Ashes and Life

After Jim died, his widow, Teresa, had to leave the house on our street where they had lived for decades. My son Kip made this oil painting of the house for her.

This summer a neighbor of mine died. I had gotten to know Jim and his wife, Teresa, during the last ten years I’ve lived on their street. I had the privilege of offering a tribute at his memorial service. The service was unlike any I’d ever been part of because instead of burying his body, [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 knows for [Read More...]

On Being the Local Church: A Musing


Last December I helped plant a new church in La Mirada – Anglican Church of the Epiphany (ACE). Not only did I help plant it but I am the pastor of the church too. Needless to say life has gotten quite busy in the last seven months. I have pastored churches in the past, during [Read More...]

Change: Looking Back and Looking Forward


I am waxing a bit nostalgic at the moment.Fifteen years have gone by since I first faced a class of eighteen eager and thoughtful young people, wondering who this strange guy in tweed playing second fiddle to the charismatic, magic-producing founder of the Torrey Honors Institute was. In the weeks before my very first session, [Read More...]

Christmas Playlist 2012

early american dancing scene

A Christmas tradition we have in the Sanders family is to make a new mix of music each year, to play in our own house and to give to friends. We’ve posted the playlists here at Scriptorium (see four mixes and four more from previous years). Here’s the 2012 collection:Folk Christmas Mix  We’re taking “folk” in a [Read More...]

A.T. Pierson’s Biola Connections

A T Pierson

I was asked recently about the relationship between A. T. Pierson (1837 -1911) and the early years of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. I am not aware of any direct connection –Pierson never worked at BIOLA, for example. But Pierson and Biola’s founders were the same kind of people, devoted to the same things, and [Read More...]

Becoming a Christian


Little of the growth in my life comes from learning something new. Instead, it comes from learning—really learning—something old. Or it comes from getting inside something I’ve known about for a long time. It comes from re-examining, from walking over the territory yet again, hoping that a fresh look will yield a sense of things [Read More...]

The Need to Work


Another school year has come and gone and summer is now in full swing. In fact, I write this before I head home to swim with my two sons. Nothing is better in the summer for a university professor than sleeping in, doing some reading and writing and going for a late afternoon swim with [Read More...]

Dr. Johnson’s Cat

Hodge the cat

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), the literary giant behind Rasselas and the first truly great English dictionary, had a cat. He actually had several cats over the course of his life, actually, but the only one we have information about is a black cat named Hodge. Johnson’s biographer, Boswell, hated cats, but grudgingly reported on Johnson’s fondness [Read More...]

A Noble Risk:
The Making of a Wheatstone Conference Theme


Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.  1 Peter 4:19No sensible man would insist that these things are as I have described them, but I think it is fitting for a man to risk the [Read More...]