Welcome to Crucible of Thought! I'm Brandon, and I was a member of conservative evangelical congregations for 45 years. This blog is about things that I've learned since 2020, as I've been undergoing a process of "deprogramming," "deconstruction," "reconstruction"... pick whatever term you want, but basically a process carefully examining many different aspects of my social, political, and religious beliefs to see what really actually aligns with the Bible and specifically the teachings of Jesus, more than what aligns with the host of dogmatic statements I inherited in years of church training. I'm not trying to persuade anyone: I'm sharing my process, in the hopes that it inspires and enlightens others. I welcome you to join me as we move forward in our faith together.

In Guns We Trust

I ran across a fascinating image today. It’s a wall-mounted gun cabinet disguised to look just like a rugged wooden cross, advertised as a great way to share your faith while simultaneously protecting yourself with those firearms.

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Let Us Agape One Another

Today, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I’m struck by two things: a peace that God has the entire world in His hands, even those who haven’t heard about Jesus yet, and a determination that showing agape love to my immediate neighbors ought to be a primary focus. And I think Dr. King had a handle on how to show agape love.

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Roller Coasters

Roller coasters are really popular entertainment in amusement parks. But when life itself becomes a roller coaster, how will my heart and mind and soul respond to the sudden ups and downs and shaking? Here are some thoughts on finding joy, not just fun.

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Doctrinal Humility

It’s long intrigued me that many doctrinal positions are not universally held, and I started thinking about why we lock to hard into clearly debatable positions. I think humans tend to latch onto an idea that comforts us, and then we build walls of doctrine around that idea. Let’s explore that tendency.

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Exponential Christianity

I’ve been thinking about how to make an impact on the world. I think we all want to affect our world. For most of us, it’s what drives our choices, maybe not day-by-day but at least over time. Naturally I want to have a large impact as quickly as possible. But I’ve begun to wonder if my impatience itself is keeping me from truly having an impact.

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