To Affirm the Death Penalty Is to Reject the Christian Gospel

We need a broader moral reckoning on capital punishment—in the Bible belt, in particular. In a recent forum, we zeroed in on the challenge of problematic theology, which in Shane’s words has turned the Bible Belt into a “Death Belt,” giving moral cover to a lethal human rights violation. Southern states where Christianity predominates are the ones holding fast to the death penalty and using it most often. Last month four executions were scheduled—two in Texas and one each in Tennessee in South Carolina—during a season where Christians everywhere celebrated resurrection. 

Holy Russia and the Consequences of Christian Nationalism

As we watch the current tragedy unfold in Ukraine, our hearts and prayers must be with the suffering, and we must pray fervently that the Holy Spirit will change the heart of Patriarch Kirill and the leaders of the Russian church, but at this flashpoint of outrage that has so uniquely unified the people of America, we must let the horror we feel in our hearts as we gaze upon the violent fruit of the oxymorons of Christian Nationalism and Holy War cause us to remember how close America has come to handing the reins of our religious conscious to authoritarian power, and how seriously that threat still looms on our horizon.

During My First Year in Seminary

Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. That takes a lot of work – and the work is letting go in order to see what is. Letting go of the expectation that the world be free of darkness. Letting go of our indignation that the darkness exists. The darkness is there; we have to live in it, deal with it, and see the light in the midst of darkness.

Stations of the Cross

May these paintings open our hearts up to the profound depth of God's love, and may they stir in us a passion for extending that love and grace to others. It is our hope that contemplating the execution of Jesus does something to us, in us. We pray that as we reflect on the love of God, it transforms us into people who are merciful and who are committed to ending the death penalty.