Bo Sanders: Public Theology

updating & innovating for today



Two Podcasts For You

I had the honor of being interviewed for the “Of Dust & Divinity” podcast. It was a great conversation and it was released this week!

My favorite part is the second half of the episode when we start talking about embodied spirituality and the importance of place.

At the end I talk about trees and rivers and seasons in contrast to the McDonalds and Walmart brands of suburban spirituality.

Give it a listen and let me know what you think.

I also continue to love my pod-chats with Randy Woodley on “Peacing It All Together”. In our most recent episode we talk about life lessons to celebrate a monumental birthday for Randy and do some listener feedback about such topics as:

  • Trying to change an organization
  • Implicit Bias
  • Dis-ability and Intersectionality
  • Respect and Equality in Relationships

Check it out at

The Week In Review (early September)

The Summer lull is over and things are really picking up as we turn the corner toward Fall. I wanted to let you know about three of things you might be interested in.

It is not too late to join the learning cohort for the ABC’s of (modified) Theology. Our first discussion (A is for Atonement and B is for Baptism) is this Thursday at 3pm (PST). Sign up and join in!

I was the guest on the What If Project podcast this past week.




Lastly, if you liked the sermon The Shape of Race, I would encourage to visit  media page to subscribe to the YouTube and Podcast channels.

What If Bo

Thank you for all the support, feedback, and shares. It really helps to expand the conversation.

Social but not Spiritual Distancing

I hope that are able to connect with you community during this time. If you need some encouragement, I want to let you know what I am telling my local congregation.  Please feel free to join in.

It is important during this time of social distancing that we stay spiritually connected.

Join us this Sunday at 10:30 am for our  Words Make Worlds series.

Or tune in on our Youtube channel or FB live from 10:45-11:15 for part of the service (and the message)

Then on March 22 and 29  we will be digital only. A liturgy will be provided so you can follow along at home and participate on Zoom (download the app)   Time for #DigitalChurch.  This will be our meeting room [link]

This week’s word: Either / Or

Our topic will be about how faith transcends, transgresses, and trans-forms our society

I hope that you will join us online. Please email me at with any questions




Some Resources For Early 2020

Wanted to let you know about two resources I am really enjoying.

The first is a Lenten Devotional by my mentor and friend Randy Woodley called, “Drawing Closer to Creator & Creation: An Indigenous Journey Through Lent”.

Screen Shot 2020-02-27 at 8.31.16 AM

It was edited by Joshua Grace and Erna Kim Hackett into daily readings that go along with a weekly theme.  Download the PDF here

The other resource is a podcast tribute to Richard Twiss that Randy and I did to honor him on the seventh anniversary of his passing. I was able to splice some of our memories of Richard in with a presentation that did in 2009. I really want you to hear his voice.

Listen to it on Peacing It All Together and come join the discussion of Richard’s book “Rescuing the Gospel from the Cowboys” on March 11 (Tuesday at 5:30 pm).

Media Links July 2018

Wanted to give you an update on two sets of links you might enjoy.

Randy and I have released the second batch of podcasts for Peacing It All Together:

Episode 5 Place – I tell about my ‘conversion’ journey from Western White Christianity

Episode 6 Not Christian – we talk about whether the label ‘Christian’ is usable anymore

Episode 7 Western Fallacies – Randy presents on 8 Fallacies of the Western Worldview

Episode 8 Culture Wars – we chat about our culture of conflict and what’s behind it


Over at the church, we have started a Youtube channel where you can see sermons and conversations.

Here is a recent sermon on Poetic Language of Faith [link]

Last week’s sermon was about Bridging the Divide with Christ’s love.

Please share links with friends – and thank you for all the feedback and support.

LiveStream Sermon

We did a little experiment last week with Facebook Live. The feedback was good so we will be improving the audio and visual quality.

If you want to check out a short sermon (like if you don’t make it church tomorrow), I hope that you will be encouraged.  Below is the link [even though it won’t embed for some reason]

If that doesn’t work, here is a simple link

If you want to listen to a whole gathering from Vermont Hills UMC, we recorded the whole service last week and have 35 min of highlights:

Be well and happy listening/watching

Bible and Church Links

Here are some fun things that you may be interested in:

My friend Brett has been blogging over at Progressive Bible Study. Today’s post was about flesh and the Spirit. He is doing some deep thinking about bodies as we read through Galatians.

It is a great follow up to his post that says:

“When we read the Bible as gentiles, we are the question – not the answer”

I have also been recording weekly debriefs with Katie. Here is a link to our conversation about Galatians 3: 15-29.

We talk about the Law, belief, and identity politics.  I take exception to quoting “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female” too easily. It has become a Hallmark card if we do not do the hard work first.

Sunday School has been going great with the ABC’s of Faith. The last 2 weeks were C is for Christ and D is for Deconstruct. I have been reworking the older material to facilitate a conversation in my new context.

Lastly, as some of you know, Thomas Jay Oord has written an excellent book called “The Uncontrolling Love of God” and I have written one of the responses in a new book on Uncontrolling Love.

My essay is called ‘Uncontrolling Church Leadership’ where I try to argue for a non-coercive and open-ended approach to ministry.

I am hosting Oord on November 3 and 4 here in Portland, OR. The Friday night event (Nov 3) will be very pastoral as my pastor friends are in dialogue with Tom. The Saturday event (Nov 4) will involve Randy and Edith Woodley as conversation partners. The Woodleys are amazing folks who have Eloheh Farm – and Randy and I have a book coming out later this year. So there will be lots to talk about.

Make sure to look at the Facebook page and the Eventbrite page – the Portland events will be added soon.


Thanks for all the likes, shares, and comments on my Statement of Belief (so far). I am greatly encouraged by all the feedback.



Heaven, we have a problem – with sexuality

This was a week of controversy in the Blogosphere – at least in my neighborhood.

The topic of gender, femininity, and sexuality were the touch points.  I am going to highlight 3 controversial blogs from this week … but first I want to acknowledge that it mirrored (albeit in a much smaller way) something happening in the larger culture that we are embedded in.

This was also a week that saw the Penn State football sexual abuse scandal rock the nation, the Herman Cain sexual harassment allegations, and several other national news story related to discrimination, abuse, and harassment.

These three christian conversations that follow are not happening in a vacuum – perhaps that is why they illicit such a heated response and so much attention. It impacts all of us.

Post 1:  from Stuff that Christians Like – a post called ‘Girls with a Past’ was a little test (written by a man) that women could take to see if one qualified as intriguing or not.  It was satire (which not everyone gets or likes) and it pointed out a real problem. Now, some people were offended and took it out on the author. I just want to say that the situation is infuriating but we can’t take it out on the person who illustrates the problem, Jon was articulating a severe inconsistency between what we say and what we do in the ‘church’.

Here is his post: let me know what you think. My 2 cents will be at the bottom of this post. It got over 500 responses.

Post 2: Rachel Held Evans (one of my favorite bloggers) put up a post called “13 things that make me a bad feminist”. It is part of a series that she does from time to time – she has also admitted to being a bad ‘evangelical’ and ‘progressive’.  This post went over like a lead-balloon . This led to a guest-post the following day.

Here is the post: . It got 149 responses.

Post 3: my good buddy Tripp Fuller came out of the closet as not being ‘open and affirming’ on a video from Two Friars and a Fool. His contention was that affirming letters – whether L, B, G, Q, T, I or any other dash or asterisk – is an inherently limited response. It has two great dangers: Continue reading “Heaven, we have a problem – with sexuality”

4 best blogs of the last 2 weeks

I was at Soularize for a week and have been playing catch up this week. Here are the 4 best blog posts I read while I was away:

What interesting things have you been reading lately?

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