August 28, 2018

I can picture the scene vividly. The place is the Domus Sanctae Marthae. The time is the morning of June 20, 2013. The Domus is pulsing with activity, voices rising and falling, feet coming and going on the lobby’s marbled floor. Gathered together from the world’s four corners, the Church’s apostolic nuncios have converged on this point in space-time. Tomorrow the pope will address them as one. A man enters the hall. He has flown in from Washington, weary with… Read more

August 16, 2018

Today marks twenty-six years since the passing of an artist very few people would recognize by name. At the time of his death from a heart attack, he was forty years old. The world didn’t know what they had lost. The real tragedy is that the church didn’t know what they had lost either. Perhaps this is because Mark Heard resided in that most thankless of artistic spaces: the space where Christians try to make good art. When we lost him,… Read more

August 13, 2018

A lot of ink has been spilled in the evangelical blogosphere about the recently concluded Revoice conference. This conference was a gathering together of mostly same-sex attracted Christians who affirm traditional church teaching on the morality of homosexual acts, yet seek to reshape conversations about homosexuality in the church. One of its chief promoters was writer and theologian Wesley Hill, who has written books about his own personal story and co-founded the Spiritual Friendship movement. Last week, Hill wrote a… Read more

August 6, 2018

“I’m sorry, but if you were seeing this with your parents…[and] you didn’t want your parents to know what 8th grade was really like for you…you just got, like, exposed.” – Eden, an 8th-grader It’s the pitch-perfect indie hit of the year. It’s a masterpiece of “queasy verisimilitude.” It’s a film so unwaveringly authentic, viewers are describing it as a cross between “must-see” and “see between your fingers.” Is it a horror movie? Officially, no. It’s a movie about being… Read more

August 3, 2018

I confess: I want to be cool. A little cool, at least. A little square too, but square in a hip, retro way that conveniently wraps back around to the ultimate goal: cool. I don’t like this about myself. My one consolation is that you’re probably like me. Inasmuch as I’m human, and you’re human, I have a terrible feeling we’re pretty much stuck with this. They’ve even given it a name: FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out. Every marketer knows… Read more

July 30, 2018

Well, that escalated quickly. When I published this piece on the Jordan Peterson/Sam Harris debates a week ago today, I expected it would pick up some attention. I’m active in various Jordan Peterson fan groups on FaceBook and Reddit, so like a good Patheos author I hustled it about. For a couple of days, it did quite well. Both the Peterson and Harris fanbases, typically at each other’s throats, enjoyed a rare bipartisan moment by giving me almost universally positive… Read more

July 26, 2018

A clip of Elevation mega-pastor Steven Furtick on faith and doubt has generated much discussion recently. My friend and Patheos colleague Owen Strachan wrote a strongly worded response piece to this clip here, which has since been picked up by the Christian Post. The question of the day: Is doubt a sin? For Furtick, the answer is a resounding “No,” for Strachan a resounding “Yes.” While I find much to agree with in Strachan’s response, I believe there is room… Read more

July 23, 2018

[Update, 7/30: Wow, that escalated quickly! If you enjoy this, see my follow-up piece here, in which I start answering some of Sam Harris’s questions. Thanks for reading!]   [Update, 9/15: Both Harris and Peterson have now released all the debates on their official channels. Click here for Night One and here for Night Two. See also unofficial links to Dublin here and London here.]   To say Jordan Peterson has had a busy summer would be an understatement. His… Read more

July 19, 2018

Bruce Ashford of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary enters the thick of the cultural conversation on religion and politics with this fresh collection of essays, structured as letters to a hypothetical Gen Z Christian. Spanning the gamut of hot-button issues, Ashford breathes new life into a brand of conservatism that has fallen out of fashion in post-Trump America. Let me start with a bit of personal history: I am the child of Reagan conservatives. Our house was a library filled with… Read more

July 16, 2018

For my inaugural post at Patheos, I am proud to present a conversation I had with Dr. Gregory Thornbury, author of hot new Larry Norman biography Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music? Tracing the curious rise and fall of Christian rock’s most enigmatic and contradictory figure, it offers an intriguing look at the culture wars, the perils of the music business, and the fraught history of a still-divided nation. This interview was first published in highly abridged form… Read more

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