I Have a Dream Today

130829 I Have a Dream Today

Fifty years ago yesterday, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” Speech. That speech lives long in our memories, ringing in our ears, and hopefully, residing deep in our hearts as a dream we all share. I am reminded this morning of that speech once again. May we all be judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin—including my white hide. This is not to say that we should discount the color of our skin and hide it: we should value people’s … [Read more...]

Instead of Divide and Conquer, Let’s Conquer the Divide

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Eventually, whites will likely become the new minority population in America. How do whites respond to this likely demographic change? Dr. David Anderson has provided a constructive approach to the issue. Certainly, whites are not a monolithic reality. For one, we are made up of a wide array of ethnicities and people groups, whether we are cognizant of it or not. Moreover, our responses to such issues as these are not uniform. Further to what Anderson says, whites like me will either react … [Read more...]

Born Free. Live Free.

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This post contains the basic message I gave at Irvington Covenant Church in Portland, Oregon on the morning of  August 25, 2013. The church has been going through Paul's letter to the Galatians. While drawing from other portions of Paul's letter, I give special attention to Galatians 4:21-31 (the text for 8/25) in what follows. Listen to this piece. Have you ever felt trapped in the past, that you could not get loose from the chains that grip you, the patterns and ruts and the memories … [Read more...]

Gatorade, Gunfire and the Good Samaritan

130823 P Gatorade, Gunfire, and the Good Samaritan

In view of the biblical command to care for one's neighbor, what does it look like to love a diverse neighbor as oneself? In Luke 10:25-37, Jesus tells a Jewish religious teacher to be like a despised Samaritan who loved a man (likely a Jewish man) beaten, robbed and left for dead as he himself would hope to be loved. Samaritans were often despised by Jewish people because of their different religious views and heritage. The hated Samaritan compassionately cared for this helpless man, … [Read more...]

“The Buddhists Are Coming! The Buddhists Are Coming!”

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To those of you who are American Evangelical Christians, what do you feel when you read these words “The Buddhists are coming! The Buddhists are coming!”? Consternation? Fear? Joy? This summer, I was invited to share a few words at a groundbreaking event for a Zen Buddhist temple where my dear friends, Kyogen and Gyokuko Carlson, serve as abbots. I have worked with them and their community for several years now in Portland, Oregon, on matters pertaining to spirituality and the common … [Read more...]

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

130819 P Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Perhaps you have heard stories of authority figures such as parents or teachers or police officers and judges saying of certain youth that they will not amount to anything and that they are bad to the bone. Sometimes, their projections become self-fulfilling prophecies. I am glad that Paul does not view the Corinthian Christians that way, though one might think he had reason to do so. After all, they were a very carnal church--given to factions centering on alignment with various Christian … [Read more...]

On Ayn Rand: Is Rational Selfishness Rational and Self-Affirming Enough?, Part 2

In my first post on Ayn Rand, I concluded by saying that In my estimation, her ethical model of objectivism depends upon the ability and imperative of reasoning apart from emotional or experiential stimuli that otherwise impact rationality and upon a view of the self as autonomous. Can one reason in this pristine manner, and should one? And should one view the self as autonomous? If one answers in the affirmative, one would likely tend to affirm Rand’s objectivism as sufficiently rational and … [Read more...]


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