Anxiety and Incarnation: Advice to Graduates


Last week I was invited to be the community speaker for the local high school Baccalaureate. It was an honor but also challenging. How do you speak to high school students and to a community from such diverse religious and spiritual backgrounds? Bainbridge Island is a classic upper middle class, educated, privileged, white community. This sets off all the usual alarm bells, “Hm… they don’t have any real problems.” And, of course, these kinds of prejudice may have a grain of truth, but the facts o … [Read more...]

Fundamentalism Ruins Religion for Conservatives and Liberals

The Last Acceptable Prejudice hit a chord, not only with religiously conservative folks but with liberals who balk at the notion that we should give religious conservatives any hearing at all. Like so much in our culture we seek enemies and enjoy destroying them, and so we are at loggerheads on religion. The New Atheists, buoyed by a new sense of confidence and numbers, are feeling their oats and will not be silenced, and I say rightfully so. Liberals, whether religious or not, are fed up with … [Read more...]

Last Acceptable Prejudice on College Campuses

I don’t often go to campus talks at my university. I don’t go because if I attended all those that interest me I would never get my work done. But I made an exception for Dr. Eboo Patel. He was named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009. He is the Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a Chicago-based organization building the interfaith movement on college campuses. He served on President Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council of the White House Offi … [Read more...]

We Are Not All Bruce Lee, Part 2

Around the time that Bruce Lee reached the height of his Hong Kong cinematic career, a few Asian American writers put together an anthology called Aiiieeeee! (1973). I grant that readers who know what they’re talking about will gently protest that this collection has been contested by feminist and queer API writers for leaving out women’s and non-heteronormative Asian American experiences (for details, read David Eng’s Racial Castration: Managing Masculinity in Asian America). I’m using the antho … [Read more...]

We Are Not All Bruce Lee, Part 1

My post-doc, Justin K.H. Tse, is guest posting for me this week, sharing his fascinating thoughts on Asian American religion which will be featured on these next several posts.I’d like to thank Jim Wellman for letting me guest post on his American Religion blog during this Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Inaugurated in 1977 by Representatives Frank Horton (R-NY) and Norman Mineta (D-CA) and Senators Dan Inouye (D-HI) and Spark Matsunaga (D-HI) as Asian/Pacific Heritage Week, President … [Read more...]

Best Book on Youth Ministry


I wish I read Jeff Keuss’s brilliant book, Blur: A New Paradigm for Understanding Youth Culture, when I was a young youth minister. In many ways, I intuited many of his conclusions out of my own experience, but I felt alone. Like many I heard that youth ministry was about converting kids and making them disciples of Jesus Christ. Moreover, that one had to be certain in one’s faith and follow whatever the hippest method to come out of Youth Specialties. And, to be sure, some of this worked, but I … [Read more...]