Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Faith Archives

Lessons from the Valley of the Shadow of Death

Just over six months ago, a member of our congregation announced he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer: Steve Hayner, the outgoing president of Columbia Theological Seminary, and his wife Sharol, have come to be most associated in my mind […]

Faith Equals…

This Sunday the preacher said faith is the gap between the kingdom of God we only catch faint glimpses of and that which is coming. I like that. In days like these, when just about everywhere I turn the shit […]

“Admiral John”: A Granddaughter’s Remembrances

It feels a bit like Groundhog Day: wasn’t it just a couple months ago that I was sharing a granddaughter’s reflections upon the death of a grandparent?  This past Saturday, my granddad John slipped away suddenly to join his late […]

Faith from the Underside

Faith turned over to the side that doesn’t capture the light: the underbelly of trust in God—or is it distrust?—so often not shown.  At first glance, Barbara Brown Taylor’s latest book, Learning To Walk in the Dark, seems an exercise […]

Grace Sticks…Even In Church

Sometimes God shows up in unlikely places. Take church for example. This past Sunday during the prayers of the people, a beautiful couple stood up to ask the congregation to agree with them in faith that their little boy would […]

Jon Krakauer on Wonder, Mystery and the Gift of Uncertainty

Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith was one of my traveling companions in Tuscany. Here Krakauer, who has developed a reputation for writing about the extremes of physical adventure (Into Thin Air, Into the […]

5 Tips for Facing Our Fears

Early this morning, I was just drifting off into the halcyon waters of deep sleep REM when my son woke me up to say he was scared. I was non-plussed on a third consecutive night of one or another or […]

God Makes Better Stories?

[Note: this post has been updated since yesterday when Beliefnet was experiencing technical issues and my brain was working less clearly.] This weekend I finally watched Life of Pi. The movie, directed by Ang Lee and inspired by the 2001 novel […]

An Invitation to All Half-Believers

Yesterday a kind friend said people would buy the book I’m writing for the same reason they show up at my blog: they don’t really “go to church” (my friend’s words) but something about the Christian faith and its world […]

Jesus the Vine: Jesus Epithets Continued

I promised you more Scriptural name calling, so this morning we continue with Jesus Epithets: All the Names Jesus Gets Called in Scripture. Today’s feature is for all of you botanists and green thumbs out there.  I, unfortunately, can’t count […]

Previous Posts

Writing Sabbatical—and "The Departure of the Prodigal Son"
I'm sorry: my absenteeism at this intersection can be attributed to a number of things lately, the most pressing of which is my forthcoming book with author and Christian addiction specialist Jonathan Benz. The book (Prodigal Church or a version of it) is now officially under deadline and by April 1

posted 10:55:10am Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

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 d

posted 10:23:30am Jan. 16, 2015 | read full post »

"I Am Charlie Hebdo"
I struggle to know how to greet you after such a long hiatus from posting here—and in light of how much has happened in the world since Christmas

posted 4:42:48pm Jan. 12, 2015 | read full post »

A Christmas Homily
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. —Luke 2:6,7 The sheer physicality of this picture strikes me this Christmas. The ba

posted 1:54:50pm Dec. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Mental Health Break—Sprawl II
My favorite band these days is Arcade Fire, and I've featured the Canadian indie rock group before at this intersection between God and life. The lead singer studied Kirkegaard in college and their songs, like this one, are often subtle but brilliant critiques of the least aesthetically pleasing thi

posted 12:58:15pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »


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