the danger of saying: “I just do what the Bible says…”

"I just follow the Bible" is a potentially ridiculous and dangerous thing to say.  If you've heard of the crusades, the travesties of colonization and land theft, the unholy wedding of violence and the name of Christ, you'll know why.Take, for example, Ezra 7:26 where King Artaxerxes says: "Whoever will not observe the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed upon him strictly, whether for death or for banishment or for confiscation of goods or for … [Read more...]

Colossians: An antidote to cynicism and despair

I've been living in the book of Colossians a fair bit recently, diving in some mornings after coffee with God, and at other odd times during the week.  Over and over again, I've found myself saying, 'this is the truth that we need right now - at this anxious, polarized time in history, when it appears that so much all around us is either collapsing (think Egypt, Syria, Greece, the Eurozone), or built on untruths (think every campaign ad about to baptize your sensibilities).  From the moment we w … [Read more...]

Light, Shadows, Snow… and faith

When I say that we all need to learn how to read from the book of creation, sometimes people wrinkle their noses and wonder what I'm talking about.  This morning's journal entry might offer a helpful example, written after a morning walk with the neighbors up at the writing cabin.Good morning God...My heart is full this morning, grateful for the walking friends up here and the refreshing conversations when we do our mile together.  This morning though, most of my gratitude stems from t … [Read more...]

“Where’s this headed?” The importance of trajectory

I was on a morning walk recently with some friends in the mountains, and met someone on the walk who was visiting one of our neighbors.  We had a delightful conversation about the different things we'd done with our lives.  I told him that prior to living in Seattle I ran an outdoor program that was a blend of "Outward Bound" and "Bible Teaching".  (For those interested in such a program today, the best one I know of is in Austria, and you can learn of it here).  Then, right there, with the sun b … [Read more...]

Focus on the Dysfunctional Family

I love my friend, Larry Shallenberger's paragraph in this post, about the danger of "Christian Church Culture".  He likens God's transforming process to that of a mechanic restoring an old motorcycle, believing that the old rusted bike has its best years ahead of it.  We religious people, meanwhile, tend to handle each other like airport luggage handlers. This leads to the false belief that its better to lower our heads and fit in.Lower our heads and fit in. Covertly demand that, as a p … [Read more...]

Embracing Loss – the paradoxical road to joy

In the marvelous little book "I Quit", Geri Scazzero writes, "once you end the pretense of superficiality and 'niceness' that characterizes so much of the Christian culture today, you will experience liberation, freedom, and a genuine body life that is truly a taste of the kingdom of heaven".The single little paragraph explodes with important truths for me and, I hope, for you too:1. Superficiality and Pretense are woven into Christian culture. It's not just Christians, of course, who … [Read more...]

The empire has no clothes. The King has colors of hope

In my last post I wrote: Until I’m willing to see both the idolatry and insufficiency of the present “McWorld” system, I’ll also fail to see the radically hopeful nature of the gospel, which provides an exit strategy from these false hopes as it invites us into so much more than a ticket to heaven.Assuming that I do see the insufficiency of the present worldview (no matter who's in power), only clears the deck of false hopes.  It deconstructs.  It exposes.  And, if left alone, creates a g … [Read more...]

Public Vice and Private Virtue

I was privileged to attend the Annual Seattle Pacific Business Breakfast yesterday and listen to David Brooks, a favorite columnist of mine from the NY Times talk about the shift in ethos that's been occurring in our culture over the last fifty years.  In the midst of all that he said so well, one thing stood out to me.  In an after session Q&A, David noted that, when he's on Meet the Press, he'll chat with the appointed spokespeople from both the political left and right chosen to represent … [Read more...]


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