Southern Baptists: On the Brink of Reform?

The 2021 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) was always going to be historic. It promised to reveal the pulse of America’s largest Protestant denomination, as well as offer a preview of post-Trump American evangelicalism. The convention indeed delivered a historic moment. But its future remains uncertain—because the tradition of white American evangelicalismContinue reading “Southern Baptists: On the Brink of Reform?”

Truth From The Dark Places of Church

There’s a line from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness that I can’t shake. “This also has been one of the dark places of the earth.” The place? London. A place we often forget was once the wild frontier of the ancient Roman Empire. When I left my job as a pastor in the SBC forContinue reading “Truth From The Dark Places of Church”

A Modern Parable for American Evangelicalism

The sports world is still talking about the second title fight between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston in 1965. In all this, I believe, is a parable of modern American evangelicalism. We are throwing the fight of our generation, choosing power over Christ, and the world can tell. Neil Leifer famously captured Ali, standing overContinue reading “A Modern Parable for American Evangelicalism”

The Power of Myth

Today fewer Americans than ever identify with a formal religion, just 47%. Yet, Americans remain overwhelmingly religious. The same Gallup poll also found a record number of Americans choosing to identify as “religious” with no affiliation. America is more religious, even as it grows less ‘Christian’. Christianity isn’t facing persecution in America as much asContinue reading “The Power of Myth”

Not So Biblical Manhood

The popular evangelical vision of Biblical manhood is not as Biblical as it might appear. Before I stepped away from pastoring in American evangelical spaces, it wasn’t uncommon to hear manhood attached to cultural expressions (hunting, guns, emotional suppression) and yet it was always cast as “Biblical”. But the vision sure is lucrative. From studiesContinue reading “Not So Biblical Manhood”

Beyond the Culture Wars

This is the final article in a series reflecting on American Culture Wars & Christianity. Here are parts one, two, and three. Culture War Christianity must end. Christians should be the ones to end it. Like Moses, whose first attempt to bring about change left an Egyptian dead in the sand, so Culture Warring ChristianityContinue reading “Beyond the Culture Wars”

A Theology of Culture War Christianity

Kaepernick took a knee, Trump took a photo op. These moments are seared in the collective American consciousness. And both moments are unavoidably religious. Each deals with sacred symbols: a flag, a book of faith.  Both surface theological questions. Who or what do we worship? How should we live in this world? The irony ofContinue reading “A Theology of Culture War Christianity”

In The Shadow of Bonhoeffer

76 years ago today, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed by Nazi Germany. His final known words were reported later by a captured RAF pilot: “Today is the end. For me, the beginning of life.” Sometimes, I wonder. What must’ve been on Bonhoeffer’s mind, walking to the gallows that day? His last words hint at his deepestContinue reading “In The Shadow of Bonhoeffer”

A History Of The Culture Wars

Culture War Christianity has long since ossified into the de facto expression of faith for many white American evangelicals. In Part One of this series (which you can find here) we introduced the American Culture Wars. As a whole, this series examines the historical & theological shape of Culture War Christianity in comparison to Jesus’Continue reading “A History Of The Culture Wars”

The Danger of Faith

Resurrection faith is dangerous. On a day of hope, we need a fresh reminder of the danger inherent in an embrace of Christian faith. It’s true. The risen Jesus offers hope beyond the pangs of death. But the risen Jesus also invites a living confrontation with death. Our life for his. Our ends for his.Continue reading “The Danger of Faith”