These are the resources that I'm brewing for real Christians like you. Look for digital downloads and products in the days ahead. And for now, feel free to browse the youth ministry, podcast, and preaching content below:
On the most important psalm, proper agency, life on the other side of the resurrection, the best hangover, death breath, The Sorting Hat, and subversive obedience.
Is there such thing as a bad Good Friday service? Why is Fleming Rutledge so good at messing with our minds? Can we pole-vault over the cross?
The world is full of good-hearted heathens, those who love people and those who want to do good in the world. They're not against God--they just have little use for church. Church is boring and hypocritical. Plus, who wants to sit through a sermon every week? But while organized religion doesn't appeal to them, these heathens long for a connection to something bigger than themselves: meaning, community, mission.
If you asked me 3 years ago if Crackers & Grape Juice would allow me to interview people like Rob Bell, NT Wright, Fleming Rutledge, and Diana Butler Bass, I would have said you were out of your mind.
Now that the sting of the UMC Special General Conference is not as fresh, what is next? How can those who are dissatisfied with the work done by the delegates in St Louis organize and be better prepared for GC2020?
In an effort to provide honest conversations from the 2019 Special General Conference, the Crackers & Grape Juice team invited supporters of all of the plans being considered by the United Methodist Church’s governing body to explain why the plan they support is the correct plan.
In advance of the Special Sex Conference in St. Louis, Jason and I talked with journalist, blogger, and former UMC pastor Christy Thomas. Christy breaks down the various proposals before the UMC regarding sexuality, why the Traditionalist Plan is the Mean Girl Plan, and why there’s no future for me in the UMC.
What does faithful living look like in the shadow of Christmas? Is there a difference between praise and gratitude? Are we allowed to wear hats to the dinner table?
Christian Piatt returns to the podcast to talk about the latest installment in his Surviving the Bible series.
The intersection of faith and doubt is viewed either as a badge of honor for some Christians but for others, doubt has no place.
The shadow of the cross blinds us to the peace of heaven spilling over into creation. Domination through ruthlessness - Pax Roma - is no match for the justice and mercy - Pax Christi - of the Kingdom of God.
The Lord is telling Israel, “yes I did a new thing in bringing you out of slavery. And yes, you are being provided for in a barren land where not even the wild beasts can survive. I know it is hard for you to see it because you have become hardened by life but if you could just look at the world with possibility and joy you will see the best is yet to come.”
Christ’s resurrection, overcoming the power and defeat of death, is what has made us able to live in the newness of what G-d is creating. Resurrection was and is divine transformation and renewed our relationship, humanity’s relationship, with our Creator.
Paul wrote to a church in Philippi contending with issues of arrogance and disunity. Arrogance and disunity act as prohibitors to imitating Christ’s love as a community. Arrogance and disunity were distractions, and Paul extended grace to the Philippians by reminding them of what the love of G-d in Christ had accomplished.
During the season of Lent, we are wandering our way to the cross and empty tomb. It is a season where we wonder what will happen next. Will disagreements keep us divided? Will we continue to legislate Law in a way contrary to Paul’s declaration that Everyone who calls on the name of” Jesus will be saved?
We have missed the mark, and so on Ash Wednesday, the marks on our foreheads are a reminder to us to ask for forgiveness and try again. The Good News tonight is that on the cross and in the victorious empty grave we will find on Easter morning we are made righteous before G-d.
It is Transfiguration Sunday, the day we recall the fullness of Jesus’ identity being revealed and confirmed, connecting Jesus with the liberators and prophets of Israel’s past. While little of what happened in a once indoor NFL stadium resembled a group of people following Jesus, today, a few days removed from General Conference, Jesus is still the transfigured Messiah, guiding his disciples down the mountain, heading towards the cross.
Jesus sought these three men out. Before he was teaching on the banks of the Sea of Galilee they were a group of business partners who had a bad night at work. Before Jesus stepped into Simon’s boat, Simon was just a guy trying to clean his fishing gear and go home. But that’s the way discipleship works. Before you or I decided to be a follower of Jesus, Jesus revealed the awesome abundance of G-d.
Like the magi, we approach the manger not knowing all of the answers. We approach the manger not having all of the junk in our lives we continue to carry with us not quite figured out. We approach the light of the manger still struggling to over come the curse of sin that we fall back into no matter how many times we think we have overcome it.
The reality of what happened in Emmanuel laying in the manger is found in those who had forgotten or ignored the promise made by G-d. The good news changes the reality for all people, and invites all of creation to enter into the grace of G-d regardless of what the powerful say. Regardless of what the darkness of sin says.
Andy Root thinks the church's obsession with growing young might be misguided. Joined by Rev. Drew Colby, Jason and I interviewed Dr. Andy Root of Luther Seminary and author of Faith Formation in a Secular Age: Responding to the Church's Obsession with Youthfulness on the latest episode of Crackers and Grape Juice.