The Un-Romance of “Radical”

I work with college students in Birmingham, AL.  Many of them sit under David Platt’s teaching, and have read his book, Radical. I have also read it.  I am so appreciative of David’s ministry in our city, so impressed by what God is up to at the church he leads down the road from my…

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Some wise words re: “pornography culture”

My good friend Brian Maiers sent me the link to “The Pornography Culture” over at a blog dedicated to the theology of David B. Hart.  The essay is almost four years old, written on the occasion of another legal blow against the Child Online Protection Act (COPA).  It appeared at The New Atlantis in 2004…

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Forestry + Theology

Before creation ethics was a top publishing topic, before ecological theology was hip, I was a forestry major at the University of Georgia.  And I wrote a senior thesis on God and Creation Care. (It was not very good.) I remember that at my paper presentation I was mildly attacked by one of the professors…

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SAET: The Society for the Advancement of Ecclesial Theology

I was graciously invited to participate as a guest in an ongoing conversation that, in my view, is of pressing urgency.  This conversation centers on the topic of “ecclesial theology” and on the vocational identity of the “pastor-theologian.”  Dialogue of this sort is underway in a number of circles these days, but hosting the particular…

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Article on “Hopeful Realism” at RELEVANTMagazine.com

I am so grateful for the folks at Relevant for posting another article.  This one is on  the idea of “Hopeful Realism,” the namesake of this blog and the main objective outlined in my book, Faith Without Illusions: Following Jesus as a Cynic-Saint. The challenge on writing on the topic of cynicism is that I…

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The tension in the hyphen of “Pastor-Theologian”: An Interview with Jason Byassee

Dr. Jason Byassee is the pastor of Boone United Methodist Church in North Carolina.  Joel and I do not know Jason personally, but we have found his writings very impressive.  We were intrigued to hear of his plans to enter the pastorate considering his staggering credentials as an academic scholar and a scholarly writer.  At…

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