Ebola, Faith, and Friends of Ours


Yesterday, Anderson Cooper interviewed Nancy Writebol and her husband. Nancy is an American ebola survivor and a missionary, with her husband, in Africa. Her interview is moving--full of realism, compassion, and faith.This interview reminded me of another missionary couple--also with SIM--we've known for more than thirty years. I describe Steve and Mary Hawthorne on page 71 of Inspired: the Holy Spirit and the Mind of Faith. I think you should know them, too, because they share a faith with N … [Read more...]

Mark Driscoll Needs a Prophet of His Own


For thirteen years, I've worked at a college that lies a stone's throw from Mars Hill Church, where Mark Driscoll holds court. Now that court is crumbling amidst charges of financial impropriety and abuse of power.Driscoll has said he's changing. No more social media. No more funneling funds to become a best-selling author. No more "angry young prophet.” More accountability to trusted friends.The first three suggestions are absolutely necessary. It's the fourth suggestion--more a … [Read more...]

Golden Boy


Last night was my turn in the food bank, along with Tara. It turned out to be a lovely summer evening, with a steady stream of homeless, mothers and sons, itinerant bike-riders, coming for their paper bags full of canned chili and corn flakes and macaroni and cheese. It was the sort of night that gave us time to chat. Sometimes, it’s so busy, you fill a bag and give a bag and fill another bag. Not last night. It was pleasant. We were comrades—bag-fillers and bag-takers alike—in the fight against … [Read more...]

A Wee Little Man and a Big Insight


Last weekend Priscilla and I flew to Dallas to teach in an organization called United Methodist Women. We’d written the 2014 spiritual growth study, How Is It with Your Soul?, so they asked us to teach. We had a wonderful time with a remarkable group of people who share an equal amount of hunger for scripture and for justice.I arrived late. Priscilla and I were scheduled to leave at 6:45 AM on Thursday, but it was not to be. Jeremy graduated on Father’s Day, and our whole family, one by one, … [Read more...]

A Memorial Service, Memory, and the Eventual Gifts of Suffering

spu webpage

Last night was the memorial service, not just for Paul Lee, who died on Thursday, but for everyone affected by the SPU shooting. My twenty-two year old daughter and I came straight from the gym. We arrived about five minutes early, and the place was packed, so our friend Celeste said we could sit on the stage, facing out. So Chloe walked sheepishly up in her t-shirt, gym shorts and flip flops, and I toddled up, to lend a speck of grey to the young heads of hair on the stage.Being on the … [Read more...]

Christian Prayer as Media Event

spu webpage

My colleague, Rick Steele, wrote this essay for TIME magazine online in the aftermath of the shooting at Seattle Pacific University. It is significant, so I reproduce it here in full.  ___________________________________________________________________________________________Last Thursday afternoon around 3:30 p.m., a senseless act of violence visited Seattle Pacific University, where I teach. Within minutes, squad cars, fire engines, ambulances, helicopters, and TV news trucks had con … [Read more...]