Author: David M Schell

  • Responses to Young Sheldon: Religion and Science

    Responses to Young Sheldon: Religion and Science

    In this first post in a maybe-series responding to theological questions and challenges Young Sheldon presents to Pastor Jeff, I respond to Pastor Jeff’s claim that “there’s a 50-50 chance that God exists” and Sheldon’s claim that the odds of God’s existence are zero.

  • With Gratitude for Five Years as a Pastor

    The five-year anniversary of my ordination as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament, or Teaching Elder, in the Presbyterian Church (USA) was yesterday. I’ve been a pastor for five years now. It barely seems possible. Not just that it’s been five years, but that I’m a pastor at all. It’s something I wanted to…

  • On Deconstruction and “Reconstruction”

    On Deconstruction and “Reconstruction”

    I’ve spent a long time in deconstruction circles. I was deconstructing before it was cool. I was deconstructing before deconstruction was even a thing. In some ways, I still am. I won’t belabor points I’ve already made elsewhere about faith deconstruction not being about Jacques Derida and how it’s hard to guide somebody else through…

  • A Few Less-Cynical Thoughts about the #AsburyRevival from a Progressive Christian Pastor

    In my experience, God is incredibly, even frustratingly generous when people are looking to experience God’s presence. People who have absolutely no business experiencing the love of God experience the love of God.

  • While Mary Slept: A story for Christmas Eve

    By David SchellOriginally written for the Christmas Eve service at Fairplain Presbyterian Church in Benton Harbor, Michigan, and originally read in the Christmas Day Special Message. Joseph stood over the manger looking at his baby boy. Well, his in every sense but one. After all the fussing over him from his Bethlehem family, Aunt Elizabeth…

  • Thoughts About Tradition, Scripture, and Authority

    I was thinking a lot about how I relate to tradition over Thanksgiving break, and I kept getting interrupted when I talked about it, so I decided to make it a blog post.

  • Lest They Do to Us What We Did to Them

    Belated thoughts about the Ark of the Covenant and the 2016 election.

  • The First Evangelist

    A version of this sermon was originally preached by me at Fairplain Presbyterian Church in Benton Harbor, Michigan on Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022. CW: brief mention of the death of an adult child, unjust execution, self-harm, mention of the idea that demons cause mental illness. It wasn’t supposed to end this way. Mary Magdalene…

  • What if Judas…

    Content warning: Suicide, betrayal. It’s about Judas, after all. Was a thief because he was desperate? Maybe he had a sister, a mother, a little brother,a former or current lover,held in slaveryto someone with power. Maybe he was trying to buy their freedomA little at a time. Or maybe he needed a miraclethat Jesus, somehow,…

  • The Last Battle

    “If you really trust God, one day he’ll [sic] show you that my problematic theology is right.”