Martin Luther King, Jr: Sacramental Theologian

We aren’t going to let any mace stop us. We are masters in our nonviolent movement in disarming police forces. They don’t know what to do. I’ve seen them so often. I remember in Birmingham, Alabama, when we were in that majestic struggle there, we would move out of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church day after day. By the hundreds we would move out, and … Continue reading Martin Luther King, Jr: Sacramental Theologian

How are Non-White Americans forced to live today?

This is part two of a series of reflections on Charlottesville via Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last speech “I See the Promised Land” (text and audio here). See the Intro here. I can remember [applause], I can remember when Negroes were just going around, as Ralph has said so often, scratching where they didn’t itch and laughing when they were not tickled. [laughter, applause] But that … Continue reading How are Non-White Americans forced to live today?

Where is God’s Hand in Today’s Struggles?

This is part one of a series of reflections on Charlottesville via Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last speech “I See the Promised Land” (text and audio here). See the Intro here. The nation is sick, trouble is in the land, confusion all around. That’s a strange statement. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars. (All … Continue reading Where is God’s Hand in Today’s Struggles?

The Promised Land After Charlottesville

After Charlottesville, what changes? The change is what matters. The posturing doesn’t matter. The marching only matters as a means to an end. After Charlottesville, as in after Charleston, Ferguson and Baltimore, what matters is the change in society to where black Americans can say “Yes! We are truly free!” Perhaps we forget this larger transcendent goal in the immediate skirmishes over policing and monuments. … Continue reading The Promised Land After Charlottesville

Yes, Your Theology Matters, Even to a 7-year old

In conversation with another parent, my wife and I shared that we are pastors (you never know how that’s going to go). A few minutes later she asked us what our week is like. As we started to describe what we had been doing, I felt an empowering assurance that we were both doing worthwhile things and that they were absolutely appropriate for a pastor. She … Continue reading Yes, Your Theology Matters, Even to a 7-year old

I’m White, but I Don’t Feel Like It

So for Father’s Day, I got an Ancestry.com DNA test kit. I spit into a little tube, mailed it off and awaited an emailed result. And the results are as intriguing as advertised. Prior to getting the results, I had my surname analyzed and found that “Raines” traces back to a village in Essex, UK called Rayne. Or it could come from Rennes in Brittany, northern … Continue reading I’m White, but I Don’t Feel Like It

Opportunities for West Virginia now that Don Blankenship has been Indicted: A Fresh Look at Coal and WV’s other Resources

With the indictment of Don Blankenship for violating Mine Safety regulations leading to the deaths of 29 miners at the Upper Big Branch mine, comes several opportunities for West Virginia in particular and central Appalachia as a whole. I’m sharing a series of these reflections for your consideration. If West Virginia is the Mountain State, then why are so many of us “Friends of Coal”? Coal … Continue reading Opportunities for West Virginia now that Don Blankenship has been Indicted: A Fresh Look at Coal and WV’s other Resources