Showing posts from December, 2016

Weekly Awful - The Worst of 2016

Some of the worst stories you could ever imagine are found in the Bible. From gang-raped, dismembered concubines to children eaten by their parents, the Word of God is certainly colorful in its teachings. Then again, that's the point. The greatest lessons come from the greatest mistakes. We would do well to observe our world with an equally critical eye. This year had no lack of awful stories, the worst of which made a mockery of death. Below are the Weekly Awful's Worst of 2016 winners. Let wisdom increase as we study the terrible things said by stupid people. #3 The Twin Tower Mattress Sale Taking the bronze is a Texas company called Miracle Mattress . They produced a commercial announcing their "Twin Tower sale" before toppling two towers of mattresses and ending with a tepid "We'll never forget". Imagine a People's Gas commercial--set in Auschwitz. Or an ad for atomic clocks in Hiroshima. Clever associations are designed to invite laught

Year in Review 2016

This was a fun year. I renounced evangelicalism, argued that Christians should swear more, and questioned whether salvation was really exclusive. I think I became a pacifist, too. I made it my mission to push the envelope this year, and almost every post did so--from dismissing inerrancy to rejecting substitutionary atonement. It was cathartic to purge those fallacies and focus on the practical reality of following Jesus. In many ways, it was the climax of my writing. Which makes next year, appropriately, a question mark. Most Read Posts Donald Trump May Actually Be a Christian Why I Left Evangelicalism It's Time to Discipline Modern Worship Artists Don't Celebrate Independence Day Calvinism and Arminianism Will Stunt Your Spiritual Growth Least Read Posts I Don't Have a Duty to Vote Never Tell Someone They're Wrong Stop Waiting for the Government Yes, Jesus is Allowed to Add to the Bible Guest Posts Why He Didn't Leave Evangelicalism We

How I Stopped Hating Christmas

It's been a very long time since I've been able to enjoy Christmas. It's supposed to be a magical time full of lights, anticipation, and most importantly, eggnog. And I couldn't agree more. I loved Christmas as a kid, and I still love all of the traditions that come with it. I just haven't been able to take any joy in them. The joy of Christmas died for me sixteen years ago. I had been warned about the year 2000 and it did not disappoint. Christmas Day was the highlight of my life at that point as I had just received my first bass guitar. But the very next day, I experienced what I can easily say is still the worst day of my life. My parents walked me into their bedroom saying that we needed to talk. They sat me down on their bed, and I glazed over as they explained to me that the marriage counseling hadn't worked and they were separating. The years of unrecognized childhood anxiety imploded and I began to sink deeper and deeper into I knew not what. The w

Don't Make Pastors Work on Christmas

They can't lead the family of God if they're never around their own. It happens four times every twenty-eight years. It happened five years ago, it will happen again in six years, and it's happening in less than two weeks. Christmas will fall on a Sunday. Most people would probably say that Wednesday is the worst day of the week for Christmas because it's hard to turn it into a long weekend. But for pastors, leaders, and other volunteers, any day is better than Sunday. Because if they're lucky, they'll only have to spend half the day away from their families. The unlucky ones will be treated to the wrong kind of long weekend. Of course, pastors love their churches as do the tiny percentage of congregants who regularly volunteer. They sacrifice their time every single week because they recognize the importance of the church's spiritual welfare and because they genuinely care about people. But that doesn't mean they want to work on Christmas. Li

4 Theologically Incorrect Christmas Carols

You haven't lived until you've gotten into an argument about whether Christians can sing "secular" Christmas carols. Believe it or not, there are those who imagine that Santa, Rudolph, and Frosty are demons seeking to appropriate our piety. It's almost as nonsensical as the silly songs themselves and twice as harmless. What the church should be concerned about are the heretical, sacred carols that we unwittingly allow into our hearts and minds. The songs we sing in worship actually matter as they reinforce our confession with rhythm and rhyme. And unlike fictional flying reindeer, we grant them power to influence our faith and practice. That being said, Christmas carols only have as much power as we allow them, so we don't necessarily need to purge the bad ones from our holiday traditions and activities. But if we don't want carols to incorrectly inform our theology, we need to inform ourselves about incorrect theology. Away in a Manger Heres