Category: Blog Posts

Lessons on Unity from the Ecumenical Movement

My dissertation was focused on the modern ecumenical movement, that effort by churches, especially in the 20th century, to overcome centuries of division. The goal was outward and visible unity. The movement achieved remarkable, history-making results. Catholics and Protestants could pray together and scholars could collaborate. Numerous bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements green-lit shared ministries and sacramental […]

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The Pain of Healing

A pitcher throws a 99-mph fastball and nails the batter between the shoulder blades. The batter charges the mound and benches empty as the pitcher shouts, “It is time for unity and healing!” A gunman first takes out the school security specialist and then walks through the hallways, shooting teachers and students. Many are killed […]

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White Christianity, Democracy, and the Future

“Equality for all” has nearly always taken a back seat to “liberty for some” in America, and white Christianity is the heart of that hierarchy. Whether this nation is of white Christians, by white Christians, and for white Christians or will fulfill the promise of becoming the world’s first and most robust multicultural democratic republic […]

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Ecumenical Dialogue and the Journey from Enmity to Community

In the centuries preceding the establishment of the United States, Christians slaughtered each other. Lutherans and Calvinists could not abide Mennonites or Arminian Baptists. Even in the American colonies, Quakers endured deadly persecution for, among other matters, shaking hands in lieu of dipping hats; and Protestant Nativists terrorized the growing Catholic immigrant population in the […]

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For Those Who Did Not Get the Phone Call

Robert Short wrote one of the first theology books I owned: The Gospel According to Peanuts. In the Peanuts strip, Charles Schulz introduced readers to many ethical, philosophical, and theological conundrums. The kids might be assembled on the pitcher’s mound debating theology. Charlie Brown and Linus often leaned on the “wall of life” as they […]

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Christians and Illiberal Democracy

When someone says they are acting to defend democracy, query what they mean by democracy. Christians using the term these days provide sufficient reason to ask. Polarized Christian camps are putting radically different versions of “the democracy we need” on display. White evangelical Christianity has provided the base of the president’s base of support since […]

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The Gap Between Charity and Justice

“We the People of the United States, in Order to … establish Justice…” From the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States of America “Invoking the guidance of Almighty God… to secure just and rightful government…” From the Preamble of the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma ‘“Philanthropy is commendable,’ said Martin Luther King, […]

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12 More Ways Faith Communities Could Foster a More Healthy Society

This is the second of two blogs to address the question: What do people of faith know that could make for a more healthy society, if we were intentional about making practical and public what we know? A few weeks ago, I taught a free, online course exploring this topic. (If you’d like to watch […]

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Offering the Better Angels of Faith Communities for a More Healthy Society

What do people of faith know that could make for a more healthy society, if we were intentional about making practical and public what we know? A few weeks ago, I taught a free, online course exploring this topic. In the final class session, I offered 24 proposals. Each proposal imagines what people of faith […]

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12 Ways Faith Communities Could Improve the Soil for Democracy

During October and through election week, I taught a free, online course. The topic was how people of faith might foster the regeneration of democracy in the U.S. The course was premised on several assumptions. One assumption is that the cultural soil for growing a healthy democratic society is insufficient and is, itself, unhealthy. Another […]

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