Strange Juxtapositions

The room from which I’m writing right now in Canada looks south.  The beauty out the bay window is more than stunning; the beauty almost makes me ache.  Crisp golden leaves dancing in the wind as clouds envelope Vancouver island to the east, and waves whitecap the sound, while the other sound is rain hitting the window. Then I open my computer to post, and right after I’m finished posting about his beauty, and the good God behind it, I… Read more

“AND”: the importance of paradox to faith

Webster’s Dictionary defines paradox this way:  an argument that apparently derives self-contradictory conclusions by valid deduction from acceptable premises Neat systems bother me.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s Calvinism or Arminianism, fundamentalism or liberalism, Catholicism or Protestantism.  All these constructs bother me for two reasons.  First, each system has its own inherent strengths and weaknesses.  Our role, isn’t to be fans of a system, but to be followers of Jesus, and this requires that at some level we be willing stand… Read more

U2 and the Unfashionable Cross

It seems like everyone I know has been to, or is going to, hear u2 live in October.  They’re out on the west coast, doing a tour and so Christians between 20 and 40 are making the pilgrimage.  Before I continue, I’ll offer the caveat that I love u2.  I just returned from running stairs and Bono was my companion because, after the 10th set of sprints it’s true:  I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. Their music, lyrics,… Read more

Lessons from Europe…

This November/December I’ll once again be spending some time in Germany and Austria, teaching at two different Bible Colleges.  During the trip this year, though, I hope to catalog some of the sites and history over there that have shaped my theology.  If you’ve read my blog for a little while, you know that some of my favorite inspirational martyrs are the young students who comprised the “White Rose” Fellowship in Germany.  I’m also a huge fan of Carl Muth,… Read more

Marriage: Away it goes

It’s an amazing time in history. On the one hand, we’re seeing movement on the part of same-sex couples to have the right to marry, while on the other hand, we see the heterosexual world increasingly treating “marriage” with callous disregard. It’s this latter point that stood out to me while watching “Away We Go” recently. In case you’ve not seen it, I’ll shamelessly cut and post the synopsis from here: Mid-thirtysomethings Burt Farlander and Verona De Tessant are a… Read more

The Bible as an Idol

In Exodus 20, the very first of God’s ten commandments is His declaration that we must “have no other gods”, and right on the heels of that, we’re warned against “graven images”, which is a warning against fabricating gods out from our own creativity as representations of the true God.  God warns against this, of course, because He knows that our attempts to represent God will always, mis-represent Him, as we can do none other than make God in our… Read more

Are we there yet? Sojourners and Shalom

How do you find music you like? Here’s one way it happens for me… I purchased a compilation CD recently because I’d heard one song on it, on the radio, that I wanted to savor, and because the proceeds from the CD go to preserving the forests of our beautiful Cascade mountains. Neither reason would have been good enough alone, but together, I caved and bought the CD. Though I bought it because of this, I loved both the lyrics… Read more

This is what I’m talking about…

“God has placed eternity in the hearts of men…”  is one of those mysterious verses in the Bible that is best explained through illustration, by pointing at something and saying, “that’s what it means”.  Now that Obama’s been awarded a the Nobel Peace Prize before actually doing much of anything substantive to contribute to world peace, I think we have an example of Ecclesiastes 3:11. Don’t go all “Rush” on me, and scream about liberal conspiracies.  Your tirade will cause… Read more

Dancing the Sabbath in 6/7 time

I’m privileged to teach in Europe every year for a week or two. Europe, you know, is what the Republican party is afraid we’re becoming if we let everybody have access to health care. It’s the “post Christian” culture that so many are afraid we’ll become if we don’t vote properly. I’m not certain what “becoming like Europe means”… I know it means that we’ll spend less on health care per capita while our mortality rates will drop and our… Read more

questions…bridges…life

Welcome… After blogging for years over at blogspot (where you can find all the old stuff about movies, sexuality, politics, faith, doubt, Iran, Iraq, money, sleep, books, mountains, coffee… it’s all there if you nose around long enough), I’m moving over here to a different site, in hopes of focusing my thoughts and creativity a bit, trimming my efforts down to address three things: 1. Questions – I’m a pastor, and so I get real questions all the time.  “Why… Read more




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