“Troubled Minds”: Mental Illness and the Church’s Failure to Address it

Mental illness is on our minds. Recently, Matthew Warren, son of mega-church pastor Rick Warren, took his own life after a long struggle with severe mental illness. This tragedy, directly impacting “America’s pastor,” has brought the discussion of mental illness to the forefront (and, predictably, has also given occasion for the ignorant, un-sympathetic mouthpieces of [Read More...]

“Emerging Prophet” and Kierkegaard’s Big Birthday

Søren Kierkegaard was born on May 5, 1813. In honor of his bicentenary, my publisher is offering a 40% discount on my new book, Emerging Prophet: Kierkegaard and the Postmodern People of God.  (The original list price is $20). To get the discount, just follow the link and enter the coupon code PROPHET in the shopping cart. Here [Read More...]

The Will to Live

Archaeologists excavating a trash pit at the Jamestown colony site in Virginia have found the first physical evidence of cannibalism among the desperate population, corroborating written accounts left behind by witnesses. Cut marks on the skull and skeleton of a 14-year-old girl show that her flesh and brain were removed, presumably to be eaten by [Read More...]

You Can Always Go On

One of the more interesting resources on the Internet is the collected interviews at Paris Review. It is a sixty-year archive of hundreds of long form conversations with poets and writers, like Mary Karr, R Crumb, Billy Collins, Robert Frost, Jack Kerouac, and Czeslaw Milosz, among many, many others. One of the more provocative interviews [Read More...]

The High Cost of Cheap Clothes

Over 300 people have died in the garment factory collapse in Bangladesh. There are 50 people buried under the rubble. The factory was built on a swampland. This raises, once again, really tough questions for us–for which there are no simple answers. Anna McMullen has a helpful, balanced, reasonable article, called “Who Really Pays for [Read More...]

Boston Strong

As a longtime Boston resident, and one who still deeply loves that city, I so appreciated George Packer’s piece in a recent New Yorker. I think it says a lot of what I felt about all the difficult yet inspiring happenings there this week. To watch a week ago Monday as scores of Bostonians, with [Read More...]

Death, Wine, & Cheese

The artist exists in an awkward relationship to her audience. She labors for many months, perhaps several years, to produce an exhibition of paintings to present to the public. She sacrifices time with her family and friends, isolating herself emotionally, intellectually, and physically. She reads, thinks, writes, reflects on her work, often questioning, doubting, and, [Read More...]

Heartbreak Hill

I lived in Boston 25 years and walked in the path of Monday’s blasts many times. The first bomb went off in front of my optician. The explosion blew out all the windows. I want to be shocked by the inhumanity of it all, but I’ve seen too much of it of late to be [Read More...]

The Idolatry of the Penultimate

What do looking at paintings have to do with what most evangelicals understand by “engaging,” “transforming,” and “redeeming” culture? Not much. It is no secret that North American evangelicals regard politics to be the primary means by which God is active in the world. And many evangelicals have recently become convinced that “culture” (i.e., films, [Read More...]

Reflecting on “The Heavenly Good of Earthly Work”

Does the ordinary work have eternal significance? Do the products and achievements of industry, art, music, education, medicine and (pretty much everything else we could think of) carry on into the new creation (Eschaton)? This is the question Darrell Cosden addresses in The Heavenly Good of Earthly Work (Hendrickson, 2006) and, in a more detailed, deeper way, [Read More...]

Free Won’t

Philosopher extraordinaire Alvin Plantinga offers a trenchant review of new atheist Sam Harris’ latest book, Free Will. Harris argues that any notion of willfulness in human behavior is illusory. “Either our wills [i.e. decisions and choices] are determined by prior causes and we are not responsible for them, or they are the product of chance and we [Read More...]

God’s Grace & Grammatical Violence: A Meditation on Jonah 4:1-4

In February I offered a reflection on Jonah 4: 1-4 at a chapel at Knox Seminary. I explored our anger at God’s grace and our refusal to allow God to be the subject of our existential sentences. Watch it here. Video Platform Video Management Video Solutions Video Player [Read more...]


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