We can hang onto Jesus with the right hand, grasp our brothers and sisters with the left, and take one bold step into the gathering gloom of Holy Week. That’s what Lent has always been about. That’s what it’s about now, amid a global pestilence that stalks in the darkness.
Most of our churches have left heaven-or-hell theology far behind, but we’re afraid to offer a viable alternative. It’s time for moderate and progressive mainline preachers to talk about the biblical vision of universal redemption.
By hitching his wagon to Trump’s neon star, Starr is making the same old mistake for the same old reason.
Some species of evangelical religion will ultimately rise from the rubble of American conservatism, but it will be greatly curtailed, politically irrelevant and, I pray, more recognizably Christian.
Forty years ago, Hinson’s open letter challenged Southern Baptist Convention President Bailey Smith’s pronouncement that “God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.” Today, moderate Baptists know they don’t want to follow Smith and his tribe, but have we embraced a clear alternative?
Frank Tupper’s view of providence is unflinchingly honest. We survive our personal Gethsemanes, not because we experience miraculous rescue, but because we are not alone: “Jesus has already gone through Gethsemane, a Gethsemane that we will never comprehend, and he stands with us in ours.”
My work on the case of Curtis Flowers over more than a decade exposed me to three kinds of Christians: Kingdom Christians, Culture Christians and Conflicted Christians. I have learned that Kingdom Christians are almost always driven to the margins by the clarity of their convictions.
Pastors like SBC President J.D. Greear, academics like Sarah Sumner and Bible teachers like Beth Moore gladly sign off on biblical inerrancy, but they are quietly transposing the scriptures into the key of Jesus. “For the times they are a-changin.’”
Maybe God doesn’t expect people of faith to agree on everything. Maybe God wants us to feel cross-pressured, uncertain and confused. If we are to grow in love we must listen to people who see through other windows because they live in other rooms.