Patience to Be Free: Numbers is a Good Book

I get so tired in the book of Numbers of all the numbering. In fact, I grow impatient and then I pause. The book has done the work that needed to be done: I am impatient and a book theme of Numbers is the tragedy of impatience. God sends Moses to deliver Israel from Pharaoh [Read More...]

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Do Not Be A Scrooge (The Early One)

There is a weird fashion amongst conservatives to say something nice about Scrooge: he paid relatively well, he had a dry wit. Both of those are “facts” and yet nobody should want to be Scrooge . . . the early one. You can pay your workers (relatively) well and still make the workplace miserable if [Read More...]

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Islam: For the Sake of the Gospel, Let’s Tell the Truth

We cannot love our Islamic neighbor or expect them to come to Christianity through any ministry that misunderstands or lies about their beliefs. The so-called Islamic State (Da’esh) is not much of state and is not mainstream Islam. Don’t be confused. I am a Christian who belongs to a church with no illusions about Islam. If [Read More...]

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Do the Right Thing in Christian Ministry: Avoid Brocklehurst

Recently, in hard (but friendly) dialog with some non-theists, I was reminded how small the atheist media world is and how large the Christian enterprise must seem. The biggest problem with our Christian witness will never be atheism. Atheism is a small minority movement in any part of the world where it is not imposed [Read More...]

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Heavy Lifting: Grow Up, Get a Job, Raise a Family, and Other Manly Advice

If a certain kind of book must be written and read, a warning should flash that is more authentic than any “blood moon prophecy.” The fact that it must be written is a bad sign. Jim Geraghty and Cam Edwards have a book full of the kind of advice my Uncle Roddy and my dad gave [Read More...]

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Happy Birthday PG Wodehouse

If I am very sad, I turn to the complete Sherlock Holmes for soothing reading. If I need to laugh, I read PG Wodehouse. If you do not know him, get any book he wrote, especially any book on the genial Wooster and his butler Jeeves. These are not stories of great meaning, but of [Read More...]

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Two Johns: Hagee and Steinbeck

America is good at producing original personalities and at least two of them are named John: Hagee and Steinbeck. Steinbeck would have loved writing about Hagee. I don’t know if Hagee would enjoy Of Mice and Men.  John Hagee is nobody’s idea of a careful theologian, but he is a well known, and in some circles, [Read More...]

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A Pearl Not Worth Anything

Jesus told a story about a man who found a pearl of great price and sold everything he had to get the pearl. He gave up something of less value for something of greater value. John Steinbeck gives his characters a pearl of great monetary price in The Pearl and the pearl destroys the happiness [Read More...]

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My Summer of Steinbeck: Religious Bigot?

California was the Texas of the twentieth century: the land of opportunity and growth. It was also a place that exploited many of the people who came for the promise and that is not so different either. This summer was my summer of Steinbeck. He was a writer who understood promise, disappointment, exploitation, and the [Read More...]

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As Good As You: Redemption is Possible… Even for Me.

I have not lived as good a life as Hope. Generally, with far less going for her, she has made better choices and so she has fewer regrets than I do. One way to deal with this truth is to deny it. My sins were more obvious, but after all, Hope has . . . [Read More...]

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