“Honestly”: Riffing on Messy Lives, Jesus, and Jazz

Attitudes, especially bad ones, pop up at the most interesting moments. At a church we served, a woman frequently attend who was a nurse. We got along fine – except when I made any mention of anything medical in my sermons. She didn’t just frown or shake her head. She honked a brick out her left [Read More…]

The Power of the Cross: A Review

One might wonder why an established old school publisher like Moody Press would put out a book into a “felt need” market entitled The Power of the Cross: Putting It to Work in Your Life. The main reason (with which I find myself in agreement) lies in the fact that many who profess to believe [Read More…]

40 Days of Decrease: A Different Kind of Lent Book

Lent is a partisan animal. How much we pay attention to it largely depends on where we come down in the Body of Christ called the Church. Liturgical churches observing the annual church calendar all went for ashes on their foreheads a few weeks ago. Baptist, evangelical, charismatic, Pentecostal, non-denominational, etc mostly ignore it or [Read More…]

Happiness: A Book Review

[Editor’s Note: This post is part of a conversation at the Patheos Book Club on the new book Happiness, by Randy Alcorn.] I have a confession. I really didn’t like two songs that everybody else pretty much loved: Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry. Be Happy” and Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”. The secret of the last tune lies in the [Read More…]

Encountering Jesus: Real Stories from Real People

Book Review Encountering Jesus: Modern-Day Stories of His Supernatural Presence and Power Compiled by James Stuart Bell It’s hard to stay cool while speaking to a hot question. And when the question has religious overtones or is religious to the core, the hot gets hotter. Gay marriage, new Calvinism, race – pick one. How’s this? [Read More…]

Dissecting Patriachy and Biblical Manhood: A Review of ‘Maelstrom’

To appreciate quality, we must slow down. In fact, quality insists that we slow down. Anyone can snarf down a bag of White Castles; they seem designed to be eaten quickly. But we cannot just wolf down marinated chicken kabobs with rice and tabbouleh, hummus on the side and a square of baklava to finish. [Read More…]

On the Messiness of Life and the Mystery of God: A Review of Ken Wytsma’s “The Grand Paradox”

Say the word “theology” and eyes can glaze over. A number of reasons for this come to mind. Sometimes our thinking on theology is sincerely misguided. Some believe that being Christian bypasses the mind, that thinking too much just provokes arguments and stifles simple faith. Some of us are lazy, shirking the mental work of [Read More…]


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