Why Did the Buddhists and the Evangelical Christians Cross the Road? To have a potluck.

(Editor’s note: The following is reprinted with permission from Northwest Dharma News where it was originally titled "Evangelicals and Buddhists Share and Probe: A Unique and Fruitful Dialogue in Portland". It describes a rich and fruitful Buddhist-Christian dialogue that has been unfolding in Portland over many years. The top part of this piece, by Zen Abbot Kyogen Carlson, is followed by a section by me.)By Kyogen CarlsonIn what might seem an unlikely conversation, conservative Eva … [Read more...]

Multi-Faith Discourse: Beyond Lampoon Tract Propaganda

It is important for Christians to know who they are in their faith to enter meaningfully into conversations with those of other religions. It wasn’t an Evangelical Christian from whom I first heard these words, but a professor at a Mainline Protestant liberal seminary, who said his students were not sure how to proceed in conversations with those of other faiths because they were not sure of their own tradition, including such doctrines as Christology. As a result, he said they were at a loss in … [Read more...]

Jesus Is No Midwife

Listen to this piece.I am thankful for the midwives who helped us bring our children into the world. They didn’t create our kids or magically pull them out of thin air. They coached my wife and me as my wife took deep breaths and pushed them into the world while I held my breath, praying to Jesus all the way.So many people today look at Jesus as a midwife, not God incarnate. Even those who view him as an incarnation don’t view him as the one and only incarnation of God. None of this is ne … [Read more...]

A Father’s Day Reflection: The Grand Prize of Simplicity

Listen to this piece.I remember Dr. John M. Perkins once saying, “There’s no such thing as a sophisticated Christian.” I have never forgotten those words. Dr. Perkins wasn’t saying that people should be simplistic or unskilled in their work. What I think he was saying is that people should be simple and pure in their devotion to Christ and other people.My father was a simple man. In contrast, I grew up wanting to be sophisticated, and I wished my dad were that as well. How I longed to be … [Read more...]

If You Can’t Run with Men, How Will You Run with Horses?

Listen to this piece. I was going through a very difficult time in ministry and was facing some overt persecution. In sharing some of my angst with one of my closest friends and ministry partners, he referred me to Jeremiah’s lament recorded in Jeremiah 12 and God’s response recorded in verse 5:  “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?” Jeremiah had gone through an intense time of suffering and persecution on account of bearing witness to … [Read more...]

DMins, Not Demons

Listen to this piece.I have joked that I am leading a Demon track, not DMin (Doctor of Ministry) track at the seminary where I teach. This is no reflection on my students, but on me. In fact, as I will share, there is hope for my track because of my students!Perhaps the DMin Director’s little boy has picked up on the banter his father and I have engaged in regarding the wording DMin and demon in various settings. Regardless of where he picked up on “demon,” his Dad shared on Facebook abou … [Read more...]

An Evening with Dr. John M. Perkins: On the Twilight of Life and the Dawning of the Next

Listen to this piece.UPDATE: This evening's public lecture with Dr. Perkins has been cancelled due to illness.My family and I went out to dinner last night in Portland with Dr. John M. Perkins and his young assistant, Thad. During the dinner conversation, we spoke about Dr. Perkins’ long life, his pain and struggles bound up with justice, and his eventual passing into the presence of the Lord (he’s been talking about that topic more often the past few years). The elderly though full of li … [Read more...]