Why Christians Need to Observe Lent

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

Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Worry, Violence & Loving Our Enemies

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

Science, Faith, & Podcasting: A Match Made in Youth Ministry (an interview with Lulu Miller & Science Mike)

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

What If Trump Supporters & Women’s Marchers Are All Missing the Boat?

“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

The Affordable Care Act Worked for My Family & We Really Needed It to Work

  I was thinking back to where my family was when Obamacare first went into effect. I wrote the post below after we had been kicked off our health insurance & dumped into the Kansas high-risk pool. Time and again as we shopped for new coverage we were denied by insurance companies due to pre-existing health conditions. The ACA changed all of that. I wrote back then that our legislators needed to work on the law to improve it & encourage… Read more

Here’s How We Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

All the neighborhood kids are out of school for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so for Cole McGee and his Redemption Church Youth Group there’s only one way to celebrate: a massive Playstation FIFA tournament. The church I pastor is seated in one of the only pockets of socio-economic diversity in Johnson County Kansas, a mostly white, extremely affluent suburb of Kansas City. Our neighborhood is largely Hispanic and skews poor in comparison to other suburbs on the Kansas side of the river. To… Read more

Ezra Klein Interviews Ta-Nehisi Coates on Race, Justice & the Tragic Imagination

Ezra Klein interviewed Ta-Nehisi Coates recently and the audio is up on the Ezra Klein Show podcast. Here are a few quotes & a comment about it. Klein credits Coates for having what he calls a tragic imagination—a sense that things don’t always turn out well in the end. Sometimes things go tragically wrong and that’s the end. Klein and Coates both contend that a tragic imagination is one of the major differences between a Christian and an atheist. The atheist is… Read more

15 Great Gift Ideas for Book Lovers

Book lovers are a picky bunch. What we’re really after is more books, but we also want a deeper connection to the authors we love, and to share our love of books with our friends. With that in mind this is a list of 15 Great Gift Ideas for Book Lovers – the 2016 edition. 01. A Biography of their Favorite Author If your book lover is indeed a book lover, then they mostly want more books. So here’s a good place to… Read more

Wolf Blitzer Moderates Thanksgiving Dinner Like a Political Debate – Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

Need a referee with a whistle to keep the peace at your Thanksgiving get together? Ellen DeGeneres introduces “Mobile Moderator,” a new service that will allow Wolf Blitzer, Megyn Kelly, or Anderson Cooper to moderate your Thanksgiving dinner and keep post-election peace. Happy Thanksgiving everybody. Read more

Who Would Jesus Deport?: For the Christian, Immigration Isn’t About Politics or Economics

I am raising my voice in opposition to the prospect of the United States Government rounding up and deporting millions of our neighbors because they do not have legal immigration status. I’m doing so as a Christian and as a pastor. Because, for the Christian, immigration isn’t about politics or economics. Immigration is a matter of hospitality, and a matter of adhering to the teachings of the Bible. The Christian scriptures insist upon love as a way of life. Hospitality… Read more

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