Public Jesus: Beyond the Politics of Anxiety

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Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Politics in the Pulpit. Read other perspectives here.   Talking politics in the local church is tricky. One statement that flies in the face of a parishioner’s strong belief and that could be the end of the conversation, the end of your influence, and quite possibly the end [Read More...]

No Regrets…

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I know it’s just a silly game. More than that, it’s professional sports, so it’s corrupt and corrupting. There’s a whole chapter in my most recent book, Shrink, called “Cooperation and the Mythic Failure of Competition.” A friend of mine once sat with a group of Hispanic parents and asked them what they thought about the culture of Johnson [Read More...]

The Spiritual Significance of Royals Baseball: Patience, & Royals Fever

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“I’ve tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I’ve worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, I gave Jesus a chance… It’s a [Read More...]

The Forgotten Virtue of Brokenness

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This essay was originally a sermon, delivered to Redemption Church. If you would like to listen or download the mp3, here’s the link.       One of the consistent claims of Jesus in the New Testament was this idea that the heart matters. The exterior life can be deceptive; we can play games with [Read More...]

For All You Pastors Out There Sitting Down to Write Your Sermon This Friday…

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            Dear Pastor, You put your congregation first, and yourself last, and you did it all week long. You took every phone call, answered every email, attended every meeting you could, and kept the ball moving forward in your congregation. You shared words of comfort, compassion, and encouragement with your people. [Read More...]

The Forgotten Virtue of Patience

1917 Ford Model T

This was originally a sermon that has been converted into a long-form essay. If you are a pastor, feel free to copy and steal any of these ideas.   One hundred years ago this was the hottest product on the market. What’s the great Henry Ford marketing phrase? You can have it in any color [Read More...]

Pragmatism is Killing the Church – It’s our Kryptonite: A Few Practical Suggestions On How To Avoid It

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I recently wrote an article for FaithGateway.com. Here are a few pull quotes… would love to have you go to the article & share a link on Facebook or Twitter…     Nearly every pastor or ministry leader I’ve ever met operates with the underlying assumption that their job is to make their ministry successful. [Read More...]

Monday Morning Confessional – I Have Royals Fever & The Only Solution Is…

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I confess that the past few weeks have been a blur. I’ve been out of town Monday through Wednesday each week, and have felt one step behind. The first trip was to Conception Abbey to spend a few days in discussion with Ian Cron… will blog about that later. The other trip was to Durham [Read More...]

Resident Aliens 25 Years Later: Stanley Hauerwas & William Willimon at Duke’s 2014 Convocation

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I spent the past couple of days at Duke University listening in on conversations between Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon. The event was part of Duke’s annual Convocation and Pastor’s School. Twenty-five years ago Hauerwas and Willimon teamed up to write the book Resident Aliens. To date the book has sold over 160,000 copies, a [Read More...]

Claiming the Body: The Funeral Task as Keeper of the Sacred Words

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Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Remembering the Dead: Ancestors, Rituals, Relics. Read other perspectives here. A few years ago my friend Chris Jehle asked me to begin making a trek to the hood in KCMO to help him with a peculiar task. Chris had spent the previous fifteen [Read More...]

Monday Morning Confessional: Fatherhood, Ian Cron, & Chasing the Rhino

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I confess that my daily routine has been completely whacked lately. I blame the Kansas City Royals’ three extra-innings playoff games in a row, after which I’m so jacked up, it takes me awhile to come back down. My body doesn’t seem to know what to do, so it just keeps trying to get me [Read More...]

Favorite Stanley Hauerwas Quotes

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If I had to pick one theologian who has had the most influence on my thinking–probably my being and doing as well–it would be Stanley Hauerwas. He has the ability to see the world the way I want to see it. He’s unafraid to tell the truth about his own life, which seems to give [Read More...]


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