We are more certain of fear than we are of facts

Much ink will be spilled in the next few months or even years about the topic of Critical Race Theory (CRT), both by those who think they support it and those who think they oppose it. We are going to hear the wildest claims about what it is, how it is either a blessing or a curse, how it either reinforces religious teachings or threatens them, how it brings freedom or chains. Emotions are going to drive 99.25% of this discussion, and that is not a surprise, for emotions drive most of our decision-making, with our minds coming up for…


It’s time for actions, not gestures

Image from Nicole Avagliano on Pexels

Am I happy that Juneteenth will be a national holiday?

Sure! It’s great news!

But something I’ve learned about protests is that power does not give anything away without protest and action, and power, when it does give something away, gives something that will affect its power the least. Every inch conceded is done so with great reluctance and with effusive self-praise on how it’s “giving up” something when it’s more likely to be an empty gesture with no power and no real meaning beyond a symbol. …


How Evangelicals hide the truths of their own history

I am fortunate to have people in my life who see me and who hold me accountable. No one can navigate the systems of this world without help; finding people who will give us their attention and seek our full transparency is a gift that everyone should seek to have-and to give to others.

One of my friends — or, as we say in the Christian community, a brother — is that for me. A pastor in a dynamic local church in another state, he texts me every so often with an update or a question, or simply to chat.


Seeing ourselves as others see us

SIX STARS.

This is the book that every white Evangelical should read. It is direct,
clear, honest, funny, and entirely human while also embracing the love and
divine calling of Jesus in our lives to effect change in our world as we bring
the healing and the forgiveness and the restoration of God.

A lot of white people are looking to understand why it is that “suddenly”
there is so much uproar and so many discussions about white people, white
Evangelicals, and the white church. …


Religious liberty is not the freedom to force a religion

Recently I was minding my own business reading a Facebook post by someone for whom I have the highest regard. Ally Henny is a magna cum laude graduate with a Masters of Divinity degree from Fuller Christian seminary. Among her many interests and activities is her work with The Witness, a Black Christian Collective, an organization that seeks to build up and center Black men, women, and children by giving their authentic voices a place in the American Christian conversation.

Ally made an entirely reasonable remark a few days ago about Christian nationalism and how it is more of a…


It’s possible to do better. Here are some ideas on how to do that.

Absolutely great. Frank, honest, funny, touching, real. Frederick Joseph here is at once wonderfully endearing and approachable and also blunt and direct, someone who is self-possessed and self-aware, and someone who is going to be a great friend for whomever will let him be exactly that.

I found myself laughing on quite a few pages, but almost in the next line wincing or even blurting out “oh my god.” There is so much truth here, and great observations, and the definite proclamation of “I am a man,” much in the spirit of the resisters of the 1960s.

I appreciated so…


We have sown the wind, and now we reap the whirlwind

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

I feel seen.

That’s the summation after reading this masterful, wonderfully researched book about the peculiarities of white Evangelicalism and the Americanized Jesus who was once Brown and poor and despised, the victim of the oppressive empire, but who has been transformed into the muscular, gun-toting, migrant-hating, welfare-despising, violence-loving, manly man-centered white male gonzo who seeks to rule everyone by force for their own good and for the pleasure and power of white men.

I was raised in the milieu that Du Mez talks about. I got adopted into the Beloved Community in the late 1960s in the “Jesus Movement”…


The responses here are intriguing. I could answer this question with my own failures and the successes. (“Success” meaning “I recognized what was going on and I acted.”) I might be as slow to understand as a brick wall, but eventually I understand. Don't call me an “ally,” though—I'm just doing the work to get myself to be the kind of person I want to be, and that it a person who loves, respects, and values the people around me.

What I find intriguing is the hostile responses generated here by those questions. If we think that ultimately fairness and…


Perhaps we’re trying to change the wrong part of civilian engagement with the police

We see the same thing nearly every night in our social media feeds and on our TVs.

A Black civilian is accosted by the police. The violence escalates immediately, and within a few moments-seconds if you’re Tamir Rice or Adam Toledo-the Black civilian is dead and the police officer is protected by a blue wall of silence.

This is how it has to be, we’re told.

Policing is so hard, the violence is so endemic, the split-second reactions of the police are so unpredictable, and the threat of the death of the police is so, so great that there is…


What is the message for those living in our cities?

What is necessary for someone to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to salvation? Some would say it is only the sovereign action of God. Some would say it is the persuasive witness of a follower of Jesus, someone who shows what a life of following Christ looks like. Others might say it is the cogent argument constructing a logical arrangement of facts, principles, and reasonable conclusions. …

stephen matlock

Writer; observer; sometimes doer. Fiat justitia ruat cælum. More at stephenmatlock.com Mostly off Medium now & writing elsewhere

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