Straight White Men Shouldn’t Write about Power and Privilege, Right?


This post is part of the Patheos Book Club. To see more posts about this book, see an interview with the author, and add your own review, see the Patheos Book Club.

On this blog and elsewhere, I have been repeatedly told that I am blind to my own privilege. Of course, it’s hard to see what you’re blinded to, and if you protest a statement like that, you’re being obstinate and defensive. That’s why a lot of straight, white men like me — and especially those of us employed by the academy — avoid writing about such things, so we can avoid the charge, “Who the hell are you to write about such things?!?” Instead, we choose other things to write about.

Evangelicalism isn’t as beset with political correctness as the progressive academy, so maybe that’s why Andy Crouch could unashamedly tackle the subject of power and privilege in his new and compelling book, Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power. Also, Andy is a journalist, so he can claim a bit of objectivity in his approach.

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Men and War


As I’ve written here before, I have a bit of a fascination with war. It began my freshman year in college, when I took a seminar called, “The Iliad and Memories of War,” with the intoxicating and quirky professor, James Tatum. Tatum later turned that seminar into a book.

The first week of my freshman year in college, Tatum assigned me and my ten classmates to read The Iliad, the 16,000-line epic poem by Homer. It was a daunting task. Yet read it, I did. Upon completing it, I was both buoyed by the accomplishment, and hooked on memoirs of war. We went on to read a dozen more books, from ancient times to modern, about men at war.

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10 Tips for Working with an Editor [Manuscript Monday]

This post is sponsored by Grammarly. I use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker because so many people have accused me of stealing my theology from Pope Francis.

A month ago today, I was in Chicago, meeting with my editor about my next book. I’ve known him professionally and as a friend for over a decade, but we’ve never worked together before, so I didn’t know quite what to expect. Over the course of a day, sitting at his kitchen table, we talked about everything from what I see as my role in the wider world to what should be my “voice” in this book to how the table of contents should flow.

As a result of our meeting, the table of contents is, in fact, completely different. I had written about 23,000 words of the manuscript prior to our meeting, so we also went over some passages, talking about my voice, my writing style, etc. All in all, it was a great meeting, and I’m fortunate to be working with him.

With a dozen books in print, I’ve worked with almost that many editors. I’ve also worked as an editor, both in my role at sparkhouse, and in a couple book projects. So, from my vantage point, here are my Top Ten Tips for Working with an Editor:

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The Most Famous Lutheran Pastor Since Bonhoeffer?

photo by Courtney Perry

It’s gotta be Nadia, right? I mean, I’ve been wracking my brain, and I cannot think of one. Can you? If so, please debate it in the comment.

PS: Yes, I know, Nadia will hate this post. But she’ll still love me. I think.

PPS: Check out Nadia’s post on Jericho Books’ site. It’s something I TOTALLY resonate with, about how her edgy, public self is not her only self.