Did you know that the entire coal industry employs fewer people than Arby’s? Election year bluster aside, manufacturing jobs are not coming back. The coal industry is not the future of the American economy. The future of the American labor force is in the service sector. Look at the above graph from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Total manufacturing jobs have stayed level for three decades now. The major growth in the labor market comes from service industries … which presents a bit of… Read more

It’s clear that rich people are the only ones getting richer. Here’s why. Read more

Dietrich Bonhoeffer warned about societies that lose access to wisdom. Read more

I’ve got a podcast to recommend. It’s called The Daily, from The New York Times. I listen often because the host Michael Barbaro takes an in depth look at one important story from each day’s NYT. The particular episode I want to recommend is from Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 and its the story of a man named Derek Black. Derek Black grew up in one of the leading families of the white nationalist movement. His mother was once married to David Duke. His father, once… Read more

  “White Christian conservatives were Trump’s largest single voting bloc: bigger than the “white working class,” bigger than establishment Republicans, bigger than Trump’s Tea Party base. Over 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump, despite the candidate’s lewdness, greed, and inability to pronounce “Second Corinthians.” That’s how Jay Michaelson’s recent article at The Daily Beast begins. Michaelson separates evangelical Trump voters into two camps. The first camp held their noses in order to get a conservative Supreme Court, a born again VP, and a… Read more

On my sabbatical I’ve been slowly reading back through the trilogy of Frederick Buechner’s memoirs. I’ve read them all more than once, so for variety’s sake I took them in reverse order – Telling Secrets, Now and Then, The Sacred Journey. The middle book contains what has to be one of my favorite bits of writing by Buechner in all his work. He tells the story of going to a seminar on prayer. The presenter was an Episcopalian faith-healer (I… Read more

I’m so tired of hearing the fake news meme, especially because true reporters are actually forced to have integrity. Here’s what I mean. The phrase fake news entered the American lexicon during the 2016 presidential campaign. Headlines like “FBI Agent Suspected In Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide” were completely fabricated. This particular article, written by a man named Jestin Coler, was shared on Facebook over a half-million times. That kind of traffic generates income for fake news writers like… Read more

“This must be God’s will” is a phrase often used to cover all manner of sins. Misuse of the will-of-God-card notwithstanding, seeking divine guidance has always been an essential aspect of discipleship. My paradigm for how to discern God’s will isn’t comprised of three easy steps or a scripted process. I have no principles or guidelines to offer in this discussion. What I do have to offer is Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer was 27 years old and a leading youth worker in the German… Read more

Corporations have slowly, silently, and effectively seized the mechanisms of government, and corrupted them to serve their own needs over and above the needs of the citizenry. What is a Christian to do? Read more

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

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