my doubts start to gang up on me, I skim through Confessions of a Prodigal Daughter to be reminded, Oh, this is why I chose Christianity. These are the reasons I'm still here. I stand by those reasons. My faith is generally strengthened by hardship, because it's when I lean… Continue reading When I can’t believe in the Church
I never liked Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, growing up. Jewish holidays can best be summarized as “They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat,” and thus tend to be joyful occasions, but not this one. It’s a somber day of reflecting on our sins and making amends with the people we’ve hurt.… Continue reading Yom Kippur and #MeToo
The Social Justice Statement, a document composed by prominent white evangelical men, claims that caring for minorities somehow compromises the gospel. It denies any culpability in systemic racism, and any responsibility for how anti-gay and anti-woman rhetoric causes harm. None of this is surprising. In fact, it fits rather well in an era in which… Continue reading The Social Justice Statement is an affront to black, Jewish Jesus
I try not to employ the “No True Scotsman” fallacy very often – it’s not up to me to see into people’s hearts and determine who is a legitimate Christian, and who is not. At the same time, a person born in a Jewish family who later believes in Jesus is, by definition, no longer… Continue reading Who are the “true believers”?
I remember sitting in Bible studies in which the Hebrew Scriptures were studied – usually the prophets. Without fail, someone would mention where they could find Jesus in those verses, but especially in Isaiah 53. That passage in particular was just so “obvious” that Jesus’ life was planned from the beginning of creation. This is… Continue reading Is Jesus found in the Old Testament?