Angela Denker

Angela Denker is a Lutheran pastor and veteran journalist. She's written for many publications, including Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post, and Sojourners. Her book, "Red State Christians: Understanding the Voters who elected Donald Trump," is available for pre-order and launches Aug. 6 with Fortress Press.

Posts By This Author

To My Sisters in Ministry

by Angela Denker 04-25-2019

As I watch these dynamic leaders suffer for their brilliance and their courage — as I watch you suffer for your calling to ministry — I have to point out that this is not a story about individual women. It's not only about me or about you. We are confronting a cancer of bias, a perhaps at times unconscious reaction to #MeToo and Trump's presidency and female gains in graduate school and income and costs of childcare and impossible parenting standards and devaluation of teachers and an impossibly toxic yet superficial social media environment.
 

God Was Not in the Whirlwind

by Angela Denker 10-11-2018

I listen to the whirlwind: its commands and its shouts and its splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces. Whirlwinds shout in the world, from hurricanes and typhoons and earthquakes and podiums and Twitter and text messages. You get slowly sucked in until you are spinning, too, in the whirlwind, and gods are all around telling you to be louder and faster and better and both more ashamed and more bold all at once.

Forget the Billy Graham Rule. Let's Try the Good Friend/Mentor Rule

by Angela Denker 05-04-2018

But the answer isn't an antiquated, unfair-to-women, patriarchal dividing of the sexes. It's not in a rule has nothing to do with Jesus and everything to do with male superiority complex, a devaluing of the human body, patriarchy, and oppression of women.

The answer is to lift up the men who get it, the men who love and respect women.

'We Are Heavily Armed. -The Pastors'

by Angela Denker 04-18-2018

Who wouldn’t want to defend the right to a glorious eternity? Who wouldn’t fight to defend that salvation, wouldn’t carry a gun if that’s what they were told was necessary?

How You Know Jesus Has Left Your Church

by Angela Denker 01-11-2018

Jesus has left your church when a woman is assaulted, but only men are allowed to speak publicly about it.

 

Zika, Love, and Motherhood

by Angela Denker 05-27-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

Diseases don't read, but they understand social contracts. They kill and maim the poorest and weakest among us first: pregnant women, people without air conditioning, people who have to store water outside in case of shortages, places where mosquitoes breed and grow and bite and viruses swarm the placenta and maim a growing baby's brain.

'Mommy, Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger'

by Angela Denker 08-14-2015

Image via /Shutterstock

We think it's wrong for a woman, much less a mother, to be angry. And so when anger inevitably, righteously, hits us — with its cousin fatigue and its brother frustration — we don't know what to do except to bury it beneath a smile that gets thinner and weaker as the day winds on.

We all get angry, though. It is a function of being human, and I daresay without anger we would never have won women the right to vote, school desegregation, or any other host of advances that came about when people got righteously angry and unleashed the power of justice and the Holy Spirit.

So be angry when you are angry. The Bible says so. Do not be ashamed to say, in the moment, "This is not right. I'm angry."

July Was the Cruelest Month

by Angela Denker 08-03-2015

Image via /Shutterstock

July is the cruelest month, with apologies to T.S. Eliot. ... 

A movement has arisen in the past year to protest police brutality and the unjust killing of African Americans — an uncomfortable realization that the dream of civil rights has gone unrealized in a still-racist America. It's called Black Lives Matter, but in the summer of 2015, life seems cheap.

Recovering Providence in an Era of Christian Anxiety

by Angela Denker 05-29-2015
Image via Sander van der Werf/shutterstock.com

Image via Sander van der Werf/shutterstock.com

Hand-wringing among religious folks has never been in short supply, but the doomdayers really had their day a couple of weeks ago, when the Pew Research Center confirmed what conventional wisdom has known now for decades.

We are in an age of post-Christendom — or, American adherents of Christianity continue to decline at a massive rate.

This is a case of statistics catching up with reality. For decades churches have been closing, Sunday Schools have been shrinking, and confirmation classes have been getting smaller. Especially among Catholics and mainline Protestants, the sky has been falling for many years. The right blames gay rights and liberal theology; the left blames hate speech and an overly doctrinal attitude.

Saying 'Peace, Peace,' When There Is No Peace

by Angela Denker 05-01-2015
A police car at a solidarity for Baltimore protest in Washington, D.C. Image via

A police car at a solidarity for Baltimore protest in Washington, D.C. Image via JP Keenan/Sojourners

On Monday night as I read and watched the unfolding news coverage of riots, my Facebook newsfeed bombarding me with posts both from activists and from folks who hated the rioting but didn't care about Freddie Gray, I thought about saying a prayer for peace.

I started to pray, but God interrupted me, in the words of the prophet Jeremiah:

"They have treated the wound of my people carelessly,

saying 'Peace, peace,' when there is no peace.

They acted shamefully. They committed abomination.

Yet they were not ashamed."

Was I the “they?”

Who are God's people here?

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