We need prophetic and traditional voices

Over 30 years ago, I left my childhood denomination and joined the Methodist church. When people asked me, “Why did you become a Methodist?, I usually answered with one word: “Grace.” In seminary, when I read about Wesley’s idea of “being made perfect in love”, I wrote “this is idiotic. perhaps blasphemous” in the margins […]

Percolating an upside-down Kingdom

  Eleven year old Emily headed out with her mother to share “Take Your Daughter to Work Day.”  She met judges, assistants, and clerks who worked with her mom and especially enjoyed helping the security guards scan courthouse visitors. She went to some meetings but had to sit out others, so she walked around the […]

Priscilla, put on hat when you preach!

Somewhere during college, I began struggling to fit the pieces together. Growing up as literalist, I found it harder and harder to work the Biblical puzzle. For example, how can Paul say in 1 Timothy 2:11-12, “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent,” when […]

Paul, Mar’s Hill, “Christian” Culture

When we moved to Tennessee, a friend said, “you must go to a UT football game- it’s like a religious experience!”  We tailgated and did the Vol walk, the band leading us in. It was fun. Now I grew up in Kentucky, and Big Blue Nation wears a lot of blue, you just notice the […]

Paul, Jail time, and Super- Apostles?

After a severe beating, what gives Paul the strength to sing and pray while shackled to the floor of a Philippian Jail?  Is Paul a Super-Apostle?  What lifts us up, when  oppression, injustice and evil push us down?   “When Paul and Silas had been severely beaten, the authorities threw them into prison and ordered […]

Jeff Sessions, Lydia, MLK, and the Bible

This week Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, spoke “to our church friends” reminding the nation of Paul’s injunction to “obey the government.”  Sessions did not keep on reading in Romans 13, where he might have heard Paul call us “to pay taxes” or to the deepest moral law  to “love our neighbors as ourselves”. Now, how […]

A prayer for the Way Forward

As a people of the cross and the flame, we face a profound choice. We can stand with the legalists or literalists, or we can follow the Spirit who leads us into all truth. We can cling to the letter that kills, or be renewed by the Spirit who gives life. (2 Corinthians 3) Let […]