Take away from Me the noise of your songs,
For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.
But let justice run down like water,
And righteousness like a mighty stream.

— Amos 5:23–24

These words of the prophet Amos would have shocked the religious sensibilities of his Hebrew audience. He utters this rebuke to a nation called to be separate, with traditions of divine remembrance mandated by God to mark the times and seasons with feasts, and songs that told of His mighty acts and resounded how blessed they were by His hand of deliverance. …

There is something in the water.

Photo by Bailey Heedick on Unsplash

We can’t bury our consciences about the rife cultic perversion that exists in mainstream Western Christianity today that has led to continued disillusionment with faith and accelerated exodus from the Christian religion. What naively seemed to many as only a fringe aberrancy that deserved quiet indifference with the occasionally whispered condemnation now seems to have infected large influential branches of the western church. Donning the Christian label is met with much more cultural and secular hostility and assumed to be a bastion of conspiracy theorizing, xenophobia, racist marginalizing toxicity. …

Photo by Chris J. Davis on Unsplash

I know it’s patently misunderstood illustrated by much of the recent popular discourse on this theme, but this piece isn’t a reflection on its legal or constitutional definition or attempting to correct any such misunderstandings. This is more a cultural and personal witness - a brief reflection on the function of this sacred and immutable right to say what you want without consequences for the harm it causes.

As a black man with Western education, free speech has always been both a western gift and a western curse that I’ve been somewhat ambivalent about whom it really serves. Truth is…

About 3 months into the International COVID-19 lockdown, 3 weeks after George floyds almost 9 minute long asphyxiation under a cops knee on ‘pay-per-view’ and the world erupting in protest under the banner of #blacklivesmatter, there was a white evangelical scramble to be the leading voice on yet another national conversation about strained race relations. After seeing a few misfired attempts I remember reluctantly watching the recorded playback of Pastor Louie Giglio, rapper Lecrae and Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy having an “honest conversation about race and the Church” on the 14th of June 2020"

Giglio had this to say…

#BLM newbieism for white people

Ok so you said "Black lives Matter" for the first time ever and you feel empowered, perhaps you've already had some backlash but you are now ready to launch a lifetime of black activism.

On behalf of all black people: Thank you! but not so fast, Let me just make you aware of a few helpful pointers to navigate the turbulent journey ahead.

Buckle up.

1) This zeal doesn’t mean you can’t still harbor racist views and support racist policies.

Sometimes it’s easy to get ahead of ourselves when we have an awakening moment of…

Why meme theology perpetually fails to engage complex issues honestly or effectively.

A response to Tony Evans

The meme says:

Racism isnt a bad habit. It isn’t a mistake. It is sin. The answer is not sociology, it’s theology. — Tony Evans”

I agree with the sentiment of denouncing racism as accidental and I deeply acknowledge the wisdom of Tony Evans as a bible teacher and black intellectual.

My CV would confirm I'm neither a "sociologist" nor a "theologian", but as someone who is committed to seeing racism abolished from the earth within my lifetime, I am interested in engaging…

How the death of my grandmother impacted my faith.

Dr. Joel Brown

I do remember the 23rd night of September, and death was changing the mind of this pretender. What was this pretence that I so casually charge? That we may both discover in this considered reflection.

That bitterly cold night, on the backdrop of a sea of burnt-orange foliage carpeting my driveway, I learned rather unceremoniously that my Grandmother had died. I sat in my car surrounded by the quiet patter of autumn rain in a pensive glow and little did I know I was about to take an unplanned journey into really understanding her fascinating world. The burnt orange carpet…

Does what you believe about COVID-19 affect your mental health and resilience to cope with the stress of this pandemic?

An opinion piece.

Photo by Camila Quintero Franco on Unsplash

As a primary care physician and lay theologian, I am interested in exploring the impact of one’s belief about the origin, cause or intended purpose of the COVID-19 pandemic on the perceived or observed mental wellbeing of individuals and communities. There are a variety of theories emerging about COVID-19 that has links to geopolitical, theological, technological and economic underpinning ideas and commitments. The concern I have is whether these beliefs impose any harm or impairment on the believer surviving this crisis.

I am having to counsel many patients through what has most assuredly been a “black swan”…

Photo by Sticker You on Unsplash

I’ve been honest about my theological journey now it’s time to get candid about my political journey. I’ve learned retrospectively that my politics has often been tethered by the association to whatever camp I felt more kin with, subconsciously or mindfully. We are after all social creatures and our political views by no means emerge from a social vacuum. As my theological views became more liberal and secular while simultaneously hanging more with the more liberally minded, I found myself exclusively drawn to their framing of what’s wrong in our societies and the so-called necessary and drastic solutions of disrupting…

Photo by Axel Antas-Bergkvist on Unsplash

Kanye dropped his new record “JESUS IS KING” and the stand out track for me on that record was easily Selah. The term Selah is a Hebrew word that has no unanimous meaning but is likely a term of musical direction as it is most prevalently used in the book of Psalms after certain poignant phrases. It is perhaps apt to entitle such a song given the mystery surrounding the meaning of both the term and this song. …

Dr. Joel Brown

Believer, MD, Activist

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