Sign of our times, Round Lake edition

Based on my July 11 post at the Christianity Today her.meneutics blog entitled "Would Jesus Walk Away From A Mortgage?", you can imagine that this red notice that appeared this morning on my next-door neighbor's front door did not bring joy to my heart. In case you can't read it, it is a final notice of eviction. Since I wrote the post, I have spoke with 5 real estate agents (including one of those dudes that has signs reading "We Buy Your Home!" posted on telephone poles), a real estate lawyer, … [Read more...]

Review: Reluctant Pilgrim

The subtitle this 181-page spiritual memoir is "A Moody, Somewhat Self-Indulgent Introvert's Search for Spiritual Community", which perhaps may feel as though the book's cover information gives away the proverbial ranch. But Reluctant Pilgrim (Fresh Air Books, 2010) is far more than the story of a solitude-craving woman's church search.Author Emuna Okoro tells it like it is - whether the "it" is a confessed fondness for designer purses or the confusing cacophony of emotions that spilled out of … [Read more...]


One foot in front of the other.Again.The tracks their feet had made during the silent marches of the days before today were beginning to wear a rut in the sun-baked ground surrounding the walled city. Fully-armed men marching, the only sound the heavy cadence of their footfalls. They’d been instructed to carry their weapons, but had been prohibited from using them by their commander-in-chief.I have wondered if any of them were tempted to murmur, to voice their questions about this u … [Read more...]

Review: With

"Christianity isn't a religion. It's a relationship." If you've spent any time at all in the evangelical world, you've probably heard some version of those words. In his book With: Reimagining the way you relate to God (Nelson, 2011) Pastor and author Skye Jethani explains that most of us settle for an erzatz version of this relationship:Life FROM God: People in this category are focused on what God will do for them, rather than being interested in God himself. Word-of-faith believers and … [Read more...]

Women can. Should they?

I am currently reading Carolyn Custis James' thoughtful call to action entitled Half The Church: Recapturing God's Global Vision For Women, which is an invitation for kingdom women to respond with kingdom intelligence, passion and action to the injustice in our world. And then yesterday, I read this this fairly detailed description of men's and women's roles by a Pastor Mark Chanski on the Gospel Coalition blog. Honestly, I am not trying to rant about the GC crew. I mentioned them in a blog post … [Read more...]

What’s a nice egalitarian woman like you doing…?

What's a nice egalitarian woman like you doing in a complementarian church? When we started attending this church a year and a half ago, a friend said to me, "You know they're Gospel Coalition people, right?" Yes, I did know. In fact, during our decision/discernment process about whether this church would be a good fit for us, we'd invited both pastors over to our home for some frank conversation about how their neo-Reformed theology worked itself out in the congregation. The conversation … [Read more...]

Review: The Seraph Seal

I'm not much of a fiction reader, but when I saw Leonard Sweet's name on the cover of this book, I decided to give it a spin*. Co-written with Lori Wagner, The Seraph Seal (Thomas Nelson, 2011) is a genre-blurring book the authors have dubbed "engaged fiction". The meat of the book is an apocalyptic journey through the end of days that borrows in structure from barn-burners like the DaVinci code, book-ended with Sweet's trademark provocative, prophetic decoding of the often-disparate clues … [Read more...]