Cotton Patch Gospel for Today

(31 minutes) I was invited to deliver the sermon at Downey Avenue Christian Church on July 30, 2023. It is based on the vision and ministry of Clarence Jordan, who in 1942 led in establishing Koinonia Farm, christened with a Greek word meaning “a community that is united by common… Continue reading

When Humans Are Better Than God

Often, in an attempt to correct bad theology, I will ask Christians if they know people who are better than the God contained in their belief system. Most often they reply defensively, “Of course not! No one is better than God.” My response is, “I didn’t ask you if humans are better than God. I asked if you have known people who are better than the God you believe in.” They look puzzled by this question and ask for clarification. I then point out the inconsistency I see in their theological affirmations regarding God. Continue reading

The Fear of the Lord

Psychologists have long known that we cannot truly love what we fear. As I John says, “Perfect love casts out fear.” Love involves trust. Fear is based on mistrust, suspicion, and foreboding. Love and trust are integral parts of a healthy, growing, and honest relationship. Fear and mistrust are indicative of an unhealthy, unreliable, and toxic relationship. Fear and mistrust are characteristics found in all sick religion. Continue reading

Original Sin: Part Three

(9 minutes) In the first two articles in this series, we looked at the doctrine of original sin and how Western Christianity and Eastern Christianity differed in their understanding of this concept. We saw that Western Christianity taught that we inherit both the guilt and the consequences of the sin… Continue reading

Original Sin: Part Two

(7 minutes) According to Eastern Orthodox Christianity, we inherit the consequences of our ancestors’ sin but not the guilt associated with that sin. Some Eastern Orthodox theologians prefer the term “ancestral sin” to “Original Sin.” Each person and generation are responsible for their own guilt; however the consequences of their… Continue reading

Original Sin? Part One

(11 minutes) Many modern/postmodern people are reluctant to talk about sin. Part of the reason is because of the sick theology from much of the church regarding that subject. Emphases on original sin, trivial sins, threats of hell, exclusive claims regarding salvation, and a judgmental, punishing God are a turnoff… Continue reading

The Elephant in the Room

This sermon was written for the thousands of churches in our culture who are anxious about the future of their dwindling congregations. The sermon assumes that we are in a time of transition regarding the nature of both the church and Christianity. My hope is that what I share may be helpful as congregations contemplate their identity, mission, and future in our changing society. Continue reading

Whose Stuff Will They Be? Luke 12:13-21

This rich man’s story has been repeated all through recorded history. Whether one is a king or a pauper, a genius or a simpleton, a Republican or a Democrat, a believer or an atheist, everyone leaves this earth with none of the possessions they cherished and valued during their lives. Death is the great equalizer. Continue reading