A Whole New Word: “Dispositive”


I’ve spent a fair amount of my life reading. Along the way, I’ve been exposed to a wide array of words. Yet, there are plenty of words I have never read before or, at least, never paid really noticed. I love coming upon new words, making sense of them and perhaps even integrating them into [Read More...]

How is the Kingdom of God Coming? Part 5


Part 17 of series: What Was the Message of Jesus? In my last post I began to comment on the passage in Mark 10 where James and John ask Jesus: “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory” (10:37). Of course the fact that Jesus has [Read More...]

Understanding Anthony Weiner and the Seductive Power of the Internet

Anthony Weiner with a megaphone. Perhaps he should have stuck to simpler technologies.

Yesterday at a news conference, Congressman Anthony Weiner admitted sending inappropriate photos of himself via the Internet. Specifically, he “confessed to sending a photo of himself in his underwear to a woman over Twitter, then lying about it.” He added that “the indiscretion was part of a pattern of sending inappropriate photos and messages to [Read More...]

Tech Trends: Should Teachers Be Free to Say Negative Things About Their Students on Facebook?


A recent op-ed in the New York Times raises the issue of teachers being disciplined for saying negative things about their students on Facebook. “When Teachers Talk Out of School” by Jonathan Zimmerman of NYU presents the following examples: Christine Rubino, a New York City math teacher, posted on Facebook things like: “After today, I’m [Read More...]

How is the Kingdom of God Coming? Part 4

GIOTTO di Bondone, The Stefaneschi Triptych: Christ Enthroned, c. 1330, Tempera on panel, Pinacoteca, Vatican

Part 16 of series: What Was the Message of Jesus? In my last post in this series, I examined the passage in Mark 8 where Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah (Mark 8:27-30). But, when Jesus starting talking about the Son of Man suffering and dying, Peter rebuked Jesus, who in turn rebuked Peter for [Read More...]

Sunday Inspiration from the High Calling: An Amazing Invitation!


An Amazing Invitation! Psalm 62:1-12 O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8 Psalm 62 offers one of the most amazing invitations we will ever receive. In Psalm 62, David invites us: “Pour out your heart to him, for God is [Read More...]

Anybody Need Some Gigantic Tires?

giant tires

A couple of mornings ago on my commute to work, I found myself behind this truck. Now those are what I would call some big tires! [Read more...]

My Latest Column in The Pastor’s Workshop: Preaching Living Water When Your Well Has Run Dry, Part 2

          My grandfather's workshop

My most recent column in The Pastor’s Workshop, my domain in The Preachers Portal, is up. Here’s the beginning: In my previous column in The Pastor’s Workshop, I began with the question: How can you as a preacher offer living water even when your own well is bone dry? I talked about how common it [Read More...]

Bad News for Churches and for Religious Freedom: City Can Block Churches from Using Schools, Appeals Court Rules

St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. This congregation doesn't have to meet in a school.

According to a federal appeals court, New York City can keep churches from using school facilities for worship services, even during times when the schools are empty. In “Court Lets City Restrict Church Use of Schools,” the New York Times reports: Deciding 2 to 1, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for [Read More...]

How is the Kingdom of God Coming? Part 3


Any consideration of how the kingdom of God is coming must grapple with one of the most striking and surprising passages in the New Testament. The first chapters of the Gospel of Mark chronicle Jesus’ healings, exorcisms, parables, and controversies. Through his words and works, his true identity is seen, but not seen; it is [Read More...]

Good News! “Devilish Packaging, Tamed”

Clamshell packaging protecting an electronic device from every being used. Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/missrogue/.

I read some good news in today’s New York Times. No, it doesn’t have to do with things that really matter, like world peace. But what I read did shine a ray of hope into my morning. What news am I talking about? Well, according to a column by Stephanie Clifford, we may be experiencing [Read More...]

David Brooks on the Pitfalls of College Graduation and the Origin of Calling


David Brooks’ recent op-ed in the New York Times is a provocative piece called: “It’s Not About You.” He writes about the perils of graduating from college and entering as world that is “wide open and unstructured.” Today’s grads are sent into the world with the platitudes of graduation speeches. But these, according to Brooks, [Read More...]

Tech Trends: What If Cell Phones Cause Cancer?

Could a cancer risk end our cultural love affair with the cell phone?

An article in today’s New York Times caught my eye: “Cellphone Radiation May Cause Cancer, Advisory Panel Says.” Now that’s not what I needed to start my day, but it certainly did get my interest. According to this story by Tara Parker-Pope and Felicity Barringer, several things seems to be true: 1. The Advisory Panel [Read More...]

How is the Kingdom of God Coming? Part 2

This is the kind of coin that Jesus used to make his point about giving to Caesar what is owed to Caesar, and to God what is owed to God. Curiously, the Latin around the head of Tiberius Caesar reads TI CAESAR DIVI AUG F AUGUSTUS, or Tiberius Caesar Divi Augusti Filius Augustus, in English, Augustus Tiberius Caesar the Son of the Divine Augustus. Photo from http://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=179249.

Part 14 of series: What Was the Message of Jesus? In my last post, I outlined some of the ways Jews in the time of Jesus answered the question: How is the kingdom of God coming? Though there were a variety of answers to that question, almost all Jews in the first century agreed that [Read More...]

Tech Trends: Groupon Uses Poetry and Humor to Grow Its Business


A couple of months ago I signed up with Groupon. Now I get an email “coupon” each day, offering me some deal within a reasonable drive from my house. None of this is especially interesting. But what I have found interesting is the written copy that entices me to use my daily coupon. For example, [Read More...]

Tech Trends: Is Technology a Threat to Love?


Digital technology helps us stay in touch with our loved ones. It gives us new ways to communicate with our family members and closest friends. So it supports and expands our ways of loving, right? Jonathan Franzen, an award-winning author, says “No.” A couple of weeks ago he delivered the commencement address at Kenyon College [Read More...]