“Tiny Deaths” (not all Truth is true)

I recently found myself, at the recommendation of my pastor, reading a collection of short stories by Robert Shearman entitled Remember Why You Fear Me. It was a collection of all things weird and macabre, sort of like what you might expect from a contemporary British Poe, albeit with a bit of a mildly blasphemous streak.

Toward the end of the ebook version (not the print version) is a short story entitled Tiny Deaths, which opens with Jesus’ death on the cross. In this interpretation, he hears the Father’s voice from heaven while he’s hanging there, asking him if he’s sure he wants to go through with the plan. He assents one last time, and breathes his final breath. This is followed by a resurrection…of sorts: Continue reading

Donald Miller Left Me Standing at the Altar, in More Ways Than One

[NOTE: If you’d rather read something less squishy and more concrete, or less Lutheran and more Reformed, my total-BFF-who-I-just-met, Derek Rishmawy, has a great piece over at Christ and Pop Culture.]

In addition to being a blogger, memoirist, and in-demand speaker, Don Miller is known for being hungry like the wolf.

In addition to being a blogger, memoirist, and in-demand speaker, Don Miller is also known for being hungry like the wolf.

Oh, Don Miller. You used to be cool.

I admit it. Like pretty much every Christian my age, I had a torrid love affair with Blue Like Jazz (the book, not the movie, but also kind of the movie). What can I say? Jazz is to us post-evangelicals what Atlas Shrugged is to libertarians, or what The Lord of the Rings is to hippies, or what Martha Stewart Living is to really terrible people.

But now I kind of want to take it all back. Continue reading

Hey Guys, I’m a Young Person and I Have Opinions (Rachel Held Evans, Millennials, Etc.)

→ Why are Millennials leaving the Evangelical Church?

Most bloggers can only wish they were this photogenic.

Most bloggers can only wish they were this photogenic.

It’s a question the mainstream press can’t resist because it’s (a) immediate, (b) controversial, and (c) really dumbed-down. In any case, Rachel Held Evans — the de facto voice of post-Evangelicals — has a piece up on CNN about the question as we speak (you’ve probably seen it; at this point every single Facebook friend you have has probably shared it). The basic premise? They’re leaving because Jesus isn’t there.

You can read it if you want; it’s worth the time. Then if you feel like it, you can read this really, really thorough takedown by Alastair Roberts; and I also highly recommend this criticism of its tone from my close, personal friend Jake Meador over at Mere Orthodoxy.

But for me? I just can’t get over the question, let alone the answer. Continue reading

Season’s Shootings, or: I am an Ass

On Friday, when the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred, I got the news via Facebook. (For those of us who have been ruined by the digital age, Facebook and Twitter are our main source of headlines.) I saw the usual postings that you see every time a story like this breaks. “OMG I can’t believe this happened,” “My prayers are with the families” — that sort of thing — many of them accompanied by links to news articles.

I didn’t click a single link. Continue reading

Open Communion; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Body

My eucharistic preference has always been for an open table, and I maintain that position, even though my current membership is with the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod, a denomination known for excluding non-Lutherans from its Communion fellowship (though my current congregation actually maintains a mostly-open table).

My reasoning for this is simple. I believe in the universality of the Christian Church, and I will die defending its invisible unity long before I die defending my beloved Augsburg or Westminster Confessions. There’s no shortage of Christian sects in the world claiming to be the “True Church,” but Christ himself sets the bar shockingly low for being a “True Christian”: Continue reading