Making sense of things

“I’ve come to believe that war, as terrible as it is, is very clarifying for one’s heart and mind.” As I walked across the U.S. Naval Academy today, I listened to a man who has one of the best stories, a story we all like to hear. Ordinary people in ordinary places as we are, [Read More...]

Vocation needs no justification

Further up and further in. Recently I spent several hours with a learning cohort of 40 people from all over America, listening to a few good people reflect on their different vocations. I was asking the questions for us all, and could have asked more. Thoughtful, honest, practiced, each offered windows into their lives and [Read More...]

Whatever is, is right

“Altogether, the Old Bailey, at that date, was a choice illustration of the precept, that ‘Whatever is, is right;’ an aphorism that would be as final as it is lazy, did it not include the troublesome consequence, that nothing that ever was, was wrong.” As must be, I am taking “A Tale of Two Cities” [Read More...]

On the power to convene

  Washington DC is a strange and wonderful place. For years I have seen it as a city of glories and shames—sort of like each one of us, but magnified as must be because it is a “city” after all. There are more of “us” here, and “we” become institutionalized over time, with systems and [Read More...]

The covenantal cosmos

Common grace for the common good. Recently I gave the commencement address at Covenant Theological Seminary in St, Louis. Over many years I have spoken there in many different ways: in conversations with administrators, faculty and students; lecture series; and classes and courses. I set before the graduates the vision of common grace for the common [Read More...]

Dear Steve: How do I find work that matters–and pays?

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From: Deanna Subject: “Work” versus a paying Job I am always busy doing something.  It seems the internet is my big platform for Christ.  Yet in all the good I can do online, I struggle to go beyond the “work” online that I don’t get paid for, but it is something I am gifted in. [Read More...]

Charlie Peacock and his muses

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(Originally posted January 2014) Even Charlie Peacock needs a muse, the artist’s artist that he is. But what is it, a muse? How is it different than that other strangely similar word, amuse? The difference makes a difference. The one is an old word from the 14th-century, meaning “to dream, to ponder,” or as a [Read More...]

What is education all about, anyway?

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(Originally posted December 2013) Lewis and Clark. An expedition but also a college, and yesterday I found myself thinking about both. Staying for the week in a hotel a few blocks from the Columbia River, where the adventure across America began to end, I spent the afternoon at Lewis and Clark College, which last year [Read More...]


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