A New Christmas Song (towards being honest)

December 24, 2013 // 0 Comments

This song is: 1) An attempt to respectfully add to our repoitoire of Christmas songs, while trying to be as truly historical as the other songs before it. 2) Making an attempt to reflect not only what Christmas is really about in our belief system, but also what we truly want from our All-Father. Link to youtube video: here Optimistic ChadMore Posts

Musical Jesus: Jesus is the Answer by Michael W. Smith

September 27, 2013 // 0 Comments

So to kick off this post series, I thought I’d start with a campy, crowd favorite! Many (both christian & non-christian) alike mock this song for how unapologetically cheesy it comes across. The charismatic melismas and ad-libs, the piano, the quintessential choir, and the leading “trustworthy-white-male-voice” all combine to make this song sound almost like a joke or a mockery of Christian musical worship. Given all this, however – there’s something strangely comforting about this song, I like it! Maybe I have a penchant for liking corny things? But, I’m not sure I could even say that… after over 3 years of being exposed to some of the corniest white Christian rock songs in the world through campus ministries, I do have an aversion to […]

Bad Theology Found On tumblr: RE: C.S. Lewis & Angelicanism

June 7, 2013 // 0 Comments

Okay so today, I found this goodie on tumblr: Liam Neeson and Aslan. Now, I am not gonna say that Aslan isn’t an allegory for Christ. But I have many problems with that Liam’s statement AND the author’s “CONCERNS.” First of all, Aslan can be Buddha? Okay, really? Really? I guess Liam hasn’t read the Narnia series or doesn’t remember the politics in them. Look Aslan is a type of Jesus, and he’s also a right wing authoritarian figure. Prince Caspian is basically a story about how democracy is bad, Aslan is “good but dangerous” hint hint hint. If you read any C.S. Lewis, especially his Space Trilogy, the guy leans heavily pro-war and conservative. Does the Buddha represent any of these values? Um no, […]

The Bible, Homosexuality, and Christianity: Binding, Loosing, and a Conclusion

January 29, 2013 // 10 Comments

This is the ninth and final post in a series. I highly encourage that you read those previous posts before reading this one. The preface is here. The guidelines are here. A discussion of relevant Hebrew Bible texts is here. A study of Romans 1:26-27 is here. A Study of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10 can be found here. A discussion about marriage in the Bible is here. A few notes about gender in the Bible can be found here. A discussion about biblical interpretation and use is here. In this last post discussing issues around homosexual practice in the scripture, I want to look at the early church. Specifically, how did the early church, using Jesus’ example and teachings, address the issues that threatened to divide it, perhaps similar […]

The Bible, Homosexuality, and Christianity: How We Read and Interpret Scripture

January 28, 2013 // 6 Comments

This is the Eighth post in a series. I highly encourage that you read those previous posts before reading this one. The preface is here. The guidelines are here. A discussion of relevant Hebrew Bible texts is here. A study of Romans 1:26-27 is here. A Study of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10 can be found here. A discussion about marriage in the Bible is here. A few notes about gender in the Bible can be found here. The issues in this post are more important and far reaching than the last 7 combined. And the discussion has much farther reaching implications as well. Boiled down, what we discuss today is the big reason why discussions (or lack thereof) around homosexual practice tend to be so divisive in many churches. […]

The Bible, Homosexuality, and Christianity: A Few Notes on Gender in the Scriptures

January 24, 2013 // 7 Comments

This is the seventh post in a series. I highly encourage that you read those previous posts before reading this one. The preface is here. The guidelines are here. A discussion of relevant Hebrew Bible texts is here. A study of Romans 1:26-27 is here. A Study of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10 can be found here. A discussion about marriage in the Bible is here. These are just a few thoughts that occurred to me in the midst of our discussion. None of this should be taken as “gospel,” – pun intended – but rather just my personal reflections on gender and the Bible. In the current climate of discussion around homosexual practice, it has been argued that homosexuality may be wrong […]

The Bible, Homosexuality, and Christianity: Marriage in the Scripture

January 21, 2013 // 9 Comments

This is the sixth post in a series. I highly encourage that you read those previous posts before reading this one. The preface is here. The guidelines are here. A discussion of relevant Hebrew Bible texts is here. A study of Romans 1:26-27 is here. A Study of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10 can be found here. Having studied the relevant passages that have traditionally been the directly relevant ones in regards to homosexual practice, we now must do more difficult work. It has been relatively straightforward to show that the Scriptures do not unequivocally condemn homosexuality or homosexual practice. It is something else to suggest that Christians should embrace homosexuality, homosexual practice, or homosexuals themselves, because, as many argue, that this may […]

The Bible, Homosexuality, and Christianity: Some Guidelines

January 11, 2013 // 13 Comments

This is the second post in a series. The preface is here. I am attempting to be as systematic as possible about this discussion, and so I want to cover all bases I can. So after this post, I will get directly into the heart of the dissussion. First, I thought a few ground rules might be appropriate for myself. They are as follows: 1) With prayer: I have prayed about this. I am not entering into such a divisive discussion lightly, but with a desire for God to speak, and for us to be attentive, rather than dismissive. 2) It is tempting to frame this discussion in terms of “the homosexual issue.” However, I don’t feel comfortable with this framework, as it tends to […]

The Bible, Homosexuality, and Christianity: Preface

January 10, 2013 // 3 Comments

Regardless of how any government or organization legislates homosexuality, the church has a responsibility to stand apart from them and both judge their faults and set a course for peace, love, faith, and justice, quite regardless of whatever the rest of the world may or may not be doing. To that end, I have put off doing an exhaustive study of homosexuality and my faith for far too long. And I imagine that the word “exhaustive” in the last sentence to mean something like, “as exhaustive as I can get without exhausting my desire to live.” I am sure there will always more to say. Still, I haven’t laid down all of my cards on this issue. I am working through it, trusting that the commitments I […]

Holiday Harassment: Christmas pt. 2: Christian Origins

December 10, 2012 // 2 Comments

This is the first is a 3 part series. Part 1: Pagan origins of Christmas, Part 2: Christian origins of Christmas, and Part 3: Santa Claus and his Ilk. In part 1, I discussed the pagan origins of Christmas. However, that is not the whole story. Christmas, in its current form, did not simply spring up or evolve from just one source, Christian, pagan or otherwise. Therefore, in the interest of fairness, here are the Christian origins of Christmas. December 25 In the last post, I mentioned how Dies Natalis Solis Invicti was the reason that Christmas is celebrated on December 25. Well, that isn’t the whole story. While it is true that the celebration of the Sun (or Sun God) was celebrated on this day, […]

What if Evolution really is the problem? initial thoughts

August 23, 2011 // 0 Comments

“In the beginning, God filled the heavens and the land. The land was an empty wilderness, and darkness covered the abyss. The breath of God brooded over the waters.” It was into a chaos that God spoke and ordered creation. And of course, there was a “fall” of sorts. But the idea that the wasteland preceded the order, but not creation is fascinating to me. It appears that the writers wanted us to see, more than creation ex-nihilo, but that God works order from disorder. Contrasted to the contemporary Babylonian creation myths, it seems that God wants us to take it a step further. At the best, God creates order from disorder, without using violence. Now, on its face, I think nature is a good […]


April 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

Many times in the old Testament, we find the writers using language concerning the clouds. In fact, the Old Testament has numerous mentions of God, coming, going, being, moving in the clouds. If you recall, at one point, God’s Spirit dwelt among the Israelites as a cloud which told them where to go. It should come as no surprise that when the Old Testament talked of God coming in the clouds, he came in glory, guidance, and judgment. Here is a very very brief sampling: Exodus 14 – God is leading Israel to the promised land by a cloud, and  also God looks down from the cloud and threw the Egyptians into confusion. Deuteronomy 33:26 talks about God riding in the Heavens and having clouds […]

F**K You

February 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

Ok, so this is not the post I had in mind when I considered my return post to Political Jesus (although I never really went anywhere but busyland). Nevertheless, there is a really popular song on the airwaves called “F**k You.” Normally, probably due to my very conservative background, I would have labeled this song as “bad” (at least in my head) and would probably have judged (at least in my head) those who liked it. However, the way I came across this song, first in its sanitized version – “forget you” and then on NPR, allowed me to experience the song for myself before I made any judgments about it. I watched a video of a young, chubby kid ( I relate) being dissed […]

What Now Shall I Read: the HCSB and the KJV

January 4, 2011 // 0 Comments

Image via Wikipedia I could not find anyone who wanted to persuade me about these translations, and yet they are bestsellers and so deserve at least passing treatment. A very special thank you to my friend and colleague, me. I am joining myself in this project, “What now Shall I Read?” Previous entries are here: Intro , NIV, NRSV, NAB, NLT, ESV, and the NASB. And now, for the penultimate post on WNSIR, a very warm Political Jesus welcome to me as I tell me why I should read the HCSB and the KJV (based on what I was able to find). First, the HCSB – Chad, it is clear that you are as theologically dedicated as you are smart. Perhaps you are more dedicated […]

Alas, 2010, I barely knew ye…

January 1, 2011 // 0 Comments

Not true of course. I was there for every day of 2010’s life. Here were my highlights: 1) Most pertinent to current readers of course was my joining Political Jesus as a co-conspiritor. While I had been blogging before, blogging here has been a great thing for me creatively and spiritually. I also won’t forget to mention that Rod has become a great friend, and we now hang out socially much more than we did prior to our PJ connection. Cheers! 2)  The church plant that I started with some great friends had its end in 2010. Eikon, R.I.P. But out of the ashes, I have been renewed in my ministerial activities in my personal life and within the PC(USA). 3) I have taken on […]

Critique My Christmas Narrative

December 17, 2010 // 0 Comments

Image via Wikipedia I have the joy of putting together the Christmas Eve service this year at church. I didn’t want to simply read the same scriptures that we do every year, but i did want to keep the basic narrative intact. So I took great liberties in phrasing and order and arranged the birth stories from Luke and Matthew into a cohesive narrative. It isn’t radical, but I wouldn’t mind critique. I kept references to “angels”, although I would rather have inserted “heralds” instead. Also, I have knowingly sanitized some of the narrative because of the young kids. I plan on giving the meditation on John 1, trying to tie together God speaking in the beginning when things were dark and chaotic, to when […]

What Now Shall I Read? A Case for the NASB

December 16, 2010 // 0 Comments

A very special thank you to my friend and colleague Dustin from DustinMartyr for joining us in this project, “What now Shall I Read?” Previous entries are here: Intro, NIV, NRSV, NAB, NLT, and ESV. And now, let’s give Dustin a very warm Political Jesus welcome as he tells me why he uses the NASB version. Why I read the NASB and I think you should too:It is a literal translation, attempting to take each word or phrase and give it the most literal word for word counterpart available. 1. The NASB footnotes and side-margin references have been praised by many for being extremely helpful. 2. It is a readily available translation, offered at all Christian book stores and pretty much every Borders and Barnes and Noble bookstores I have visited. 3. It is quite […]

Dear Santa

December 13, 2010 // 0 Comments

Dear Saint Nicholas, If you are real, we hope you read the Political Jesus blog.  It’s a shame that your good name has been used in the name of mindless consumerism.  And to make things worse, now there are people who preach a prosperity gospel where God is seen as a genie. Anyways, Optimistic Chad (the better half of this blog) and myself were wondering if you could maybe help us out.  If you could find it in your Norwegian heart to send Chad and I a forest green Green Lantern hoodie, we would be most grateful. PS: Specifically, Rod would like a green GL hoodie without the zipper. Chad would like one with a zipper. Also, Rod’s friend Seth would like a GL hoodie […]

Why Political Jesus? part Two: Jesus

November 23, 2010 // 0 Comments

In part 1, of  Why Political Jesus? I discussed the first half of the title, or what I mean by political. In the second and final part of this series, I hope to discuss what do we mean by Jesus. By Jesus, as far as I understand this blog, I mean that we are talking about God’s Word made in Jewish Flesh who came to teach us how to live, even in his death, and rise again to make clear what the new heaven and new earth would look like in his resurrected body.  Jesus’s Jewishness I think is important, but not because I want to put him in a box (whether he was part of this or that Second Temple movement is not at […]

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