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You may have noticed that I don't post here these days. I just couldn't keep up with two blogs at once. Read me, up-to-date, at


Post-Christendom: "I Used to Rule the World..."

I can't get these lyrics out of my head, from Coldplay's new album - so poignant to a fallen empire...

Viva La Vida
I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own
I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemies eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing:
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"
One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt, and pillars of sand
I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can not explain
Once you know there was never, never an honest word
That was when I ruled the world

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please read more about my thoughts on the evolution of Christianity at


"World-Thumping" vs. "Bible Thumping"...

So in high school, I got called a "Bible Thumper" a couple of times. It bugged me. And no, I wasn't one of those constantly-Jesus-spouting-goody-two-shoes Bible Club kids. In fact, I wanted to be liked so much (most of the time) that I made fun of the Bible Club. And threw parties and drank beer.

But for a brief, 6-month "sin-hiatus" during my senior year, I did my share of "thumping." After an all-too-common youth group road trip to some homeless shelters in Los Angeles, I thought I'd finally discovered what Christianity was supposed to feel like. It was a constant, exhilerating high, every day. For six months. And I didn't want to sin. I wanted to quote Bible verses in class and tell everyone how "easy" Christianity had become. And it was. For six months.

Then the new car smell started to fade. The Skid Row L.A. honeymoon became a distant memory. Drinking and swearing and masturbation became really attractive again, and I learned that my relationship with God could be a lot like relationships with girls: big initial high, lots of butterflies, a little poetry... eventually followed by boredom, disillusion, and "greener grass" spotted across the fence.

I don't want to be a Bible-Thumper any more, as much as I love and cherish Scripture. I want to be a "World-Thumper." I want to point to the people around me - around all of us - living next door - whose lives are singing the truth: the truth of who they are; the truth of what they need; the truth of what the church is not; the truth of how short we come up. World-Thumping is Christianity looking in the gigantic, truth-telling mirror the world is holding up in front of us, and being brave enough to admit: "that's me? Then it's time to change."

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please read more about my thoughts on the evolution of Christianity at


Not Offended, Just Annoyed...

I don't get offended by "Christian-bashing" anymore. Probably because I'm guilty of it myself, too often.

Last night I was hanging out with a group of people - one of whom I had not met before. Sometime during dinner at a Mexican joint, she made some disparaging comment about Christians. Eh, no biggie. They piss me off too, I thought.

Then a little later someone was talking about taking a religion class at school, and the requirement to read the Gospel of Luke.

The same young woman said, "Yeah, it's a nice story..." and that didn't seem too malicious either. But both comments, coupled with a third later in the evening, all carried an arrogant, mocking militance I had not heard in awhile. It reminded me of... hmmm... a miltant fundamentalist Christian, I guess. The other side of the flipped coin. And so it goes.

Fundamentalists come in all shapes and sizes, and usually someone burned on one extreme will jump to the other: burning to freezing.

I have a lot of compassion for the "burned" and the "frozen," and I get it. It's what this worldspeak concept is all about. Compassion, listening, loving, healing. But the arrogance of absolute beliefism, whether religious or atheist, isn't just uncomfortable to be around: it's sickening. God help me if my disillusion leads me to a New Kind of Fundamentalism (NKOF) - becoming a fundamentalist of any kind makes one just like any other.

Some might still accuse me of fundamentalism because I'm very ENTHUSIASTIC... but I have changed a lot... and here's the big difference: I'm not angry anymore.

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please read more about my thoughts on the evolution of Christianity at


Dobson: Political Puppet...

I'm not blind enough to pretend the Democrats don't have their own religious puppets (they just have far fewer than the Republicans) but here is another gross example of religio-political attack dogs imposing a narrow (and uninformed) fundamentalist biblical view - not for the sake of Christ, but for the edification of the GOP.

I'm reminded of Len Sweet saying, "Focus on the Family? Jesus wouldn't 'Focus on the Family.' He told his disciples to die. To leave everything behind. He said, 'If anyone wants to follow me he must hate his father and mother'!"

But what really gets me is that Dr. James Dobson is not a theologian (admitedly, neither am I... only a student and an amateur), he's a family counselor. Focus on the Family ministries has rapidly deteriorated in the last decade, from a merely conservative counseling and family resource ministry, to a hyper-political, pseudo-theological military arm of the Religious Right.

So here's the scoop...

(CNN)— Sen. Barack Obama said Tuesday night evangelical leader James Dobson was “making stuff up,” when he accused the Illinois senator of distorting the Bible and taking a "fruitcake interpretation" of the U.S. Constitution.

“Any notion that I was distorting the Bible in that speech, I think anyone would be hard pressed to make that argument,” Obama told reporters on board his press plane Tuesday night.
Obama's past comments came front and center Tuesday when Dobson criticized the presumptive Democratic nominee’s June 2006 speech on his Focus on the Family radio show.

In the speech, Obama suggested that it would be impractical to govern based solely on the word of the Bible, noting that some passages suggest slavery is permissible and eating shellfish is disgraceful.

"Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy?" Obama asked in the speech. "Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount — a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application?"
Obama responded Tuesday saying the speech underscored the notion he is a man of faith and highlighted the importance that people like him who find faith important “try to translate our concerns in a universal language so that we can have open and vigorous debate.”

Responding to the comments, Tom Minnery, senior vice president of Focus Action, said "There is no need to 'make stuff up' as it relates to Sen. Obama's interpretation of Scripture and the role of religion in the public square."

"His statements and record make clear his questionable perception of both. To argue that the Sermon on the Mount invalidates the Defense Department — as if Jesus Himself didn't have anything to say about the existence of good and evil and the need to combat evil — is about as deep as anyone needs to go to understand where the senator is coming from," Minnery also said. "He is editing God's word to fit his liberal worldview, and the more exposure his views on these matters get, the more obvious this will become to American Christians."

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please read more about my thoughts on the evolution of Christianity at


Suicide? Surrender? Or just lazy?

Question: does following Jesus mean surrendering not only to Jesus, but surrendering to our enemies? Is that the surrendered life? Does loving our enemies mean surrendering to them? Does that surrender mean we allow them to be victorious? Does dying to ourselves mean laying down and dying? Do we stop trying to win?

I think maybe it means all those things, but I'm curious if it sounds like heresy. Or evangelistic laziness. Or suicide...

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please read more about my thoughts on the evolution of Christianity at