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:
Former alumni of Bob Jones University and current members of the West-Ohio Conference, Rev. Jeff Mullinix and Steve Shamblin-Mullinix share their thoughts on the Special UMC General Conference, recalling their calling into ministry and forced removal because of their sexual identity.
Can the Church be inclusive towards LGBTQIA people without being a progressive Church? Does “All means all” mean so long as you all agree with us?
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?
The DIY faith Paul is writing to correct calls us away from quick-fix solutions, and towards grace and mercy, telling us the work of Christ was and continues to be insufficient. Paul was calling the ancient church away from revolutionized human teachings - three-quick and easy steps and back to a life of extravagance.
Foolishness, according to Jesus, is not merely a flippant attitude but instead is an obsession/need for more - greed.
We cannot fully understand or recognize the extravagant mercy of the Good Samaritan until we ourselves have been pulled from the ditch by Christ.
To make Paul’s words through this entire letter plain - Simply put… it is foolish to think we can fool G-d with self-righteous works of the Law to achieve salvation. Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection are sufficient for all people.
As the confirmands receive the sign of the cross on their foreheads and the baptismal waters flow off of your head Milana, we as a community will pray that the Holy Spirit take up residence inside you, inside the confirmands, moving, prodding, and leading you all to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.
If the hand tells the food it is not needed and can be cutoff, the body is not unified.
The premise of Naked & Afraid is to find out whether or not, when someone is in their most vulnerable state, can they survive? With the bare minimum, can a team of people thrive? It is great reality television but what draws many to the show, I suspect, is that many of us expect our day-to-day lives to be like this. We feel exposed before the world and thriving is off the table because we are just trying to survive.
We ask questions with predetermined answers in our minds and when the answer from the responding party does not fit our expectations or needs, we keep asking. We keep asking because we need empirical truths, we think to produce faith.
The calling extended to Peter, “Follow me,” is the same calling extended to each of us when we emerge from our baptismal waters. This calling - “Follow Me” - is an invitation to meet Christ at his table, but “Follow me” is also an invitation to experience the fullness of the freedom extended to us by the power of Jesus’ Easter victory - the final victory over our captivity to sin and death.
Faith that comes from the peace of Christ is not something we do or attain on our own. We see throughout Christ’s ministry, death, and now in the aftermath of the resurrection - in the light of the empty tomb - faithfulness in places where our own faithfulness falls short. Regardless of our demands for signs to subside our doubts the faithfulness of Christ provides us with the peace we need.
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.