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Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Christianity and culture Archives

A Glorious Dark: A Review

Three years ago, when pastor, seminary professor and author A.J. Swoboda’s first book Messy made its debut, I said I hoped the book would not be his last; so when a review copy of Swoboda’s second book, A Glorious Dark, […]

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Restless Soul Hall of Fame: Sister Corita Kent

Since NPR’s recent segment, Sister Corita Kent has come to mind a few times this week as someone who deserves to be added to our Restless Souls’ Hall of Fame—yes, it’s a bit of a new concept here at this […]

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Christian Purity: Is God’s Mission Possible When Purity Rules?

I had a really weird, somewhat distressing interaction this week, and it is still on my mind days later. It’s one of those uncomfortable encounters that you would like to press the “replay” button on and do over. Like a […]

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The Lie of Invulnerability

This last week has been insane. Family sickness, repairs, car issues, multiple calls from school nurses, including one in which the nurse expressed concern my 7-year-old son had been bitten by a brown recluse spider…and just when I thought it […]

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Thoughtful Christians—They’re Around, Via Fare Forward

The cover story from the latest (July/August) issue of Christianity Today offers a refreshing antidote to all the gloom and doom that often accompany conversations around the future of the church in this country.  The article features a gallery of […]

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Mental Health Break—The Wittenburg Door

If you’re not already familiar with the online humor magazine The Wittenburg Door, now you are: think The Onion marries Reformed Christian theology and they have a wickedly funny child with an aptitude for making you laugh at most things […]

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What You Are Saying Re: Driscoll

My last post generated some helpful, constructive input from fellow saints and sinners who read it.  Thank you, all. Saint and sinner Bruce writes:  You know I respect you and appreciate your writing, but I think this is a pride […]

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Mark Driscoll’s Fall: A Day of Reckoning for Evangelicals?

[CORRECTION NOTE: An earlier version of this article suggests Mark Driscoll has in fact now resigned; this is in fact not the case, and I’m very grateful to fellow saint and sinner Mark for bringing this error to my attention.  […]

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The Rise of the “Spiritual But Not Religious”

Here at this intersection between God and life, I’m always interested in news pertaining to those who call themselves “spiritual but not religious”—hence this article from The New York Times featuring the work of three other authors who, like me, […]

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Are You Opposed to People Owning Guns? Via John Piper

Those of you incensed, intrigued or yelling “Amens” to my recent post on new gun legislation in my state of Georgia, may be interested to read this wonderful post from John Piper.  (I’m glad to know John and I probably […]

Hostility Re: My Post on Guns in Georgia—A Lesson

Fellow saints and sinners, it’s with some sadness and more fascination that I write after seeing the onslaught of fierce and even violently ad hominem attacks in response to my post from two days ago about Georgia’s new gun rights […]

Georgia’s Gunning Effect—And, Why I’m Finally Speaking Out

I’m home! And, after returning from a 10-day vacation seeing friends and visiting national treasures in the D.C. area, I am mostly glad to be home. A new thing about home, though, that I don’t like and am having to […]

What You Are Saying—On Piper’s “Masculine Christianity” and Evangelicals

One of the reasons I keep showing up at this intersection between life and God is you, your comments, your questions, and even in some cases, your downright infuriating remarks (which also keep me writing). The other day Jan thanked […]

“Belief Without Borders”—The Importance of Wandering

The older I get the more I’m convinced wandering is essential to rest.  A soul that has come to rest has known what it means to wander.  And, God forbid that our souls should ever only rest and never wander […]

The Vatican Diaries: A Review

Sex. Money. Power. Corruption. Controversy. Scandal. Since the 1980’s Catholic News Service reporter John Thavis has been covering all of it and more—not from a post in Las Vegas or the nation’s Capitol but from (of all places) the Vatican. […]

Wasn’t April Fool’s Day Last Week?—World Vision, Evangelicals and Gays

April Fool’s Day seems a fitting day to review what happened last week, when, within just two days of announcing its decision to hire gays in recognized same-sex marriages, World Vision reversed its decision. An official statement from World Vision […]

Musical Mental Health Break—Parker Millsap’s “Truckstop Gospel”

This week’s musical mental health break comes from the world of folk rock where I stumbled into Parker Millsap and his “Truckstop Gospel,” thanks to a segment on NPR yesterday. Parker Millsap is only 20 but has the voice of […]

Biblical Inerrancy, Sexual Purity and Christian Code Words: What You’re Saying

One thing that keeps me showing up at this intersection between God and life is you and your musings. I hope you’ll keep leaving them here. Here is what some of you have been saying… Saint and sinner Briana from […]

Rick Warren’s Dieting Plan Weighs In: Too Light on the Book of Daniel

Yesterday Chuck Morse of IRN USA News interviewed me on the radio. (You can listen to that conversation here.) Actually the segment was really more of a conversation with Chuck and his producer-partner Andre Traversa about mega church pastor Rick […]

Martin Luther King on Self-Sacrifice

Today when we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was both a deeply flawed and greatly inspired public servant and man of God, I am struck by this recollection of King from this morning’s Our Daily Bread devotional: In […]

Centuries of Institutional Church Chauvinism…Based on a Mistake?

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard both men and women in the church say—about women in leadership or women’s ordination issues—something to the effect of,  “It’s just impossible to ignore certain Scripture passages” (the “certain Scripture passages” […]

Millennials More In Search of Meaning Than Money?

I’m always interested in learning more about the people I write for….Which is why I was intrigued to read that the January 8 issue of The Christian Century calls a moratorium on woe-to-the-millennials talk. In his opening column, CC editor […]

New Addition To My Least Favorite Christian Code Words

At the start of a new year, I find myself going back through old posts and thinking about new ideas for reflection, conversation or rants—which is how I stumbled upon this post this morning about Christian code words. By code […]

Musical Mental Health Break: “Porno” by Arcade Fire

This week’s musical mental health break goes out to a friend whose husband is addicted to porn and has been for years. She loves him. He loves her. And yet there is much to thwart that love in a world […]

Fr. Barron on Pope Francis as TIME Magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 2013

One of the gifts of Christmas family reunions (that, with the size and spread of a very large extended family only happen every ten years or so) is meeting a long-lost relative who you can get to know a bit […]

What Unites Nelson Mandela and Pope Francis in Greatness?

TIME magazine’s pronouncement of Pope Francis as “Person of the Year,” coming as it does after yesterday’s memorial service for Nelson Mandela, has sparked some thoughts on the making of these two great persons.  What unites them? A surprising number […]

Rob Bell on Tuning One’s Soul to God’s Song

Yesterday fellow saint and sinner Michael sent along this wonderful clip by Rob Bell. I watched it this morning and found myself nodding to the music. For restless souls looking for more meaning, more truth and more life, the piece […]

Pope Francis On “Nonsense” of Proselytism, Grace and Following One’s Conscience

It’s not every day that you get to sit down at tea time with His Holiness. But that’s precisely what happened a couple weeks ago for the prominent Italian journalist and atheist Eugenio Scalfari. An unexpected phone call from the […]

Listening To The Sound of Silence: A Review of Diarmaid MacCulloch’s Latest Book

How does one tell a history of silence? After all, silence encapsulates everything not said—the elisions and the possibilities, the inchoate, unexplored universe beyond the hard limits of our language. Oxford historian Diarmaid MacCulloch’s latest book Silence: A Christian History […]

Ministerial Miscellany: Gratitude and Silence

It’s been too long. I’m sorry. Life has been, well, too fast-paced lately—and will remain so until mid November. But I’ve missed you. This week, I’ve been reflecting on gratitude and silence. First, gratitude: The other night my son asked […]

Americans Divided on Definition of “Religious”

Religion Today recently posted the results of a survey of Americans’ understanding of the term, “religious.” Apparently the old divide between those who define religiosity based solely on faith and beliefs (historically Protestants) and those who take the concept to […]

“Resurrection of the Flesh”

Something about good food, wine, art and the charm of the Italian people here in Tuscany has kept me from writing the last two weeks. For that I am a bit sorry– but admittedly not very much. In the last […]

The Oklahoma Tornadoes: A Continuation in Our Christian Meterology Series

Yesterday the devastating news poured in over National Public Radio as I was in the kitchen making dinner: four tornadoes, in a string of more expected in and around Moore, Oklahoma, including reports that most of the casualties were children […]

Comedy Central Bible Study

Every Friday morning I lead a little support group/Bible study/worship service/open confessional/gripe session/gossip fest at a local assisted living center. When the friendly neighborhood “workplace chaplain” shows up, she is greeted usually by the same women. There are the atheist […]

Renaissance Fair Church

The following reflections conclude my presentation for the hip Presbyterian Women of Clairmont Presbyterian Church. (The full, multi-media presentation, titled “Losing Our Religion: A Church for Restless Souls?,” is available upon request.): Stand-up comedian David Cross does a routine in […]

6 Ways To Get People to Leave Church

This morning I’ve been working on a presentation for the hip “Presbyterian Women” of Clairmont Presbyterian; they’ve asked for some reflections on the crisis of a younger generation steadily “losing its religion” and what the church can do in response. […]

Stand-Up Comedian David Cross on Heaven

As a corporate chaplain, I spend much of my time in the car, traveling to various companies- so it’s always a plus when I have something other than my favorite bands to listen to. (For as much as I love […]

Why Is The Church Increasingly Irrelevant? Musings of a Restless Soul

It’s good to be back here at this intersection between life and God for all fellow saints and sinners. I’ve missed you! While I was away, I was again reminded of the church’s irrelevance. Three things happened to remind me. […]

“Rambling”…Another Song for Restless Souls

Last week in church I heard a great tune by a brilliant (in an understated way) musician. (I know, those three things, “church,” “great tune,” and “brilliant musician” don’t always go together- especially if the music is “contemporary Christian.”) This […]

The Inauguration of Pope Francis…and a Church’s Revival?

Yesterday’s inauguration of Pope Francis seems a fitting juncture at which to take stock of him- this in response to a reader’s recent note asking what I think about the man who reminds him of his Jewish rabbi grandfather. And, in […]

Super Bowl Prayers: Will God Determine Winning Team?

More Americans than usual will probably be praying this Sunday- this by implication, according to a report this week by CNN, summarized by Religion Today. No, it’s not the National Day of Prayer or another Billy Graham crusade- it’s the […]

“There’s Power in the Pen”: An Interview with Author Amy Julia Becker, Part 2

We’re back with evangelical author Amy Julia Becker for the second and final installment of our conversation.  Becker was named last fall by Christianity Today as one of a handful of influential women writers whose writings are shaping the church […]

Sunday Silliness for Restless Souls

This tribute to the many “restless souls” out there among my generation and younger who are wandering from one relationship to the next in search of just the right person with whom to pair off, comes from fellow saint and […]

God of the Main: Beyond Reductionisms and “Waiting for Gospel”

  Walter Brueggemann’s review of Douglas John Hall’s latest book, Waiting for Gospel: An Appeal to the Dispirited Remnants of Protestant “Establishment” (Cascade), in the current issue of The Christian Century, sums up well the depressing state of the mainstream American church: […]

“O Holy Night”

We sang this hymn in church today.  In the wake of Friday morning’s massacre of a first-grade class of school children, the meaning of “O Holy Night” made me cry like a baby.  (Never mind my husband’s running joke that […]

A Child’s Prayer of Lament

We were driving home from school yesterday when the NPR reports came on.  Another horrific mass killing.  This time at a school.  28 dead, 20 of them children. The sound of gun shots on the school’s loudspeakers were in the […]

The Ripped, Bikini-Clad Preacher Earns Another Win

Fellow saint and sinner Amy Richter has drawn my attention to an article that appeared in The Huffington Post a few days ago, and has thanked the Fellowship for its early coverage.  Apparently, Amy’s story, “The Ripped, Bikini-Clad Reverend,” which originally […]

Visio Divina: Advent Meditation 1 (Psalm 119)

 

Visio Divina (The Visual Word): An Advent Series

Starting tomorrow we’re in for a treat.  That’s when we’ll begin a special Advent series featuring the photography of the very talented, fellow saint and sinner Katie Archibald-Woodward.  (Just think: we’ll get to say that we knew Katie before she […]

Why Our Restless Souls Matter

We writers try to find ways to remind ourselves that what we are writing really matters.  One way I do this is to remember who I’m writing for. Some of you know by now that Grace Sticks is a book for […]

Wacky Wednesday: Villainy and Veneration

First, villainy… By way of an addendum to my recent review of the new James Bond flick, fellow saint and sinner Michael Frost has shared a wonderful resource: The Ultimate James Bond Fansite.  If you’ve ever entertained the notion of being […]

Sermon on the Mount Family Planning

Here at the intersection between life and God, author Sandy Ralya recently wrote a kind response to my original review of her book, The Beautiful Wife.  (Thank you, Sandy!) Where I question Ralya’s challenge to Christian couples to have more […]

How Evangelicals Voted- Survey Results to Debut Today

After last night’s election victory by Barack Obama, the survey results regarding Christian voting trends are almost in- this according to one of today’s headlines from Religion Today, citing as its source the The Christian Post. Apparently, the post-election survey […]

Democrat or Republican: How Would Jesus Vote?

Maybe some of you have asked that question.  Maybe you’re asking it today as we head to the polls to elect America’s next president. Well, I’m sorry to disappoint, because I don’t have an answer.  The truth is, I’m suspicious […]

Christian Meteorology: A New Series

The other day in class, someone made the following declaration: “That’s not theology.  That’s meteorology!,” he said.  I love it- hence the inspiration for a new series here at the intersection between life and God, titled “Christian Meteorology.”  We’ll feature […]

Knowing My Audience: “Nones” On the Rise

As an aspiring author I’ve been getting better acquainted with my audience, and it’s an audience I find it easy to self-identify with (Christian ministerial credentials aside).  A poll recently released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life […]

“The Beautiful Wife”: How One Woman Is Crusading to Save Christian Marriages

Reading the book, The Beautiful Wife, by author and speaker Sandy Ralya, whose agenda to save so-called “biblical marriage” seems a bit dubious from the start, feels like the times I’ve been asked to buckle up during a spate of turbulence […]

Square Halos

In his book, The Road to Missional, Michael Frost describes the experience of wandering through the Vatican Museum in Rome to stumble upon an eighth-century mosaic fragment that depicted Pope John VII wearing not a shiny, gold halo but a […]

Top Five Least Favorite “Christian” Code Words

The other day a pastor friend asked if I’d like to help her preach on Stewardship Sunday.  A kind but dubious invitation which I agreed to with a level of trepidation.  That’s because anyone who has been around the church […]

More Thoughts on “Disappearing Mothers”

My last post and popular blogger and author Rachel Held-Evans’ subsequent shout-out in her Sunday Superlatives (for “Best Conversation Starter in the Blogosphere”) have generated a throng of readers and a string of interesting comments, most of which seem to be […]

Why “Church, Inc” Has Failed Us and Why Jesus Won’t: An Interview

And now, finally, what a number of you have been waiting for…Today’s guest is missional church thinker and activist Lance Ford, who is organizing the upcoming Sentralized gathering in Kansas City, Missouri (September 27-29), in which I’ll be taking part.  He […]

A Year of Kingdom-of-God Living

“But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33 It’s rare that I remember my dreams, but the other night I did.  In the […]

“Reading the Bible For All It’s Worth”

Some people really know their Bibles.  One of them is Steve Hayner.  Steve is the president of Columbia Theological Seminary, in Atlanta, Georgia, and has taught missiology, pastored churches, and worked at the helm of the student ministries organization, InterVarsity. […]

From War to Peace: A Story of Reconciliation in Burundi, Take 2

Those of you who caught last week’s post and have been waiting for a working link at which to view the ten-minute video I mentioned, don’t need to wait any longer.  The video, compliments of the World Prayer Assembly, tells […]

Recovering the Lost Language of God’s Mission

Andrew Sullivan’s “The Dish” featured a piece yesterday on how radio programming initiatives are keeping alive the dying minority languages of New Zealand’s Maori peoples:  “In the Maori community of New Zealand, for example, the combination of 21 radio stations […]

“Did God Help Gabrielle Douglas Win?”

Did God help Gabrielle Douglas win?  That was the question posed by Salon writer Mary Elizabeth Williams in a recent piece penned for the magazine and forwarded by fellow saint and sinner Irene Lin.  It’s an interesting question, one that […]

A Riot in the Cathedral

Have you been following the story of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot and their so-called “punk prayer protest” against Russian President Vladimir Putin? The band, whose highest-profile members are three young women now facing a three-year prison sentence, has […]

Lessons from the Colorado Tragedy

The massacre at a movie cinema late Thursday night was a tragedy. It can be a lesson, too.  The question is, a lesson about what exactly?  As usual, the devil is in the details. In the days following a deranged […]

“Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved?” Is the Wrong Question

In an op-ed piece for The New York Times, titled “Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved?,” Ross Douthat makes the observation that last week, as the Episcopal Church was approving a rite to bless same-sex unions, Episcopalian church attendance figures for […]

Family unValues: Weird Jesus Sayings

“If any of you come to me…and don’t hate your father and your mother, your wife and your children, your brothers and your sisters- yes, and even your own life!- you can’t be my disciple.” – Luke 14:26 So much […]

“Is There a Case for Foreign Missions?”

“Is There A Case for Foreign Missions?”  That was the title of a speech delivered by the writer, Pearl Buck, for a packed gathering organized by the Presbyterian Church in November 1932.  Buck, in summarizing four decades of experience as […]

“The Man Who Gave the World His Number”

My hubby and fellow saint and sinner Paul Dover ran across this article from the BBC which brought tears to my eyes.  It’s about a guy named Jeff Ragsdale who, finding himself alone in the aftermath of a devastating break-up, […]

“Ask Sister Gramick Anything: How Would You Reform the Church?”

I’ve just made the virtual acquaintance of Sister Jeanine Gramick, thanks to yesterday’s installment of Andrew Sullivan’s series, “Ask Sister Gramick Anything.”  Sr. Gramick may be best known for her work at the helm of an organization that she started […]

Shaking the Dust

“[Jesus] said to the apostles, ‘If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.’” – Luke 9:3-5 The chaplain was making her usual rounds at one of the […]

Vatican “Nunsense”: Why Old “Habits” Die Hard

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers…” – Genesis 3:15 “But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.” – Luke 24:11 I’ve been following with […]

Stand-Up Comedian Tim Hawkins Waxes on Church Culture

I’ve just discovered church stand-up comedian Tim Hawkins.  His below routine- especially the part about the church’s obsession in recent years with hand sanitizer- will make you chuckle.  Tomorrow, some thoughts sparked by 1 John on what it means to […]

Runway or Runaway Religion? Thoughts on “Christian Fashion”

Some of you have heard about mega-church pastor Ed Young’s latest initiative to coach the church on what to wear and what not to wear.  I was made aware of it through a post by saint and sinner Lance Ford, […]

Vulnerability and Glory: What the Olympics Teach Me

I’ve been asked to contribute to Beliefnet’s forthcoming series on the Olympics.  I’ll keep you posted on when that series airs, but in the meantime, here are some reflections on what the Olympics teach me about the marriage of vulnerability […]

Boobie Traps: Breastfeeding in Church

Boobs and breastfeeding have been a “protuberant” topic these days. First there was the recent TIME magazine cover story that sent ripples through the blogging community. “Are You Mom Enough?” went the headline.  By first impressions, the picture shows a Photoshopped model (young, […]

Evangelicals on Sex: “High Bars” or “Hang-Ups”?

On most any afternoon a small ecumenical council of women convenes on the school playground: we include a converted Jew, backsliding Catholic, conservative evangelical, “spiritual but not religious” seeker and yours truly (who, if resorting to labels, would describe herself […]

“A Resurrected Christianity?”

In recent days, Diana Butler Bass and Andrew Sullivan (in a Newsweek cover story, “Forget the Church, Follow Jesus”) have both given expression to some angst about the death of the church.  Bass has gone on to hold out the […]

The Tragedy of Abortion

My husband warned me not to bring this issue up, because it’s one of those topics that makes people squirm and in some cases scream at each other.  But, I was often one of those kids growing up who would […]

Bruce Springsteen as Preacher and Prophet

Last week Bruce Springsteen kicked off his Wrecking Ball tour at the Phillips Arena here in Atlanta.  The pictures brought back memories of the first (and only) time I heard Springsteen live in concert at the Arena only a couple years earlier. […]

Existential Schizophrenia

Maybe the universal human dilemma can be summed up in the following question: how do I live between the two poles of, on the one hand, my own insignificance and the transitory nature of my finest achievements, and, on the […]

The Biblical DO’s (vs. don’ts) of Sex

Is it possible that the Bible is actually not consistently clear about the “do’s and don’ts” of sex and sexuality?  Is the expression, “biblical sex,” a bit of a misnomer?  Baptist minister Jennifer Wright Knust thinks so, and she has […]

Cyber Evangelism

I’ve missed you all! If you’ve missed me, it’s because I’ve been playing single mom on the home front to two young children who have decided that they would prefer not to sleep at night when Daddy is away. Until […]

Mumford & Sons’ Free to Love and Love to Free

Tonight Mumford & Sons is playing at the Ryman, in Nashville, Tennessee, and I’ll be there.  In addition to some really enticing blends in sound- a mandolin, accordion and banjo often infuse the tunes of keyboard and guitar- the band’s lyrics, […]

R-Rated, Dirty Laundry: The Temple and Jesus Epithets Continued

“‘Destroy this Temple,’ replied Jesus, ‘and I’ll raise it up in three days.’ ‘It’s taken forty-six years to build this Temple,’ responded the Judaeans, ‘and are you going to raise it up in three days?’ But Jesus was speaking about […]

God May Still Use the Church for God’s Mission. Maybe.

Yesterday’s exchange with a stranger on Facebook who saw Kevin Carter’s Pulitzer Prize winning picture and my accompanying prayer and proceeded to explain why my prayer, with its inappropriate, “Mother-Spirit” language, would not be heard and why I, an “unsaved […]

“Terminator and Jesus”

This video, which came out some years back, lends some humor to all the Internet buzz around “masculine” versus “feminine” Christianity.  I stumbled on it thanks to David Lumley, who posted it on friend Michael Frost’s FB page.  (Thanks, David!) […]

The Heresy of Masculine Christianity: A Response to John Piper

The other day my son’s pre-K teacher commended him for continuing with his work when the other kids around him were goofing off.  My son had gone on dutifully coloring away with his crayons when he could have been lured […]

“The Toil of Freedom,” in Honor of Black History Month

“How do we embrace the toil of freedom?” That is the question that friend, screenwriter and producer Okorie Johnson sets out to answer in his forthcoming film, “Canopy.” As an introspective look at how one particular African American struggles to […]

Just How Open-Minded is “Progressive” Christianity?

Fellow Saints and Sinners, I am re-posting the following response to the video I just shared with you, which poses the question, “Can prayer be social justice?” When I shared the video with the Facebook community, “Christians tired of being […]

In Defense of Rob Bell’s “Love Wins”

Apparently Rob Bell’s best-selling Love Wins and its ambivalent stance towards an “eternal” hell (as “eternal” has historically been interpreted by evangelicals at least) continue to send ripples.  Two authors, author of Crazy Love Francis Chan and senior managing editor of Christianity […]

Move Over, “Cosmo.”

  “Love me passionately, love me often, and love me long.”  The appeal might grace the cover of Cosmopolitan.  The one, big exception?  That it is addressed to God…in the thirteenth century…by a “virginal” nun named Mechthild de Magdeburg. These days […]

“The Word”: Jesus Epithets

“In the beginning was the Word.” -John 1:1 Words tend to matter less these days.  Talk is cheap.  If the Republican presidential nomination process hasn’t convinced you, take this for an example: apparently you can buy an iPhone app that puts […]

Remembering Dr. King’s Peacemaking Legacy

When today we honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., who in 1964 received the Nobel Peace Prize for his heroic and painstaking work as a civil rights activist, I am struck by King’s words on the eve of […]

Rachel Held-Evans on “Real Marriage” and Why She’s Right

Mark Driscoll, the founding and preaching pastor of Seattle’s Mars Hill Church, apparently has a new book out titled Real Marriage:  The Truth About Sex, Friendship and Life Together.  I was introduced to Driscoll’s book by a friend (Rachel Held-Evans) […]

“A Very Brief History of Eternity”

I recently finished a wonderful, little book by Yale historian Carlos Eire. The book lives up to its name: it manages to cover in relative brevity the breathtaking expanse of “eternity” from its very first beginnings in antiquity to its […]

The Minister and 1,000 Nudes

My next-door neighbor, in addition to being a photographer, is a fire dancer: she gets paid to perform well-choreographed tricks with hot flames while wearing sexy outfits.  Yesterday several other parents and I were at her house to celebrate her […]

Ben Stein Talks Christmas, Political Correctness and the Disappearance of God

Probably most of us know commentator, author and actor Ben Stein from his taking attendance in the 1986 movie, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”  Here Stein, a God-fearing Jew, shares his views on the merits of Christmas and why at this […]

“I Want Jesus!”

“I want Jesus!,” my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter exclaimed the other day, as she grasped for the ceramic baby Jesus in the nativity scene on our kitchen table. These days when advertisers prostitute themselves for our dollars and every manner of holiday […]

The Minister and The Little, Black Dress

Much has been written about ministry and sex, sexuality, gender and, of most immediate and grave importance here, what to wear when you find yourself young, female and in ordained ministry.  The question has been so well-traversed that it can […]

“I Gotta Have Faith”

When gay singer George Michael recently put off his tour because of a bad case of pneumonia that landed him in the intensive care unit at the hospital and drew family and long-time partner Fadi Fawaz to his sick bed, […]

The Advent Conspiracy: Weird Jesus Sayings Continued

“Foxes have their dens and the birds in the air have their nests.  But the son of man has nowhere he can lay his head.”  Matthew 8:20 “Black Friday” has come and gone, but the staggering figures remain.  Americans spent […]

The Octopus and the Quarter

“How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!…It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”  Mark 10:23, […]

Space Dog: The Animal of Regret

The first-ever animal to orbit the Earth and to die in space was a dog named “Laika” (Russian for “Barker”).  When the Soviets launched Sputnik 2 in 1957, Laika out-performed two other dogs to earn the dubious honor of participating […]

“Supply-Side Jesus”

Al Franken was more creative than I am this morning.  Besides, the “gospel” in certain politicans’ rhetoric about how to fix America’s unemployment crisis really does resemble this sometimes:  Like the other day when Rick Perry told the New York […]

Beyond Tribalism

These days my denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), finds itself bracing for the possibility of further membership losses with more congregations jumping ship- this after a majority of presbyteries voted to remove the constitutional requirement that all ministers, elders and deacons […]

“What If God Was One of Us?”

I heard this song sung by Alanis Morisette the other day on the radio.  It’s actually a wonderful reflection on the doctrine that makes Christianity so distinctive- the notion that in Jesus Christ God became “one of us,” laying aside […]

Was Jesus a Macho Kind of Guy? Weird Sayings Continued…

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a […]

Previous Posts

In the Clear: Meditations on Cleaning House
The last few weeks have comprised a massive de-cluttering initiative in preparation for a home renovation, as we clear out junk from our basement, attic and just about anywhere useless stuff has managed to accrue. What Do We Throw ...

posted 2:04:34pm May. 20, 2015 | read full post »

For All Restless Souls—The Love-Hate Memoir of One Churchgoing Gal
My review of Rachel ...

posted 12:13:35pm May. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Upcoming Review of Rachel Held-Evans' Latest Book
Yesterday I submitted a final, much-revised manuscript for The Recovery-Minded Church: Loving and Ministering to People with Addictions (InterVarsity Press, 2015)—which hopefully means I can be back at this intersection between God and life at ...

posted 3:55:35pm May. 12, 2015 | read full post »

"The Power of Introductions," Via Bruce Strom and Gospel Justice
I've featured the work of my friend and inspiration Bruce Strom, a lawyer who directs the organization Gospel Justice Initiative, at this intersection before. Bruce once had a cushy job as the senior partner at a corporate law firm, but he gave ...

posted 11:06:21am May. 05, 2015 | read full post »

5 Spiritual Lessons from Editing The Recovery-Minded Church
The edits to The Recovery-Minded Church: Loving and Ministering to People with Additions (IVP) have been substantial and time-consuming, thanks to a ...

posted 10:23:02am Apr. 27, 2015 | read full post »

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