New Book: Letters to Me

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A new book to which I have contributed was released yesterday... Letters to Me: Conversations with A Younger Self Other Contributors include: Margot Starbuck, Tamára Lunardo, David Baer, Seth Barnes, Lore Ferguson, Lyla Lindquist, Anita Mathia, Brian McLaren, Penny Nash, Wade Owlett, Kristin Ritzau, Aletheia Schmidt, Therese Schwenkler, Charity Singleton, Shawn Smucker, J. B. Wood, and Eric Sheridan WyattBuy now: [ Amazon Paperback ] [ Kindle ]What’s the book about? Writers remember something that happened when they were between 18 and 30, and then send a letter to themselves about t … [Read more...]

A Hymn for Election Day.

 It's probably a sin of the deepest sacrilege to connect a song of this extraordinary beauty with Election Day...But I can't stop thinking about how relevant it is...Here's just a few snippets:"What a beautiful piece of heartache This has all turned out to be Lord knows we've learned the hard way All about healthy apathy" … [Read more...]

What if Columbus and Cortez had their own Reality TV Show?

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We were staying with relatives this weekend and while flipping through the channels on Friday night, we stumbled upon the premier of the new Discovery Channel show, Jungle Gold. The premise of the show is that two Americans, who are in over their heads in debt (to the tune of over a half million dollars) after trying to get rich in Real Estate before the housing bubble burst, are headed to Ghana to make quick money mining gold.  A trailer for the show is available above. … [Read more...]

Recovering a Politics of Lament in Our Faith Communities

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An article that I wrote for the Huffington Post went live today...This article is a followup to my blog series here last week on lamenting the Aurora shooting...Also, if these reflections on lament have resonated with you, you should check out my friend Tripp Hudgins' recent thoughts in the same direction...  Recovering a Politics of Lament in Our Faith Communities C. Christopher Smith, Senior Editor, The Englewood Review of Books One of the most disturbing things about the American public's reaction to the recent theater shooting in Aurora was the speed at which the … [Read more...]

What Does it Mean to Lament?

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This post is a follow-up to Saturday's post on Lament and the Aurora Theater shooting.Over the last couple of days, I have realized that lament is such a foreign concept for many of us as Westerners that I might have been making too big of a leap in assuming that people knew what I meant by lament.  So, I offer a few more thoughts here about what lament is and what it might mean for us to lament the recent theater shooting in Aurora.To lament is to come alongside those who grieve, to sit with them (literally or figuratively) in the silence and to recognize there that in God's … [Read more...]

Lament and the Aurora theater shooting.

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I heard about the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado as I was on my way home yesterday from a retreat with my wife.  The news left me speechless; how does one respond to senseless violence on that scale?This morning, as I continued to reflect on this tragic incident, I recalled a very helpful passage in Chris Rice and Emmanuel Katongole's recent book Reconciling All Things (Duke Divinity School Center for Reconciliation / IVP Resources for Reconciliation Series).  I dug up a copy of the book and mulled over the chapter on lament. I had forgotten how the authors had connected lament with s … [Read more...]

Conversation, Identity and Christian Unity.

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I have been keenly following Timothy Dalrymple's posts this week about partisan scorn and his critical response to Rachel Held Evans' well-traveled post “How to Win a Culture War and Lose a Generation”...  Although I'm a bit skeptical of Dalrymple's choice of Evans as an example of  "selling scorn," I'm not really going to comment on their back and forth, as I don't have a stake in either side of that conversation.What was of interest to me, in light of my concern for our churches as hubs of conversation were these excellent three points that Dalrymple offered at the end of his most recent … [Read more...]


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