My Life With Night Terrors, Demons, And “Alice In Wonderland Syndrome”

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

-Lewis Caroll, Alice in Wonderland


My Childhood Demons

Peering out from beneath a pile of stuffed animals, I saw the shadowy figure sitting at the foot of my bunk bed. It stared at me from between the rungs of the ladder which led up to my snoring little brother; I felt the shadow watching me. A few days later, two more shadows would join the first and crowd around me.

I sunk further into my animals, desperate to avoid its gaze.

So goes my earliest memory and the beginning of my night terrors.

Until age ten, night terrors were a routine part of my childhood. Read more “My Life With Night Terrors, Demons, And “Alice In Wonderland Syndrome””

Why We Love The Rapture

I know you all want answers, and believe me, so do I.

– Captain Rayford Steele, Left Behind 2014.

eclypse by hexx696

I was a child of the late 90’s and an evangelical Christian so, naturally, I read the wildly popular Left Behind novels (and I loved them). Even though I eventually moved on from the unique theology that made them possible, I never quite let go of the feelings they afforded me.

That might be the reason I was fairly disappointed this weekend when I discovered that the newest Left Behind movie is hardly better than the one starring Kirk Cameron back in 2000. Read more “Why We Love The Rapture”

The Cure For “Racial Tensions?”

Answers in Genesis emailed me ten days ago. They claimed to have found the cure for “racial tensions” (and yes, they used quotation marks).

“Racial tensions” manifested by the likes of street demonstrations in Ferguson, use-of-force inquires, the shooting of unarmed black men, and the less than equitable media coverage of these events. Read more “The Cure For “Racial Tensions?””

The Christian community validates Jesus’ legitimacy (or at least it should)


This is the transcription of a sermon that I preached at Elk Grove Congregational Church on 6/29/14. It is, in fact, the first transcript I’ve ever shared and the form is different from what I normally post on an irenicon.
[Lectionary: Jer 28:5-9   |  Mat 10:40-42]

Good morning, friends.

Thank you, James, for this opportunity to speak and, as he says, “it’s better when we’re together.” It’s good to be with you all.

My name is Allen and, as some of you know, I am a recent seminary graduate. In my past life I was a youth pastor, had even received my bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies, but attending Seminary has given me a  new (and ever growing) appreciation for the significance of what we do.

It’s a big thing to speak the words of God.
It’s a big thing to identify as a Christian and claim to know that God would have us do “X” or that God would have us do “Y.” Read more “The Christian community validates Jesus’ legitimacy (or at least it should)”

Let’s Make A New Testament Law Code!

Out with the Old and in with the New,

let’s figure this stuff out;

those who are in, those who are out.

Preachers and theologians routinely tell me that Paul argued for a post-Law community of Christians united not by the outward markers of faithfulness, but by an inclusive ministry of the Spirit that moved past traditional boundaries (some of which were set up by Scripture itself).

Because in Christ the Christians are Law-completed (Rom 10:4).

Because the only covenant marker of any value is “faith expressed through love” (Gal 5:6).


Yet some of these preachers and theologians will turn around and fashion a law code from Paul’s own words. Obviously they don’t call it a “law code,” because they’ve been trained by Paul to look beyond law; Faith alone! Christ alone! they shout from the mountaintop, yet quickly descend to hand out copies of their commandments, fresh and updated. Read more “Let’s Make A New Testament Law Code!”