Today in Theology

An archive listing of theology highlights from around the world.

6 things people need to hear from churches (but are rarely said)

Patheos Progressive Christian | Frederick Schmidt

The recent Pew study on the growth of “Nones” and the “Spiritual But Not Religious” has roiled the church. But we really shouldn’t be surprised. We’ve known for a long time now that the apparent “churchiness” of the fifties and sixties was an exception, not the rule. Trend or not, the disenchantment can be traced to six things that people need to hear from churches, but are rarely said: Read more:

Why Same Gender Marriages are as Biblical as Heterosexual Marriages

Our Lucha - blog | Miguel De La Torre

Nonsensical quips like “it’s Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve” reveals the simplistic and mistaken application of Scripture to the understanding of marriage. Claiming that the biblical traditional marriage is only between one man and one woman signifies an unsophisticated comprehension of the Bible, its history, and the social context from which the text arose. What we understand to be a traditional marriage, as defined by Western culture, does not have scriptural roots… Read more.

Tobacco, Church, and Nostalgia: A Sermon for Pentecost

Patheos Progressive Christian | Eric Smith

I was back home last week. Iliff sent me to give a lecture, of all places, in Stoneville NC, just twelve miles from my little hometown. It was a retreat for college students who were considering going to seminary; I’ll get back to them in a moment. But this retreat was held in the next county over from mine, and so I drove down all those old familiar roads back home and through all those places I’ve known so well. The roads there are lined with tobacco fields; the roads go right through tobacco fields. Those fields stretch for acres and acres, deep green and waist-high, big broad leaves looking like the healthiest thing in the world. Read more.

The Persistent Racism Of Theological Schools – Part II

Our Lucha - blog | Miguel De La Torre

Your theological school might be racist if . . .
. . . you hear white colleagues tell their white PhD students that they shouldn’t bother trying to apply for a tenure-track position because of the discrimination that exists against white men in the academy. . . the class syllabus has no books written by scholars of color, and if it does, the book was published in the last century. Read more:

Bonus Text: Josh Duggar and the Six Commandments

Patheos Progressive Christian | Eric Smith

There’s an old saying that ministers should preach with the bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. These days the saying might be modified so that the hand that used to hold the newspaper now holds a smart phone with its Facebook feed open. This week, Facebook feeds have been full of news about America’s favorite dysfunctional weird relatives, the Duggar family of reality TV… Read more.

Reflections on the Pew Forum: Adjusting to the “New Normal”

Patheos Progressive Christian | Kyle Roberts

As chance (or fate, or meticulous divine providence) would have it, I led a church staff discussion this morning about the changing shape of Christianity in America, with particular focus on the role of Millennials. … the 2015 Pew Research study came out (today). That main trend is that the American Christian church is, in fact experiencing (near) universal decline in numbers. See more:

Rereading Jonah

Our Lucha - blog | Miguel De La Torre

Jonah is an asparagus – at least according to the popular 2002 Christian film, Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie. Moviegoers were introduced to a Jonah that proclaimed God’s word: specifically, “to play nice, do good, and to wash their hands.” However, when God told Jonah the asparagus to go to the city of Nineveh, a dirty city characterized by vegetables that slap each other across the face with raw fish, Jonah ran in the opposite direction. … the important message of the story of Jonah: “God gives second chances.” Read more.

Native Americans Say Man Enslaved Them. Pope Francis Calls Him A Saint

Think Progress | Jack Jenkins

Pope Francis has been widely lauded as a champion of the oppressed, advocating for the victims of war and passionately declaring that “to discriminate in the name of God is inhuman.” But in September, the pontiff is planning to canonize, or declare a saint, a man who some Native Americans say not only discriminated in God’s name, but also subjugated thousands of Indians along the West Coast using missionary tactics that effectively enslaved his Christian converts. Read more.

I am not a nonviolent man

Our Lucha - blog | Miguel De La Torre

I deeply resonate with the words of César Chávez who said, “I am not a nonviolent man. I am a violent man who is trying to be nonviolent.” As I observe the violence on the streets of Baltimore, and hear the pleas for peace mainly by those in power who are more interested in maintaining the unjust status quo, I am left wondering if the oppressed are approaching the day where trying to be nonviolent is counterproductive. Read more.

A Riot is the Language of the Unheard

Patheos Progressive Christian Channel | James McGrath

CBS News has a recording of the speech by Martin Luther King Jr. from which the quote is taken. Morgan Guyton also shared another thought which seemed to me to be worth quoting and sharing: What is coming into focus for me is the difference between law and order and justice. Law and order describes a world where boundaries remain predictable and inviolable. Windows aren’t broken, traffic isn’t stopped, business as usual hums along… Read more: