Eternal Totality: On a More Rational God

Column by Rev. Mark Sandlin on November, 5 2020

Religion prefers a definable God. By definition, one of the purposes of religion is to draw us closer to God. The way religion has typically been practiced, this implies some degree of “knowing” God. To know God we must be able to define God. The problem is, in the act of defining God, we are limiting God.

The Strangeness of Jesus, Equality, and Voting in the U.S.

Column by Rev. Mark Sandlin on May, 21 2020

It is difficult to read the teachings of Jesus and come away thinking that some people deserve to have more privileges than others. We are not only suppose to love our neighbors, but we are also suppose to love our enemies – equally.

Just War?

Column by Rev. Mark Sandlin on January, 16 2020

You simply can’t fully follow Jesus if you aren’t willing to be political and stick out  your own neck, challenging the hypocritical power structures and leaders on behalf of the oppressed.” 

Rugged Individuality and the Hermeneutic of Love

Column by Rev. Mark Sandlin on August, 29 2019

It seems to me that people who have a well developed and healthy spirituality will resist the concept of  tribalism. While it is true that tribalism was once an evolutionary necessity for survival, I have to believe that in modern times we should recognize that it is actually quite ridiculous as it is so rooted rooted in the illusion that some people are more valuable than others.

Time for a New American Dream

Column by Rev. Mark Sandlin on May, 2 2019

Now that we can just barely view the pomp and circumstance of Easter in our rearview mirrors, I’d like to talk a little about Easter. Not that Easter; not the Easter egg hunts, Easter hats, and shouts of “He is risen” kind of Easter; I want to talk about the whole of the Easter story, which reminds me that the American dream is a dream built on the back of a system of domination.

The Church is Dying Because of Graying – But Not Why You Think

Column by Rev. Mark Sandlin on January, 24 2019

This is simply about the church (remember, the people are the church) breaking out of its safe routines and dogma, and deeply and lovingly engaging the community it is in.

On a New Gendering of God

Column by Rev. Mark Sandlin on October, 11 2018

Naming God is difficult at best, divisive even in its mildest form, and can be thought of as sacrilegious at its worst. I was confronted squarely with this reality as I entered divinity school.

Well, my first day of orientation at Wake made me forget about all of that, as this divine calling I had answered, as this desire deep in the core of my soul to talk about the God that I love and what that God wants for this world, was given parameters.

True Blue Miracle?

Column by Rev. Mark Sandlin on July, 26 2018

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that reports of bonafide miracles seem to have gone the way of dinosaurs about the time cameras came along – maybe doubly true since video cameras were invented. (Of course, during the early days of Photoshop we did see a bit of a revival.)

More Q’s, Fewer A’s

Column by Rev. Mark Sandlin on April, 19 2018

Most conservative and mainline churches don’t like to talk about it a lot, but the reality is that churches have done lots of damage to lots of lives for a long time. The list of damages is long. Frankly, that’s probably true for most institutions in general. It’s hard to gain a large footprint and not manage to step on people as you attempt to move forward. It’s hard, but it’s not really excusable and there is always room for improvement.

Column by Rev. Mark Sandlin on February, 8 2018

Language is more important than many of us realize. More precisely, the specific words we choose to use impact our way of thinking, our social behavior, and many other perspectives of our lives. It’s actually a fairly recent development in the human brain in terms of our long history as a species. The frontal lobes of our brains have actually expanded to handle its expanded work requirements.