A Few Thoughts on Beauty, Mystery, Love and Faith

If you were a young Christian growing up in the evangelical subculture around 1999, you knew who Josh Harris was. He wrote a best selling book about how he “kissed dating goodbye”, calling on his fellow you Jesus-freaks to be different then the world in our romantic relationships. His book influenced many young relationships as […]

#25 – Maps of Meaning by Jordan Peterson (My 100 Favorite Books)

This may be the most controversial entry on my list, as the author has become famous (or infamous) in recent years.  I read this book in 2014 on the recommendation of a friend, found it wordy and challenging, posted a review on Goodreads and that was it.  At the time there were maybe ten total […]

#30 – Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw (My 100 Favorite Books)

If you want to start a fight, talk about religion.  Or politics.  OR BOTH! For much of my adult life, I’ve wrestled with what it looks like to apply my faith to public life.  This especially becomes a question during election season, when some Christians speak as if the entire fate of the world rests […]

#34 – The Civil War as a Theological Crisis by Mark Noll (My 100 Favorite Books)

Following yesterday’s history of the Civil War, I include this shorter book focusing on the religious situation surrounding the war.  There is still debate and discussion about why the Civil War occurred.  Everyone living at the time knew why (slavery!) but afterwards there was a vested interest in the south to change the narrative.  Unfortunately, […]

#83 – The Idolatry of God by Peter Rollins (My 100 Favorite Books)

Is it possible to make God into an idol?  Yes.  Do you view God as some really powerful being who hates who you hate, who favors your nation, who basically echoes your politics?  Then your God is probably an idol.  Of course, we’re all tempted to take what we already think about politics, issues and […]

Crucifixion of the Warrior God (ch. 5)

I love history.  I’ve always enjoyed learning history.  One truth of history, something you’d learn in any introduction to religion class, can be boiled down as follows: *Jesus of Nazareth died a violent death on the cross at the hands of his enemies and never led armies into battle. *Muhammad of Mecca led armies into […]

The True Myth and Challenge of Belief

The Christian faith has a lot in common with other religions.  We find story after story of dying and rising gods in ancient literature.  Isn’t the story of Jesus just another mythical story? Well, yes.  And no. CS Lewis writes in his essay “Myth Became Fact” (found in the book God in the Dock): Now […]

Where the Conflict Really Lies – Alvin Plantinga (Review)

You may have heard that there is a conflict between science and religion.  Promoting such a war has enabled many on both sides, fundamentalist creationists and fundamentalist atheists, to sell a lot of books.  Even for those not on the extreme, there is a feeling and a fear that somehow faith in God is at […]

Are You Mocked Because of Jesus or Because You’re a Jerk?

When I was in college I bought a shirt that said, “Jesus is Not For Everyone, He’s Just for Those who Want to Go to Heaven.” Yes, I actually paid money for a shirt that said that.  I purchased it at Creation Festival, a weekend dedicated to getting thousands of youth fired up about God. […]

Another Day, Another Study Shows Shrinking Affiliation to Christianity

I’ve seen a bunch of news stories on a new Pew Research Center study that shows a decline in the percentage of Americans who identify as Christians as well as growth, especially among those born since 1980, of those who identify as non-religious.  This group includes atheists, agnostics and those who may believe in God […]