Hidden in Plain Sight: A Conversation with Tony Kriz’s “Aloof”


Life is full of synchronous moments. After our congregation’s Tuesday noon Bible Study, I took a reading sabbatical to finish Tony Kriz’s Aloof: Figuring Out Life with a God who Hides. We had been studying Colossians 1:15-20 and reflecting on the author’s vision of a god who is both cosmic and intimate. The god described [Read More...]

Practicing Compassion with Frank Rogers and Bernard Loomer


This post is part of a discussion on the new book Practicing Compassion, by Frank Rogers, Jr. For more conversation, visit the Patheos Book Club here. Claremont School of Theology is my theological and spiritual home. At Claremont, I studied theology and philosophy of religion, received my ministerial training, and met my wife Kate. Like [Read More...]

This Holy Moment: A Response to Sybil MacBeth’s “The Season of the Nativity”


This post is part of the blogger roundtable for the Patheos Book Club on The Season of the Nativity by Sybil MacBeth. The Hallmark Channel has just begun showing Christmas movies. Television and radio remind us that Christmas is coming, and entice our children and grandchildren with gifts whose cacophony, violence, and materialism drowns out the [Read More...]

St. Francis and Saving Christianity – A Dialogue with Historian Jon Sweeney


Jon Sweeney’s When Saint Francis Saved the Church presents a vision of Francis’ message that is as relevant today as it was in Francis’ time. Today’s church needs saving, and so do we. We need to move from pathways of death to thoroughfares of abundant life. We need to choose Jesus over Caesar, and love [Read More...]

Theological Reflections on Suicide: A Conversation with Karen Mason’s “Preventing Suicide”


A number of months ago, a bereaved mother asked me, “Where is Susie now?” Her question was far from academic. When her daughter committed suicide, one of the first pastoral responses she received was, “Suicide is an unforgiveable sin. Your daughter has cut herself off from God entirely, and is now paying the price, forever!” [Read More...]

Refreshing the Pastor’s Soul: In Conversation with Michael Voss’s Reviving the Congregation


Leadership is a spiritual issue, especially in congregational life. As Michael Voss notes in his Reviving the Congregation, pastoral leadership involves not only a pastor’s skills but also her or his personal well-being and spiritual life. Pastoral excellence is skill centered and we should always aim at excellence, as Voss notes. But, this excellence ultimately [Read More...]

Letting Go of Limits and Opening to Divine Possibilities: A Dialogue with Sarah Jakes


Every morning as I take my prayer walk along the beaches of Cape Cod, I repeat spiritual affirmations. These affirmations have transformed my mind and approach to the events of my life. They have also opened up new possibilities in terms of creativity and relationships. One particular affirmation I regularly use is: “I let go [Read More...]