Blog: God & Christianity

<< Show Blog with All Categories

The THRED blog has one central purpose: to start conversations. We don’t all agree. We don’t have the same views and experiences on life and faith. But if one person is brave enough to say what they think, then we have the opportunity talk about it and learn something.

Every post on this blog is just that—the start of an open and honest conversation, and an opportunity to learn. THRED doesn’t endorse all the views expressed here. But we believe they all matter, and they are part of an important dialogue that will help us all grow. So pick one out, share it, and continue the conversation in the comments. Because your voice matters too.


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Reclaiming the Holidays Reclaiming the Holidays

Reclaiming the Holidays

Read Time: 4 min.

During the holiday season, I often get one of two troublesome feelings. First, I think that the whole month-plus is too hectic and too busy. The season feels overscheduled with events and get-togethers that are good and joyful, to be sure, and which I would probably miss if they didn’t happen. But in my more reflective moments, a deeper sense that something is missing creeps into my experience of ...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Sufficient, But Not Saving Sufficient, But Not Saving

Sufficient, But Not Saving

Read Time: 3 min.

I often notice that a lot of commercials and ads have one big message in common: if you’re not buying or doing or subscribing to or wearing such and such, your life is not as good as it could be. There seems to be almost a moral pressure to consume the advertised thing. It’s easy to wonder if I’m good enough, doing the right thing, living life the right way, or consuming the “right” things. These ...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Breaking News? Breaking News?

Breaking News?

Read Time: 2 min.

“Breaking news.” I don’t know about you, but I find myself increasingly unable, in a networked world, to figure out exactly what that means. A gunman in France holding people hostage. The President’s latest tweet. A vote on a budget. The scores from the NCAA tournament. They are all accessible online. Because I’m a journalist (or that’s my excuse anyway), I have a multitude of news apps on my phon...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Faith in a God Who’s Subtle Faith in a God Who’s Subtle

Faith in a God Who’s Subtle

Read Time: 2 min.

In one sense, I’m probably a great person to talk about faith in God, because it’s been a huge part of my life for…well, most of my life. For that same reason, I realize that doesn’t make me very objective. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t believe in God, or believe it was important to learn to trust him. I’ve always thought he was there. I’ve always thought he cared. I’ve always thought he w...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
My Changing Faith My Changing Faith

My Changing Faith

Read Time: 2 min.

I considered myself a Christian for many years. I was raised in a very Christian community. Everyone was a Christian. I won’t say faith was a huge topic of discussion—more of an idea taken for granted within the community. Faith was something everyone told me to have, but no one told me how to get. I spent most of my Christian years ‘having faith’ that faith would come to me. For me it...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Jesus and Battle Scars Jesus and Battle Scars

Jesus and Battle Scars

Read Time: 3 min.

Years ago, when I was a young, naïve Christian teenager, I found myself in a lengthy discussion about faith with a non-Christian classmate. This particular classmate, who eventually became a very good friend, asked a lot of challenging questions about God, Jesus, and the Christian faith. By the end of the conversation, I came to the conclusion that he just thought too much to believe in the Christ...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Christmas and Comic Book Heroes Christmas and Comic Book Heroes

Christmas and Comic Book Heroes

Read Time: 4 min.

I’ve never been much of a comic book reader. I have, however, enjoyed many of the comic book-based movies from DC Comics and Marvel that have been popular in the last 10 years or so. The popularity of these movies, which seems to drive Hollywood toward making more and more of them (perhaps not always good ones), makes me wonder why our culture is so interested in these films. Add to the superheroe...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Abuse in the church—it has to end. Abuse in the church—it has to end.

Abuse in the church—it has to end.

Read Time: 3 min.

One time, I wrote a letter to Pope Francis. I know…ridiculous. What wasn’t ridiculous was the message I wrote to him: that before he goes off to save the climate and solve the refugee crisis and bring peace to the Middle East, he first needs to take care of priority number one—addressing sexual abuse in his church. The Catholic Church has gotten the bad rap of being the sole proprietor of sexual a...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Being the Bible Instead of Quoting the Bible Being the Bible Instead of Quoting the Bible

Being the Bible Instead of Quoting the Bible

Read Time: 3 min.

I have read the Bible many times. Certain books and chapters received more re-readings than others, but I have read the whole thing through 3 or 4 times. At one time in my life, reading the Bible was very important. I wanted to talk to others about what I was reading, as you do when you get excited about anything in your life. I wanted to share. I was so excited I didn’t notice when others became ...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
The Bible for Grown-Ups The Bible for Grown-Ups

The Bible for Grown-Ups

Read Time: 3 min.

What do Americans really think about the Bible? It’s tempting to think of it as a collection of stories not very relevant to our contemporary lives. But if we do think that way, we’d be missing a lot. Every year the Barna Group, a polling organization that has an interest in religion, comes out with some fascinating facts about the Hebrew and Christian scriptures (otherwise known as the Old and Ne...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
“Mommy, why didn’t Jesus stop the flooding?” “Mommy, why didn’t Jesus stop the flooding?”

“Mommy, why didn’t Jesus stop the flooding?”

Read Time: 4 min.

On August 25, 2017, the world stood still for those in Southeast Texas. After an August of news media turmoil, we were not unified in watching riots grow on television and we were not watching an eclipse. We were watching an increasingly dangerous hurricane—the first of several in the coming weeks, it turns out—prepare for landfall. We watched the eye to determine who would be hit by the winds and...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Explaining evil isn’t simple. Explaining evil isn’t simple.

Explaining evil isn’t simple.

Read Time: 2 min.

“The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it,” the first man, Adam, tells God in the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis. Possibly that’s got to be one of the most creative excuses for the beginning of evil in the world since, well, the beginning of time. Be that as it may, the Genesis story—with its serpent, forbidden fruit, and lovely garden—i...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
When the Pain is All Too Real When the Pain is All Too Real

When the Pain is All Too Real

Read Time: 4 min.

I am privileged. I am white. I am middle class. I am a citizen of the United States, where freedom is expected and poverty hides under bridges. I have a mom and a dad, both of whom told me daily that they love me, both of whom had stable jobs. I never wondered where I was going to sleep at night. I never worried about money. I never feared for my safety. When I shivered, Dad turned up the heat. Wh...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Is nature all there is? Is nature all there is?

Is nature all there is?

Read Time: 3 min.

Is nature all there is? When you look out at the cosmos or stop to contemplate the beautiful designs of a flower abloom in spring—do you imagine that all of it is the product of a purely natural process, or that perhaps there is something more going on here? Something deeper? Something grander? Something perhaps more designed than we might recognize? When it comes to these big questions about evol...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Do you pray like a preschooler? Do you pray like a preschooler?

Do you pray like a preschooler?

Read Time: 3 min.

Have you ever been in a restaurant when a customer doesn’t get what they want, and they completely freak out? Are you often that customer? It’s always a tense and awkward situation when it happens. You’re sitting there and listening to the person yell that they ordered cheese on their burger, and they only see one piece of cheese. As awkward as it can be, I’m never surprised. This is the culture t...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Why do atheists pray? Why do atheists pray?

Why do atheists pray?

Read Time: 3 min.

What is prayer to you?? Is it a worship of a higher power? A thought of gratitude? Is it a request for a need fulfilled? And if you pray, who are you praying to? Just as religion is interpreted, each individual will interpret prayer differently. For some, it is a strict set of verses that were written long ago. For others, it’s a conversation with God. There are even those who don’t believe in a h...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
If I identify as a Christian, does it have to be ‘all-or-nothing’? If I identify as a Christian, does it have to be ‘all-or-nothing’?

If I identify as a Christian, does it have to be ‘all-or-nothing’?

Read Time: 3 min.

Some people associate an ‘all-or-nothing ultimatum’ with identifying as a Christian: ‘You believe the entirety of the Bible and take it as fact, or none of it. There isn’t room to pick and choose.’ This is a big challenge for people who—by contrast—identify as Christian, but take more of a middle-ground approach on many of the issues the Bible raises. On one hand, I get it. Religion isn’t Chipotle...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Dear Giant Church Dear Giant Church

Dear Giant Church

Read Time: 2 min.

Dear Giant Church— I want to come in, but I can’t see past the hypocrisy. Driving to my local grocery store, I pass 3 gorgeous churches. Towering three stories high with large windows and a solid brick exterior.  The sun shining down casts a beautiful glowing light on the cross raised high in the air. I’ve so often wanted to stop and ask, “Why is your church so big?” It’s puzzling to see so many c...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
When Church Lets Me Down When Church Lets Me Down

When Church Lets Me Down

Read Time: 3 min.

I always feel really comfortable walking into a church. I realize many people feel quite the opposite. I think I feel the way I do because I’ve had unusually good church experiences. I had a solid youth group in my teen years. Meeting my pastor in late high school/early college was a serious gift…he understood me really well and helped me through a ton of grueling, angsty transition at that point ...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
How One-Celled Bacteria Made Me Question Everything How One-Celled Bacteria Made Me Question Everything

How One-Celled Bacteria Made Me Question Everything

Read Time: 4 min.

As a young man I was gifted in science and math, so naturally I gravitated towards those subjects in college. When I first started my undergraduate education, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to be. I went from teaching, to chemistry, to pharmacy, and I’m sure I’ve missed a couple. But even if I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to be, I was sure it would deal with science. And as I grew in my ...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Science and Religion—Pieces of the Same Puzzle Science and Religion—Pieces of the Same Puzzle

Science and Religion—Pieces of the Same Puzzle

Read Time: 3 min.

I saw a video that a pastor made about creationism. In this video, he adamantly argued that God created the world in 6 days—point blank, period. He said scientific theories were “just theories” and therefore had no merit. That science and technology were anti-religion. He posted this video to Facebook… It was recorded using a smartphone… And he was driving a car… All pretty technologically-advance...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
The Faith vs. Science Fight Club The Faith vs. Science Fight Club

The Faith vs. Science Fight Club

Read Time: 2 min.

A few years ago, my son and I were strolling through an exhibit about the life of the famous scientist (genius, really) Galileo Galilei. Galileo is as much famous for having been put on trial by the Catholic church of his time, as he is for having helped invent the telescope, and having been part of the great 17th-century scientific revolution. After having been put on trial for claiming that the ...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Jesus Christ, Inc. Jesus Christ, Inc.

Jesus Christ, Inc.

Read Time: 3 min.

*Disclaimer: I currently do not identify with any specific religion. You could say I’m spiritual, but not religious. I’m a curious person. Especially when it comes to religion. When I think about Christianity, I tend to obsess over the same question: “If Jesus was alive today, how would he position himself?” This might seem like a weird question, until you get to know me. I’ve been hel...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Finding God Inside or Outside the Church Finding God Inside or Outside the Church

Finding God Inside or Outside the Church

Read Time: 3 min.

Once upon a time (to be candid, it feels like another lifetime), I worked as a parish minister. My experience included leading a small congregation in the city and serving as an associate on a large staff in the suburbs of Philadelphia. In both positions, I would visit men and women in nursing homes as well as others who couldn’t get out to church. I’d also try to call and connect with people who ...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Mind if I borrow God? Mind if I borrow God?

Mind if I borrow God?

Read Time: 3 min.

I’m a little complicated when it comes to prayer: I pray every day, I use God’s name, and I’m not a Christian. In fact, like many others who are commonly labelled as “millennials,” I identify as spiritual, but not religious. If I’m not religious, who exactly am I praying to, and why am I using God’s name? Well, those are very good questions. I’m glad you asked. When I was little, I used to pray to...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Spiritual But Not Religious Spiritual But Not Religious

Spiritual But Not Religious

Read Time: 2 min.

Does this title sound familiar? It should. In this day and age, it’s: The overwhelming response from many millennials when asked about their religious views A popular, seemingly neutral choice when completing your profile on Facebook My answer when people ask me what religion I practice Usually, I’m adamantly against an answer like this because it lacks any sort of thought or conviction. In my cas...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
Is the U.S. a Christian Country? Is the U.S. a Christian Country?

Is the U.S. a Christian Country?

Read Time: 4 min.

Updated February 24, 2017—Item #5 was added. 1. Although there were several earlier non-native settlements (mainly Roanoke and Jamestown), it was the story of the Pilgrim Fathers, who established the first permanent settlement, that is revered in early American history. Only a third of the occupants of the Mayflower were Protestant Separatists; most of the others were crew, support tradesmen &...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
The Moment I Accidentally Rejected Christ The Moment I Accidentally Rejected Christ

The Moment I Accidentally Rejected Christ

Read Time: 2 min.

I was close to tears on a sunny Sunday morning, standing outside of the most beautiful cathedral I’ve ever seen in Prague. I was beyond confused and surrounded by a mob of angry parents, ready to tear me limb from limb. How did this happen? Minutes before, I was inside celebrating Easter Sunday with a group of my friends. We had all traveled to the Czech Republic with our high school marching band...


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/8/d408584497/htdocs/thred/wp-content/themes/socialize/post-loop.php on line 13
How to Save Christianity How to Save Christianity

How to Save Christianity

Read Time: 2 min.

Even though many declare America to be a God-fearing nation, the number of Americans who identify as “Christian” has dropped to around 70% since 2014, according to the Pew Research Center. Millennials have played a big role in this drop, considering they are the largest group of individuals who have become “unaffiliated.” With this massive number of Millennials leaving the Christian faith, how do ...