Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote about what he termed: a fanatical devotion to death. He wrote, “When death is the end, then earthly life is everything or nothing.” I’ve been pondering those words this morning, and wondering: how many of us live with a fanatical devotion to death? What he means is that when we believe death is the end, then dealing with the reality of death becomes the prime motivator for life. If death is the end, then we can take one of… Read more

Every year on Maundy Thursday our church does a short visio divina around Leonardo DaVinci’s famous mural, “The Last Supper.” This practice, and this painting, have both come a rich part of our Holy Week tradition. Here are a few fun facts about Davinci’s famous masterpiece: DaVinci didn’t choose the subject matter. The work was commissioned by the Duke of Milan (Lodovico Sforza), and as was often the case in a commissioned work, the subject matter was chosen for DaVinci. The painting… Read more

The ISIS endgame is a hustle: carry out acts of violence so despicable that they create world-wide backlash & war. I am bewildered by the footage of bombs going off inside Christian churches in Egypt while worshippers gather to celebrate on Palm Sunday. Grief. Sadness. Confusion. I will never understand what could possibly consume a person that they would throw away their one and only shot at this life in order murder others in cold blood. Life is too beautiful and… Read more

It’s grief that you are feeling; a deep sorrow, a keen mental suffering, a sharp inner affliction. We all feel it. Our world is acutely grief inspiring these days; like two hands around our throats, an inner bruise at the center of the chest. I hate this feeling. But I don’t hate you. Maybe I lived a sheltered life as middle-class white kid from Central Kansas, but I don’t feel like I grew up encountering that much hatred. I simply didn’t see… Read more

I have a complicated relationship with productivity. On one hand, productivity can be about redeeming the time and making the most of my life. Thinking about productivity can push me toward stewardship, maximizing my ability to spend time on things that matter most. On the other hand, productivity can quickly veer off in the direction of neurotic need for achievement resulting in chronic stress; a sign that I am over-identified with my own accomplishments and attaching too much of my self-worth to… Read more

I’m sitting here in my office on a Friday morning, trying to make myself work. It’s 7am and the neighborhood is waking up. My kids are home asleep – no school today for them. But here in the neighborhood kids are already on the move. I’ve seen a couple of young hispanic men from the youth group already, walking to a friend’s house to catch a ride, or crossing the street to watch the neighbor’s kids until it’s time for… Read more

Why do Christians need to fast during Lent? Because most of us have just about everything we could ever need. We are basically want for nothing, and that situation is toxic to the human soul. We have lost track of what it means to be human. Observing Lent can help us get it back. In the 1920s & 1930s the three biggest sports were baseball, horse racing, & boxing. In 1926, a tough nineteen-year-old named Jim Braddock decided to try his… Read more

Worry: “Do not worry! Earthly goods deceive the human heart into believing that they give it security and freedom from worry. But in truth, they are what cause anxiety. The heart which clings to goods receives with them the choking burden of worry. Worry collects treasures, and treasures produce more worries. We desire to secure our lives with earthly goods; we want our worrying to make us worry-free, but the truth is the opposite. The chains which bind us to… Read more

A few months ago I took part in a Templeton Foundation grant to promote a better relationship between science and youth ministry. My task was to work on an article that would address some aspect of how the arenas of science and youth ministry intersect. As part of my project I interviewed Lulu Miller, cohost of Invisibilia, and Science Mike, from The Liturgists, and Ask Science Mike podcasts. What follows is an excerpt from my article, which has been published at Princeton Seminary’s Institute… Read more

“All the big things that were once taken for granted are now under assault.” That’s a quote from an article by David Brooks in today’s NYTimes explaining why he believes the women’s march this past weekend will ultimately fail to be an effective opposition to Donald Trump’s administration. The reason, Brooks says, is that marches have been focused on narrow sub-issues, while ignoring the mother of all issues for the entire world today: Ethnic Populism. “The crucial problems today,” Brooks says, “concern the way… Read more

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