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Full-time professor, part-time pastor, husband, father of two small boys, just trying to make my way in a new world.
Recent Activity
Preachers, teachers and church leaders, take note: the power of story in the sermon can't be underestimated, especially when telling the beautiful, transformative narrative of Easter! Those of us trained in theology and ministry craft sermons that are often nothing... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Occasio
Stephen Colbert has long been my first choice for late-night talk show hosts. And he’s definitely one of my favorite theologians. Seriously. But now that he has accepted a contract to replace David Letterman on the “Late Show,” I fear... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Occasio
Two things happened this weekend to remind me of how much I’ve changed in the last 20 years and how fluid faith and theology really are. First, I was astonished to learn that it’s been 20 years since Kurt Cobain,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at Occasio
In answer to the questions I raised in part 1 of this post, yes, theology and orthodoxy do change over the course of history. Examples abound. At one point people believed the Earth was flat and the Sun revolved around... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2014 at Occasio
ALL theology is local. Just look across the United States. From California, to Midwest, to Bible Belt, to the Ivy Leagues, there are lots of theological tenants being debated. Transfer that to an international stage, and, wow, it can become mind-boggling. Thanks for the comment, Jennifer.
Toggle Commented Mar 28, 2014 on The problem with orthodoxy, part 1 at Occasio
What is “orthodox”? When we use that word we usually mean something about the established historic practices and beliefs of the Christian church. And those never change, right? Or, do they? ("Orthodox" with a capital "O" can also refer to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2014 at Occasio
Thanks, Jennifer. "Now I can breathe!"
Toggle Commented Mar 28, 2014 on It's sad. It's sadder. at Occasio
Thanks, Jonathan. Not easy decisions, eh? God bless as you continue your ministry!
Toggle Commented Mar 27, 2014 on It's sad. It's sadder. at Occasio
Gary, I hear in you the desire to be theologically accurate and accountable, but with a sensitivity toward grace and compassion. That is a wonderful goal. I keep thinking that if I'm going to err, I want to err on the side of grace. Thanks for the example you provide and for the gracious spirit.
Toggle Commented Mar 27, 2014 on It's sad. It's sadder. at Occasio
Linda, I get it. Thanks.
Toggle Commented Mar 27, 2014 on It's sad. It's sadder. at Occasio
(The following is my response to recent news about World Vision. For context, see this post and then this article.) It’s sad that children lost sponsorships when World Vision announced they would allow employment of legally married gay and lesbian... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2014 at Occasio
Great point, Larry. I agree with your interpretation. -Tim
Worlds could not collide at greater speeds or with more disparity than they have in the evangelical community today. I’m reminded of the cataclysm projected by Neil deGrasse Tyson on Cosmos last night, when in four billionish years our Milky... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2014 at Occasio
On a recent visit to Texas, I was reminded that there are at least two very different understandings of peace. A quick comparison of Comanche and U.S. settler attitudes in the nineteenth century reveals some contrasts. In 1835, U.S. settlers... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2014 at Occasio
Sent from my iPhone Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2014 at The Great Plates Contest
As I watched the 86th Academy Awards this week, I was struck both by the type of God-talk I heard and, on the contrary, the lack of it. I don’t usually watch an entire awards broadcast, but U2 were up... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2014 at Occasio
As I continue to listen to “Invisible,” I can’t help but reflect on the final lyric of the song from a theological point of view: “There is no them / There’s only us.” This is a sentiment that has repeatedly... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2014 at Occasio
U2's new song, "Invisible," is a delightful, upbeat expression of the band's current disposition, and I believe it functions as an indirect summary of their last three albums. It's the reflection of a late-career band with much to be thankful... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2014 at Occasio
On January 15, Michael Sandel presented a lecture (as part of the Valley Town Hall series) titled "What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets." As a political philosopher, he asks a simple question: "What is the right thing... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2014 at Occasio
A while back, The Christian Leader interviewed me in conjunction with Shane Hipps's visit to Fresno Pacific University. Shane spent a day with us thinking about how we view God. Chief among his examples was the use of glasses as... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2014 at Occasio
Thanks, Linda! I'm glad to say that there is an outpouring of support for these kids. God is using this to raise issues of prejudice, inequality, and justice in many youth groups across the city, as youth pastors debrief this very public episode with their groups. There's a tremendous sensitivity right now.
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2014 on Words hurt, especially urban teens at Occasio
The recent weekend retreat to Hume Lake Christian Camps didn’t end well for a group of urban Fresno teens. Coming home from their “mountain high”—a time of bonding, mentoring and worshiping with 800 other junior high and high school students—an... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2014 at Occasio
Albert Mohler recently published a highly charged blog post about the mess with A&E, Duck Dynasty and Phil Robertson’s interview in GQ. He titled his entry, “You Have Been Warned—The ‘Duck Dynasty’ Controversy,” and in typical Mohler fashion, works to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2013 at Occasio
Like me, you might have seen the now-infamous picture of President Obama taking a selfie at the funeral of Nelson Mandela and thought, “Sheesh, what a cheap and tasteless display from our nation’s top dignitary. How embarrassing.” After all, a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2013 at Occasio
Driving to my office this morning, I reflected on what I’ve been hearing about Nelson Mandela in the last day. That led to a change of topic for this morning’s youth ministry class as I hurriedly scribbled down some notes... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2013 at Occasio