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

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

RBG and Spiritual Dysphoria

Every now and then, there is an event or a season in which I hearken back to my Jewish roots. It’s not that I shut down my Christian identity, but rather allow a part of me that normally lies dormant to temporarily take the stage. The High Holy Days in Judaism are one such season.… Continue reading RBG and Spiritual Dysphoria

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

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

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

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