Perhaps you know his name from his book Jesus: The Human Face of God, or perhaps you know him as author of The Last Station, which was turned into an Academy Award-nominated film.
As a gay man who has been with my partner for almost 13 years and married for almost two, it felt nice to hear these two Christian groups making an effort towards gay people. But the feeling didn't last long.
Psalm 46 continually reminds us that the Reformation is not a celebration of identity but rather the deconstruction of walls, whether those walls be political, cultural, ethnic, economic or religious.
God depended on Tom Shaw for that and Tom Shaw never disappointed. Now it's our job to take the baton -- to carry the torch -- to keep up the work ... taking risks, speaking out in big ways and small ways. Because eventually the tide will turn. And God is depending on us to turn it.
Surely there is a better way for Christian discourse than to resort to serious accusations of godlessness towards those who may have an alternative opinion, even if that opinion is in the minority.
My recent communication with my Iraqi Christian friends over the past few months evolved from "we are worried," to "we are scared," to "we are threatened," to "we need help" to the following letter from a very dear young Iraqi man whom I had the privilege to work with in the past.
We're making it virtually impossible for gay people to exist in our churches, and then feeling justified in damning them for walking away from God when they leave. The truth is that so often they aren't turning away from God; they're just removing themselves from harm's way.
If we follow Christ like we follow the latest food phenomenons or workout routine (to say nothing of our obsession with material things), we would each lead much more meaningful and happy lives.
Just as sexual violence is a male problem, so too is racism a white problem. White Americans are complicit in -- and the primary beneficiaries of -- a system that dehumanizes and erases black lives.
It's long overdue that more of us get serious about doing something different with Columbus Day.
As you ponder with your pure heart and reflect it with your true nature, note that Matthew 22 is an exceedingly rich chapter, and that before it is over Jesus will get in at least two more memorable quotes.
Football isn't the only culprit in this category. The same dynamic takes place in crime shows, action movies, and other media. Most of us have seen the statistics around this.
The reality is that the world is a big place and evil lurks in many corners. It's hard to find the emotional bandwidth to care about each and every new report concerning religious persecution in one foreign nation or another.
Break down some myths. Destroy some lies and distortions. And if we do it long enough and loud enough and together enough eventually we will be done.
Jesus talked a lot in parables, in little short stories. He also seemed to be more interested in questions then answers. When people asked Jesus a question, often he gave them a question back.
For all of the great work Bill Maher does by adding an unapologetically liberal voice to sensitive topics, his recent heated debate with actor Ben Affleck and author Sam Harris has put Bill at odds with many liberals. The biggest problem with Bill's stance is that he seems content to shout into the wind.