Q&R: Faith in Public Life

How do you distinguish between those moral issues that ought to be confronted in the Church alone, and those moral issues that ought to be confronted by the Church in the culture at large? [Read more...]

Q&R: Church Buildings, Yes or No?

If I were planting a church today, I might focus on quarterly weekend retreats and annual weeks of mission or pilgrimage over weekly meetings. [Read more...]

Q&R: Help on Biblical Violence

Here’s the Q: I bet you get tons of emails, and I’ve never written one like this before to someone I don’t know at all, but here goes… I’m a Christian and an intellectual/kind-of philosopher from Texas. About 7 years ago I had a really intense experience and was fully convinced I was losing my [Read More...]

Hell. Yes?

I remember when I first began to feel that I would have to do some writing on the subject of hell. “Please, Lord, let someone else do this,” I prayed. Eventually, though, it was clear that I should venture out and grapple with the subject in my book The Last Word and the Word After That. [Read More...]

Reading the Bible in 2013: A Special Opportunity

Some people read the Bible to justify violence – even to present God as violent. Others read it to justify peace – and to present God as the voice calling us to reconciliation. Some read the Bible as an anti-science tract – rejecting evidence for evolution and climate change, for example, based on Bible quotations. [Read More...]

Thoughts on the Obama Presidency

As many readers know, I was actively involved in the 2008 presidential campaign – for the first time in my life. I was less involved in the 2012 campaign, but was still a vocal public supporter for Obama/Biden. Like everyone (including, I’m sure, President Obama himself), I’ve had my share of disappointments about the last [Read More...]

A Benediction for the Inauguration

I was invited to compose a 100-word benediction suitable for the US presidential inauguration, along with 25 others, all of which are available here. Here’s mine: Living God, whose glory surpasses every name and creed by which we seek to honor you, May our leaders become less concerned about the splinters in the eyes of their opponents [Read More...]

Courageous Words from Steve Chalke

The same day Kentucky sage Wendell Berry went public with a strongly worded statement about gay people and the Christian faith, my friend Steve Chalke went public with a similar statement in the UK. It was carried in Christianity Magazine (like Christianity Today in the US, an Evangelical publication). You can read the abridged version [Read More...]

What I Appreciate about Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, and Greens …

All parties have their weaknesses, to be sure, some quite glaring. But all have virtues too. Here are three for each. 1. Republicans, at their best, A. Emphasize individual responsibility B. Are sensitive to the dangers of unaccountable government C. Are concerned about the long-term consequences of growing debt 2. Democrats, at their best, A. [Read More...]

Why We’re Leaving Church: A Report from the Nones

The same day news outlets around the country carried a notable headline — “Protestants Lose Majority Status in US” — I was in a jam-packed church, speaking about my new book on Christian identity in a multi-faith world. The article explored recent Pew research about the rise of the “Nones”, religiously unaffiliated Millennials, and the corresponding decline [Read More...]