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

Theology

Reckoning with anti-semitism on Good Friday

I feel like I should be more upset that I'll be spending my first Easter as an official Anglican at home this year (thanks, coronavirus). But while I look forward to the hope of resurrection, the entire Easter season carries baggage of anti-Jewish rhetoric from even the most progressive of Christians for me to get… Continue reading Reckoning with anti-semitism on Good Friday

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

How to talk about politics on social media without being annoying

Many people are annoyed by the onslaught of political posts on social media. I can't say I blame them -- because not all political posts are created equal. It would be easy to say "Just don't" in response to the question, Should I post something political? But the truth is, almost everything is political in… Continue reading How to talk about politics on social media without being annoying

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