The Advent Decrescendo

For five or six years now we’ve been working this metaphor at my church. We’re trying to shape an imagination for Advent as opposed to American Christmas. It’s the Advent Decrescendo. I hope you’ll take a moment and watch this short video. It’s the best way I know to explain what we’re trying to do during the season of Advent. Plus there’s some beauty to it. Here’s how we do it. Read more

Un-breaking Sexuality: Our Sexuality is a Broken Mess – So, Where Do We Go from Here?

From now on, the mere mention the names Harvey Weinstein, Roy Moore, Louis C.K., Kevin Spacey, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Al Franken, Glen Thrush, and Charlie Rose will summon thoughts of seedy sexual misconduct. Not that we needed more evidence that human sexuality is broken in heart-wrenching ways, but the last few weeks have been eye-opening to say the least. It feels like things have changed. We’re told that police brutality has always existed, it’s just now we’re able to see smart phone… Read more

Stanley Hauerwas: A Prayer on Election Day

I’ve been using Stanley Hauerwas’ Prayers Plainly Spoken to guide me every morning for the past few weeks. This one seems appropriate today. Sovereign LORD, foolish we are, believing that we can rule ourselves by selecting this or that person to rule over us. We are at it again. Help us not to think it more significant than it is, but also give us and those we elect enough wisdom to acknowledge our follies. Help us laugh at ourselves, for… Read more

My 25 Favorite Biographies from the Past Few Years

A good biography is a great way to study history. I’ve almost always got a biography either in my hands or in the upcoming stack. I thought I’d publish a list of my 25 favorites from the past few years. The list draws from a wide range of types of people and time periods. I tried to just make a few comments about each of the books, and a bit about what I remember learning. One confession: As I look… Read more

Rich Mullins Would’ve Been 62 Today – Watch This, It’ll Do Your Heart Good

One of the things I loved about Rich Mullins was the way he refused to buy into his own hype. Rich was really clear about the fact that he was an entertainer and a musician (not a pastor or missionary). I think he had to make the distinction for his own integrity’s sake. His job was to write and play music for the entertainment of anyone who wanted to listen. If he could trick them into loving and worshipping God in the process that… Read more

Stanley Hauerwas: A Prayer for Our Enemies As We Are All Learning How to Hate

We are all learning how to hate. That is to say, we are all being taught everyday how to hate. I’m serious. Maybe more than at any other time in my lifetime members of our society are fully engaged learners in the art of hating our neighbor. We live in an era of enemies. Every day powerful forces in our society attempt to stoke our innate fear and anger, and they offer us someone to blame—someone to hate. I’m sorry… Read more

Do Things Like Income Inequality and Tax Reforms Really Matter to God?

During the Civil War both sides of the conflict were convinced that God was on their side. Both saw their cause as righteous. Both prayed to God for vindication. Time and history have shown God was on the side of the North, and not simply because they won the war. God was on the side of the North because of slavery. God will not stand idly by while whole races of human beings are not properly valued. We might want… Read more

Top 25 Tom Petty Songs of All Time

Tom Petty taught me what Rock and Roll was all about. I think I was in 7th grade when I bought Damn the Torpedoes (on 8 track). That low-strung guitar & high voice (like mine). I sang along for untold hours. Awhile back, Tom Petty was asked in an interview why he always played every single hit in their concerts. Didn’t he get tired of playing those same songs over and over? His answer was something like if it was my… Read more

Let Us Prove by the Way We Love Each Other That the Light Is Winning Despite this Act of Madness

Don’t get used to this violence. This not how it has to be. Don’t tune it out. Don’t try to distract or numb yourself. We have to bear witness to what happened. Read more

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