Go ahead, try failure! The spiritual virtue of blowing it

The economist Thomas Hazlett once told a story about the father of his high-school girlfriend. "I must say," the man boasted, "that in my dating days, I never once asked a girl out who didn't say 'yes.'"Hazlett figured the brag was calculated to make him feel insecure. But it didn't really work. "Even as a callow youth," said Hazlett, "I knew the answer to his hollow boast: He simply hadn't asked out enough girls."Hazlett's observation about his girlfriend's dad jumps past economics and … [Read more...]

Make room for suffering

There is a strain of Christianity that promises material blessing as a sign of God's favor: cars, homes, bank accounts, etc. Given the economic downturn over the last few years, this strain should strain all credibility. Did God decide to withhold 30 to 40 percent of his favor across whole neighborhoods as their housing values plummeted? … [Read more...]

Go ahead and live badly

Perhaps the most tiresome complaint about Christians is that they are hypocrites.Just typing the word makes me yawn. Yes, some professed believers are sanctimonious. Yes, some are false. Yes, some are even manipulative. But most are like me; they are garden-variety moral losers. And how boring is that?The majority of complaints about supposed hypocrisy are really complaints about moral weakness and failure, something that plagues everyone. Can it be any other way? Jesus tells us in … [Read more...]