Religious Trauma is a real thing. I know it. I feel it. I see it in others. And there is official recognition these days! A few years ago, I interviewed Teresa Mateus. Our Skype connection did not work so I had my computer record the squeaky voice that came through the speaker of my iPhone 4s. It worked. As I spoke to her, Teresa seemed to discuss people who have undergone serious abuse in the church. I did realize that such abuse happens in many different forms and intensities. I suppose in the back of my mind I even realized that I was affected too but I was mainly thinking about people other than myself.
In my previous post, I discussed my experience in evangelicalism and focused on four things that were instrumental in pushing me out. These four were: the hunger for power, the lack of freedom to ask questions, the inability to deal with suffering an lament, and the know-it-all attitude that places evangelical thought on a pedestal. These four things describe the environment as it was and why I started to feel more and more uneasy. They eventually became objections too.
Billy Graham’s death marks the transition from an inclusive evangelicalism that contributed to the public sphere to one, represented by his son Franklin, that stands for bigotry and power games. A group portrait says it all.Read More
How Bonhoeffer can be an ally for Trump-voting evangelicals:
x Learning true courage
x Learning to understand the times; DB did not struggle against loss of political influence
x Learning to put one’s life danger willingly for the good
x Transformed hearts leads to serving the other in humility
x Christ as the center means following Christ: not culture war, but change/subversion from below
x Eschewing the attempt to establish God’s kingdom on earth
x Not waiting for the apocalypse but affirming embodied reality and the otherness of the other
x objectification of God
Recently someone asked me about the difference between a theology of the cross and a theology of glory. Let me briefly explain. The theology of the cross has its roots in St. Paul who in his 1st Epistle to the Corinthians spoke about the cross of Christ as foolishness to the philosophers and an affront to religion. Read More
The following is my blogpost for the Bethel Seminary admissions Blog on June 25th 2014
“The Cost of Discipleship” is the wrongly translated title of Bonhoeffer’s “Nachfolge.” It should simply be “Discipleship,” although the translator was quite right in pointing out the cost involved in discipleship as Bonhoeffer saw it. What is, so I want to ponder in this piece, the cost of discipleship for us evangelicals today? As we will see it is one thing to have the mind of Christ but quite another to know what that mind is. This may seem a contradiction, but by the end of this article I hope it will be a self-evident paradox. Read More
A week ago I attended the Wheaton Theology Conference. This year’s topic was the Holy Spirit. It was my third Wheaton conference and I always enjoy the food, the fun, and the friendships, oh, and also the lectures. Read More
This is my blogpost for the Bethel Seminary Admissions Blog of March 18th 2014.
Hebrews 12:1-2. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
What does it mean to follow Jesus Christ today? I want to address three aspects that are pertinent to the concept of discipleship in our times: the need to address injustice in the world as indispensable to discipleship, the relevance for discipleship of our access to the historical Jesus, and the necessity of deconstruction of self as the beginning and continuation of true discipleship. We can call them the horizontal, ecumenical, and self-reflective dimensions of discipleship. Read More
The recent events at Bethel Seminary are disconcerting at the least. The closing of Seminary Village was but the beginning of a long and seemingly endless series of baffling measures aimed at the survival of our beloved institution. Instead of resorting to partisan politics and ad hominem attacks either as a quest for revenge or a desire to blame someone, I want to briefly give my take on what is happening and provide some suggestions in relation to the direction I think evangelical theological education should be heading. Read More