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A Man Named King

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Lightning crawled across the sky. The thunder roared. Rain warned of impending flood. Through the cleansing drama of it all, Jackson remained as dirty as ever. Filled with the secrets of past transgressions, you never know what filthy hate might resurrect next. Even in the midst of the blight, one can find beauty if they […]

My Confession: I’m an Evangelical

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  “I believe Jesus rose from the dead and inhabits my being right now.” When asked about my thoughts on Jesus, I answered as clearly as I could. The room grew quiet. “Are you an evangelical?” someone asked. After some thought, I replied just as clearly as I did the first time, “I guess I […]

The Courage to Be Queer: A Theological Exploration

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*I delivered this keynote address at the LGBTQ Religious Experience Summit at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas on March 21, 2015.   May this be a wild experience for us all…perhaps even a queer experience if we are lucky. Let’s begin by talking about theology. What is theology? Most people think that theology is […]

When Inclusion is Exclusion : Radical Ecclesiology

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  The church is the church is the church. Right? Ecclesiology is the study of what the church is. At our present hour, one cannot study the church without hearing the word ‘inclusion.’ In books, sermons and articles people consistently write and speak about a need for greater inclusion. For many Christians, being inclusive has […]

The Call: A Reflection.

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I was in the library at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary when I got the call. Though I had known he was sick, death was in his voice and he needed me. Time after time, my Southern Baptist mentor called and chatted with me about all sorts of subjects. I had heard the call before, […]

The Lynching of Sureshbhai Patel

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  The video is horrific. Madison, Alabama police officer Eric Parker slammed Sureshbhai Patel into the ground hard enough to paralyze him. There was a time when lynchings were carried out by mobs. Now, we have created a much more formal process of carrying out violence against oppressed and marginalized people.  Badges and uniforms are […]

Jesus is Dead and So Are We: Eric Garner is Our Only Hope for Resurrection

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On July 17, 2014, Jesus was standing on a corner. Officers confronted Jesus. After a brief conversation, Jesus was placed into a chokehold and slammed to the ground. The last words of Jesus were, “I can’t breathe.” I don’t believe that Eric Garner lived his life as Jesus. I don’t believe any of us do. […]

When Southern Baptists Get Saved

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  Salvation was always such an important part of my upbringing.  We were constantly begged, pushed, prodded and manipulated to go down the aisle.  If I got saved once, I got saved a hundred times.  When the preacher started talking about hell and the rhetorical fires started tickling my toes, I especially felt the tug […]

God is Our Passive Enemy: Reacting Fairly and Honestly to a Day Like Today

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    Christians have a bad tendency to rush to offer excuses for God in the wake of tragedy.  In the last 24 hours, John Middleton was executed in Missouri with a lingering legitimate claim of innocence, four cousins were killed while playing soccer on a beach outside of Gaza City, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 […]

The United States Flag at the Front of the Church is Blasphemous

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  A United States soldier processed the flag of the United States of America in to our sanctuary as we stood at attention singing “God Bless America.”  The veterans in our midst were honored as we sang the “Star Spangled Banner.”  The “Battle Hymn of the Republic” proceeded the pastor’s fiery sermon on the coming […]

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