Quitting Religion for Lent?

“I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your assemblies.  Even though you offer me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offering of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them”  Amos the prophet It happens to all of us at times;  Events and moments which, in better times, would be pregnant with joy and meaning, are reduced to obligations.  “Off to church with you” your mind says,… Read more

If you fail at falling, you’ll fail at everything.

Eric Fromm, in his classic “The Art of Loving”, writes that a healthy environment for growing up would include parents who, between them, would receive both an unconditional love and a very conditional and demanding love.  That sounds controversial of course, and probably is.  But I wonder if there isn’t some merit in thinking about it a bit before dismissing it outright.  After all, Jesus, we’re told, was full of grace and truth.  He told his followers that they needed… Read more

The gift of a stone in your shoe (or, “How to build a better life”)

I’m running to the library on a Saturday afternoon because there’s a book waiting for me there about the Grand Canyon.  The run will be 3.4 miles, and somewhere between the first and second miles a tiny stone found it’s way into my minimalist shoe.  It’s smaller than a rice-krispy, but the level of annoyance is out of proportion to the stone’s size.  Even so, I ran on, feeling a mild pinch underfoot with each step, hoping it will go… Read more

Turn off the TV, come to my senses

The days recently have been fuller than they ought to be.  Obligations, activities, teachings, preparations, all good things in themselves, have been stacked, like smooth bricks, so tightly that you can’t fit a piece of paper between them.  When this happens life becomes reactionary.  When this happens margins disappear and life begins to feel like a video game, where stuff is just coming at me and I’m reacting. The worst part of this is the toll it takes on the… Read more

Finding the best mentor in the world

I have a friend in Germany who works at one of the best Bible schools in the world.  I say “best” because of what I believe to be the goal of a Bible School.  The purpose of investing time in Bible School is, primarily and overwhelmingly to grow in one’s relationship with Christ.  Arguments about the authorship of Genesis, the nuances of eschatology, and esoteric ethic discussions all have a certain values, but they are always entirely secondary to the… Read more

Weekend Links – Sexual Ethics and Practice for Christ Followers

For those interested in the ongoing conversation that’s unfolding on this blog about sexual ethics, here are some links to other articles that you’ll find helpful.  As God’s people, our calling is to bring light into dark places, and there’s perhaps no arena where we’ve done that more poorly throughout our history than the realm of sexuality and sexual ethics.  What I offer here isn’t a set of answers, but a bringing of the conversation into the light. Why the… Read more

It’s my body, and I’ll do what I want to – the myth of private sexual ethics

“We’re two consenting adults.  What we do behind a closed door is nobody’s business.”  There, in those two sentences, you find the prevailing, public, sexual ethic of western civilization.  By “Public Ethic” I mean to say that this is what, collectively, we believe.  There are sexual ethics to the left of this that we reject as a culture (pedophilia, rape, abuse) and to the right (“sexual practice should be confined to expression between a man and woman who are married”),… Read more

The Abortion Debate – learning from 40 years of non-dialogue.

Today is the 40th anniversary of the landmark Roe v Wade abortion decision enacted by the supreme court.  Since that time, the rhetoric, misinformation, strategic “messaging”, and political posturing surrounding this issue has continued by both sides.  These 40 years reveal that Americans are good at talking within self-referential communities, but not good at talking to people whose view is different than their own. As a result, Roe v Wade became a catalytic force for the religious right to establish… Read more

Keeping Sexual Issues in Proportion: This isn’t baseball – it’s faith!

Baseball was in the news last week and the lesson it offers us has everything to do with how the church and many within it view sexuality.  We desperately need to learn that being the people of God is a higher calling than being a sportswriter.  Unfortunately, it seems that much of the evangelical world doesn’t yet know that, and as a result, there are lots of Christ followers on the bench, or worse, on the streets because they’ve been… Read more

Covenant and Mutuality: Basis for intimacy – foundation of sexuality

The belief that God exists as “three in one” (trinity doctrine) is central to developing a healthy sexual ethic.  Here’s why: 1. God exists in perfect unity and fellowship within Godself.  Think about how Jesus submits himself to the will of the Father continuously during his human life.  “My teaching is not my own.  My will is not my own.  My judgement is not my own.  My authority is not my own.”  Jesus is the expression of the will of… Read more




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