Fading America: Disappearing Dream – Emerging as Developing Nation

When did you first realize that the so-called American Dream has died?  Or, put in nicer terms, when did you realize that the American Dream as understood in a popular sense is realistically attainable for a shrinking portion of those living within the borders of the United States? Perspective A few hours before writing this post I had a lengthy conversation with an older Baby Boomer.  This person is greatly concerned that the current President is providing many people with false hope Read More …

Humble Leadership

Humility is hard to talk about, and harder still to embody. Most people don't quit a job; most people quit their boss. Humble leaders are needed as much and perhaps more now than ever. Humility & Effectiveness In a recent Harvard Business Review article Margarita Mayo, Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at IE Business School in Madrid, noted that humble leaders are more effective leaders.  She writes Humble leaders improve the performance of a company in the Read More …

Being American, Being Christian?

  Does Believing in God Make You a Better American? This question is the title of a recent article by Kelsey Dallas that addresses how many Americans feel about what the role of Christianity should be in shaping the American experience. While most readers can and will quickly answer the question, it is important to also be aware of how other Americans have answered it in recent years. 4 out of 10 think a culture grounded in Christianity is an extremely or very important piece Read More …

I Want to Be with People Who . . .

I recently completed a 70 week long search for a community of faith.  During that journey I received more advice from others than anticipated, and spent time in more congregations than I had initially planned.  Throughout these experiences I was reminded of just how different communities of faith can be - even and sometimes especially those geographically near one another and/or  those sharing a denominational affiliation. I was also reminded of the importance of diversity within a Read More …

My 2017 Religious Resolutions . . . So Far

Four months ago today I shared my resolutions for the new (church) year: During this church year I resolve to Join (and be actively involved in) a local community of faith Labor to make real on earth God’s realm of justice and peace Write about matters of faith that matter (primarily here on this blog) Teach (and continue learning) about Christianity and the world’s many great religions Discern an answer (or many answers!) to the question “What next?” Progress Report Since Read More …

Christianity is Always Political

If your preferred version of Christianity isn't political, then you have likely misunderstood the religion. Willimon on Politics and Christianity Popular author and long-time United Methodist Bishop William H. Willimon delivered the T. B. Maston Lectures in Christian Ethics last year at Hardin-Simmons University.  One address - "Say Something Polictical: A Christian Vision of Engaging the World" - appeared in print in the Winter 2016-2017 edition of the Window (a publication of the Logsdon Read More …

Be a Justice Maker

A week ago I issued a Lenten call to action inviting my readers (and, of course, myself!) to rethink their Lenten disciplines. More specifically I challenged us to take action to make God's world a better place for all people. Since this is a bit of a stretch for many, I realize that additional rationale may be warranted. And, I understand that many people need multiple invitations before stepping out of their comfort zone to do something new. Central to the Gospel Since 2005, Raphael Read More …

Review: Days of Awe and Wonder

Marcus Borg (1942-2015) was one of the wisest sages and clearest voices in progressive Christianity. His work has greatly influenced my understanding of the Way of Jesus. Since I have been publishing an annual list of the top ten books published each year, only a handful of authors have appeared on the list more than once. Marcus Borg is the only author to appear four times 2010 – Putting Away Childish Things, 2011 – Speaking Christian, 2012 – Evolution of the Word, and 2014 – Read More …

A Lenten Call to Action

Lent is here. For many this is a season of increased emphasis on the religious life. Giving Up For most of my life, I participated in Mainline Protestant faith communities that asked participants to give something up for Lent. The list didn't change from year to year. It included food (chocolate and/or all sweets seemed to be a top choice), and drink (usually a word substitute for alcohol although soda was a viable option for children). In more recent years, the items on the list Read More …

The Immigrants Creed

I have heard about immigrants more often this year than any year since I worked in the field of refugee resettlement in the 1990s. As a student of history, I know that the country I have called home for my entire life - America - is a land of immigrants.  Without immigration, I would not reside here today. As a person of faith, I am committed to welcoming, valuing, and loving all people.  As a Christian love of neighbor is a fundamental faith practice. The United Church of Christ explains Read More …