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Author Molly T. Marshall

Can the Holy Spirit Make You Do Weird Things?

Baptists – and other ecclesial kin – have been a bit suspicious of the Spirit. In a conference in a church in Missouri a few years ago, I asked persons to write down their questions about the Holy Spirit. One honest soul wrote, “Can the Holy Spirit make you do weird things?” It depends upon […] Read More

Not Quite Ruined by the Fall

One of the persisting questions in theological interpretation is what actually happened to our forebears as sin entered the world. A long tradition speaks of “total depravity,” which means we are rendered incapable of any good as our wills are in bondage to evil. Others will speak less of an intensive view – as rotten […] Read More

Giving Up Our Obliviousness to Racism for Lent

It is fitting that Lent begins smack dab in the middle of Black History Month. Celebrating the heritage and contributions of African-Americans is always accompanied by grief and lament. There were and are too many black deaths, too much indignity and too little access. Color still trumps character it seems, and white privilege takes up […] Read More

5 Caveats While Watching Super Bowl Spectacle

I must confess: I rarely watch the Super Bowl. I am usually on a plane (with very few others, mercifully) when the big game comes on. I am used to hearing the score from pilots, and I always wonder if they are really watching in the cockpit. I am not a great football fan, far […] Read More

When You Pray With Those Who Are Suffering

I was in Myanmar last week with a group from Central Baptist Theological Seminary. We visited churches, the Kachin Baptist Convention, a camp for internally displaced persons, two drug rehabilitation centers, two theological schools and the Fountain of Love Orphanage. At each stop, a leader invited me to say words of encouragement and then offer […] Read More

Deborah Exemplifies Foolishness of Complementarianism

Preachers often avoid lectionary texts from Judges as they are not sure what to do with stories of violence (Samson), testing God (Gideon) and an ill-conceived vow to the Lord (Jephthah), to name only a few. It was a precarious time for the young nation as “there was no king in Israel; all the people […] Read More

Does Everything Really Happen for a Reason?

Among some Christians you will often hear the aphorism: “Everything happens for a reason.” Really? How in the wake of hurricanes, internally displaced persons, floods, earthquakes and shattered infrastructures does one maintain this? It seems to infer divine intent in even the most devastating circumstances. The Bible does teach that suffering is instructive; however, it […] Read More

Is Unity Possible After Charlottesville Rally, Violence?

Violence erupted in a staid university town this weekend, and the symbolism of the white supremacists was startling. A Nazi swastika alongside the Confederate “stars and bars” was a mash-up, to be sure, and the U.S. flag was thrown in for good measure, as if all of this was mutually reinforcing. It is not; it […] Read More

As Health Care Safety Net Rends, A Time for Lament

Many are anxious as a rending of the health care safety net is transpiring. Decisions are underway that threaten to exclude a growing sector of the population from basic access. The tension between federal and state responsibilities will only grow, and each will resort to blaming the other. Preserving the wealth of the few by […] Read More

How Your Church Benefits from Planning Liturgy

I attended church last weekend (Pentecost Sunday) with a dear friend, and she inquired about how widespread the practice of following the Christian calendar is among Baptists. Well, as you know, there are quite a few varieties of Baptist; however, I do think it is fair to say that there is growing interest in planning […] Read More