It is often said that white people cannot understand the racism black people have to endure. The experience of racist discrimination is the unique possession of those who undergo it. In our world today, it is the experience of the non-white marginalized. White people can try to understand what it is to be discriminated against at such a systemic level, but, since it is not their experience, they can only look at it from the outside.

As a white person who is against racism, I experience this discrepancy between my desire to be an ally to black people while being…


The other day, Mark Foreman, professor of philosophy and religion at Liberty University, made the startling announcement on his Facebook page that Liberty University was getting rid of its philosophy department. He wrote: “Liberty University has chosen to completely dissolve the philosophy department. As of June 30 I am unemployed.”

The entire faculty of philosophy is kicked out, including the well-known Christian apologist, Gary Habermas. The bulwark of conservative and fundamentalist evangelicalism has decided it no longer needs philosophy. While there is no way to know what has made the university come to this decision unless it make a public…


A picture of the FB post that called to support the murderers of Ahmaud Arbery
A picture of the FB post that called to support the murderers of Ahmaud Arbery

Racist trolls are not racists. They are trolls who use racism to fan the culture wars and they’re good at it. Racism is terrible but when people resort to using racism for ulterior motives, things turn truly dark.

Let me explain why I make this claim. We all know how social media, especially Facebook, have turned into echo chambers where people get fed the stories that affirm their convictions. This helps people to find likeminded folk but has the negative side-effect of accelerating confirmation bias, i.e. the tendency of people to want to have their existing beliefs and theories confirmed…


This is a meditation I wrote on Bonhoeffer’s martyrdom, written for and published in “Bonhoeffer’s Chrism Mass.”

. . .

Bonhoeffer died… and then he rose again.

“Resurrection?” — in the words of theologians, students, and believers, all having stared into the abyss of his martyrdom wondering what might have come of this man and his theology had he lived. They engaged his ethics, his theology, his resistance, his thoughts about Christianity in a secular age. They made meaning. …


As is always the case with major globe-encompassing events that loom as dark menacing clouds at the horizon of humanity’s future, would-be prophets and self-proclaimed men of God fill us in on the latest concoctions from the religious department.

I just witnessed Kenneth (Copious) Copeland heal donors of his ministry from Corona from the safe confines of his TV studio while Jim Bakker is using his ministry to sell a fake medicine against the dreaded virus. (He is now being sued by the State of Missouri, btw.) And I kid you not, one meme on social media asserted that “Corona is simply another name that needs to bow down to Jesus’s Name.” Either Corona has not figured out what it is to bow down or Jesus is having a hard time asserting his lordship over this world (and let’s…


On January 17, Ron Sider, an evangelical theologian famous for his insistence that rich Christians make work of addressing poverty, posted on a piece on his blog titled “ STILL EVANGELICAL IN SPITE OF PRESIDENT TRUMP’S EVANGELICAL SUPPORTERS? “ In this blogpost Sider outlines why he still calls himself an evangelical in spite of the Evangelical sell-out to Trump.

While I greatly respect Sider for his work, I think the times and context in which we live require us to abandon the term evangelical. I acknowledge Sider’s emphasis of rootedness in historical Christianity but I’m afraid that late 19th and20th…


How we have forgotten the way Christmas works

Christmas 2019. Christians around the world celebrate that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Feelings of wonder fill us and hope, perhaps, that this enfleshment will somehow materialize into something more substantial than a promise, a light in the darkness, a hope, ever so faint, that the coming into the flesh will substantiate the Word that this flesh is all about: God setting things right on earth; God ushering in the kingdom.

Nothing concrete happens of course, nothing besides the erecting of cathedrals and the enthronement of the divine Son in the seat of human power. A lot…


Introduction

Martin Luther’s theology of the cross though central to the German Reformation did not manage to remain a big influence in the Protestant tradition. Traditions other than Lutheranism sprang up: Calvinism, Anglicanism and soon after that Puritans, Baptists, Methodists and an entire slew of revivalist, holiness and Pentecostal groups joined the choir of the Protestant faith. Luther’s central insight of justification by faith was not lost, but every time a new layer of interpretation was created that obscured its power and dangerous simplicity. Notably, it was detached from its framework of the theology of the cross.

In spite of this…


The systemization of God leads to harm being done to people in the areas of sexual ethics, emotional dependency, and communal justice.

In the previous installment of my two-part series on emotional and spiritual abuse in the church, I discussed a foundational thought-pattern in many religious communities related to divine authority. I called it the Divine Authority Syndrome, partly tongue-in-cheek because I’m not a mental healthcare professional but a theologian. So I am not qualified to identify something as a syndrome.

Yet, from a theological vantage point it is clear that religious authority is connected with so many harmful ideas…


Emotional and spiritual abuse in the church often results from wrong ideas about how divine authority functions within the faith community. It is often wielded as a tool to suppress, exploit, and dominate gullible believers. This article aims to show the deeply theological connections between abuse and religious authority. In short, spiritual abuse has everything to do with the religious imagination.

Abuse in the church is a hot topic these days. What started with rumors and an investigation in Boston spread like a wildfire. It seems as if all over the world the Roman Catholic Church is embroiled in sexual…

Josh de Keijzer

Writes at joshdekeyzer.com. Writer, researcher, lecturer, Bonhoeffer scholar. Ph.D. in Philosophical Theology.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store