Hey Church, What Are We Building?

Standing on a broad, grassy hill in central Türkiye, I had a revelation. The hill was thick with thistles, periodically broken through by irregular bleached stones. It lay about a mile south of a rural highway, surrounded by farmland. If you stumbled on the site accidentally, you’d have no idea what you were looking at […]

Knowing the Past to Make a Better Future (TAW054)

Episode 054 – Knowing the Past to Make a Better Future (With Sarah Sanderson) Do you know the hidden history of the place where you live? If we want to be part of God’s work of bringing restoration and liberation, we can’t ignore what’s happened in the past. Telling this truth is the only way […]

No, Love Does Not Require Unity.

I’ve not experienced a time that felt more divided. Pick the area of discourse, and people are forming camps, drawing lines of who is in and who is out, and naming the folks on the other side of the line as enemies. The emotional temperature seems to ping-pong between frustration and rage. In this environment, […]

“Biblical Womanhood is Christian Patriarchy.” We can do better.

I’ll start with the conclusion: Followers of Jesus are called to join him in his mission. In case we get confused, he defined his mission for us in Luke’s gospel. . If our message and actions don’t bring good news to the poor, freedom to prisoners, sight to the blind, and freedom to the oppressed, […]

Empathy Is Not A Sin. (TAW048)

Episode 048 – Empathy Is Not a Sin (With Becky Castle Miller) Recently a number of Christian leaders and teachers have been making waves saying that empathy is a sin–or at least something that good Christians need to be very careful with. Why would they say this? What do they get out of it? And […]

Don’t Choose Shallow Formation (TAW047)

Episode 047 – Don’t Choose Shallow Formation (With Rich Vellodas) Does our faith enable us to be “a good gift” to our neighbors, even the neighbors we disagree with? Many Christians, it seems, are living in ways that contradict the core ethic of our faith loving our neighbors as ourselves. What is going on? It […]

A More Beautiful Deconstruction (TAW046)

Episode 046 – A More Beautiful Deconstruction (With Dr. Bradley Jersak) Deconstruction is everywhere. People are doing it. Some leaders are fighting it. Some people are excited by it. Some people are terrified of it. Is it just a trendy new word for leaving the church? No. It’s a process that’s necessary for spiritual maturity–and […]

Let’s Normalize Being Wrong (TAW045)

Episode 045 – Let’s Normalize Being Wrong (With Matt Tebbe) I grew up in a faith tradition where being right was essential. It’s what kept us in community. It’s what we thought honored God. For many other reasons–temperament, trauma, and even privilege–being right became an identity issue for me. Then I heard Matt Tebbe suggest […]

Your Suffering is Sacred (TAW044)

Episode 044 – Your Suffering is Sacred (With K.J. Ramsey) Are you allergic to happy clappy Christianity? There’s a good reason for thats. Churches that ignore suffering are ignoring Jesus. Many churches are not good at holding suffering. People who find themselves in extended suffering — maybe living with depression or anxiety, other mental health […]

Are you doing your faith?

Last weekend I hosted the Writers Advance. I want to talk about it briefly, but before you click away thinking this doesn’t apply to you, give me about four minutes. This retreat reminded me of something crucial to healthy spiritual growth.

Your Purity & Piety Will Get You Nowhere (TAW043)

Episode 043 – Your Purity & Piety Will Get You Nowhere You want to grow as a person. You want a sense of intimate connection with the Divine. You believe or suspect that the way of Jesus has something to say about this. That’s why you’re here. That’s why I write. But in order to […]

Can You Imagine Jesus Demanding Sex? – Interview with Sheila Wray Gregoire (TAW042)

Episode 042 – Can You Imagine Jesus Demanding Sex? – Interview with Sheila Wray Gregoire. Christian teachers notoriously have lots of opinions about sex. Sometimes they even claim those opinions are God’s will. But what if some of those teachings are hurting people and wrecking marriages? In this interview with Sheila Wray Gregoire we talk […]

Trust Your Instinct About the Church – Interview with Fr. Kenneth Tanner (TAW041)

Episode 041 – Trust Your Instinct About the Church – Interview with Fr. Kenneth Tanner. After everything that’s happened in the past year, are you wondering about whether there’s a place for you in the church? Are you asking questions like “Where do I fit? What I’m seeing around me doesn’t look like Jesus. What […]

This IS Us. We Need To Own It. (TAW040)

Episode 040 – This IS Us. We Need To Own It. “This isn’t us. This isn’t America. We are better than this.” Have you heard—or said—those words recently? Well, you may not want to hear this, but the only way forward is to let those words go.

We are being gathered. (Unexpected encouragement amidst the hate mail.)

Well, this past week has been a crazy emotional ride! Last week I sent out an email update. As always, the email included a link to my latest blog and podcast. It also started with an open letter to folks who follow my writing online. I thought I’d get hate mail. (Or, maybe more accurately, […]