Tied Up In Our Own Preferences

While the contemporary ability to determine one's family size is heralded as a mark of Western progress, that freedom carries with it moral and spiritual responsibility. Some branches of Christendom (most notably, the Catholic Church) have well-documented doctrinal positions about issues of reproductive technology and artificial means of birth control, many in the evangelical world default to silence on the issue of permanent sterilization.When Hobby Lobby and others made headlines for … [Read more...]

The Collateral Damage From A Youth Pastor’s Sexual Sin

youth group

Last week, Leadership Journal magazine posted an article penned by a youth pastor who groomed, then sexually abused a girl in his youth group. He is now in prison for his crimes. The anonymous article was saturated with a self-pitying tone,  some horrifying reframing of his sin (statutory rape is not an "affair"), and a stunning lack of concern for the young woman upon whom he preyed. It took a couple of very intense days of social media activity by those infuriated by the platform given to a … [Read more...]

Virtual Road Trip + A Quick School Update

vw van

A book is meant to create a conversation between writer and reader. A good book can spark conversations that echo far beyond its pages. By nature of its form and function, a book with 40,000 or more words (Victor Hugo's Les Miserables clocks in at over 500,000 words) is an extended meditation on a subject or theme.The form and function of a blog post is an entirely different critter. Most blog posts are 500-1,000 words in length. They have pictures, hyperlinks, and most have comments … [Read more...]

Honoring The Dishonorable?

1950's

This Sunday is Father's Day. For some of us, the day will be a sentimental one filled with the gifts of a construction paper card with a crayoned sentiment and a medium-rare steak on the grill. For others, the word "Father" is tied to abuse, neglect or abandonment, and June 15th will be just another day of painful memories.My friend Libby Buchanan, a survivor of the child pornography industry, has earned a spot in the latter category, but has worked hard to both integrate and move beyond her … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church/Practicing In Community

tree

"I wonder what the average age is of the group in this room."Author and pastor Ian Morgan Cron scanned the group gathered in the chapel at Willow Creek last Sunday night for the experimental gathering dubbed The Practice. He was there to speak about, then lead us in communion. While there were a good number of twenty- and thirty-somethings representing, the crowd definitely skewed to older Gen X'ers and Boomers. Probably because there is no childcare or children's programming available at … [Read more...]

Interview: Marlena Graves/A Beautiful Disaster

graves cover

One of the first things that struck me about Marlena Graves' writing was how very grounded she was. She could provide great analysis about disturbing cultural trends while at the same time managing to point her readers in the direction of the Jesus she loved. We'd first connected several years ago via our contributions to Christianity Today's popular Her.meneutics blog. (Click here to have a peek at some of the topics Marlena has tackled for the site.) She has written about tough topics ranging … [Read more...]

Come To The Table (Part 2)

kitchen table

Yesterday, I shared the first half of this fictional story about a once-powerful head pastor who lost his job in an ugly game of church politics. (Click here to read it.) While this story is based in the stories I've heard from those who've been beat up in ministry, it also contains the reason I have hope for those who've built a church or organizational culture around their big personalities and ambitions. When all of the artifice is stripped away - and stripping away is indeed the only way … [Read more...]


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