The Advent of Good Will

By far my favorite story about the celebration of Christmas is the Christmas truce of 1914. On the night of December 24th, entrenched and fully engaged in deadly combat, German soldiers in Ypres began to observe Christmas festivities. They lit candles, decorated a tree, and began to sing carols. After a short while, the British troops [Read More…]

A Culture of Secrets and Intimidation

Richie Incognito’s alleged harassment of his Miami Dolphins’ teammate Jonathan Martin has been in the news a great deal these last couple weeks, and it is a complex story. I assume that there will be a good deal more of “he said he said,” and that we may never get to the bottom of what [Read More…]

The Consummate Consumer (Gray Matters)

Brett McCracken’s new book Gray Matters: Navigating the Space Between Legalism & Liberty is a vade mecum for cultured Christians. It’s for Christians who are either up to date enough that they’d never say vade mecum, or who are way past up to date and are trying to bring vade mecum back. A vade mecum is [Read More…]

How Do I Learn From Experience If I Don’t Have Any?

Earlier this summer, I got an email from John Buchanan, a current student in the Torrey Honors Institute: Hello, Dr. Jenson. As you may be told from time to time, you are the mentor that seemed sensible to talk to regarding the subject of this email… Probably because you are a younger male but who [Read More…]

An Empty Wardrobe

I’ve made it a habit to avoid movies starring Johnny Depp. There are many things I can put up with in an actor, but that special Depp brand of unctuous sex appeal is not one of them. After one last shot with the first Pirates movie, I pulled the plug on Depp, that is, until [Read More…]

Stop Using the F-Word

As we careen at breakneck speed towards the legalization of gay marriage, as people yell and stamp and scream and justify and demonize, consider this moving, quiet, patient, eloquent plea (with a follow-up) by an anonymous writer to just stop using words that freeze, reduce, diminish and thrash gays and lesbians.  I was attracted to comic [Read More…]

What Rob Bells Talks About When He Talks About God

Rob Bell’s new book just came out. In its title, borrowed from one of Raymond Carver’s short story collections, Bell promises to lay bare What We Talk About When We Talk About God. Carver’s quietly aching scenes of love, or perhaps more of the reality of failed and blocked and misconstrued gestures towards intimacy that pass [Read More…]

Getting Back to the (Dating) Basics

I spend most of my time working with undergraduate students, directing them academically through the Torrey Honors Institute or offering life and/or pastoral advice as they learn to navigate the oftentimes difficult and uncertain terrain of adulthood. I love what I do and I would not trade it for any other job. What I have [Read More…]

In Defense of Cinderella: The Dress

                    I have a near-three-year-old girl who lives within a mile of both sets of grandparents. This means that some aspect of the Disney princess world will infiltrate our lives (yes, ours, not just hers) with or without my consent. The first foray involved mysterious new [Read More…]

Progress for the Sake of…

As I was driving around LA the other day listening to NPR, two stories run back-to-back caught my attention. The first was a story about the recent Nobel-prize winners John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka, who have uncovered a means for turning any cell into a stem cell from which an organ or even a [Read More…]