A Covenant in Sans Serif

So I have this tattoo.Sometimes, when my sleeve isn't rolled up quite high enough, it says COVEN.Pretty sure that's the reason it caught the attention of some folks at an event last week. They came over to inquire. I revealed the full word and told them the meaning. They took the picture.Fact is, the tattoo was inspired by the work of my favorite theologian, N.T. Wright (who coincidentally also inspired my second child's middle name). Tom Wright has done some amazing work tracing the … [Read more...]

Not Perfect Leaders, Humble Leaders

There's no such thing as a perfect leader.Every leader makes mistakes, every leader has done hurtful things, and every leader is on a trajectory of development. If we believe in leadership at all in the church - and I, for one, do - then we've got to be real about the fact that no one is going to do it exactly right. No, not even one.And if your perspective on leadership is based on the expectation of perfection, then you will likely be driven to cynicism and despair. Because you are … [Read more...]

The Strangest Fire

I grew up charismatic, in the 80's and 90's.I grew up in a family that joined a pioneering kind of Pentecostal stream flowing out of the Jesus Movement of the 70's, a stream that had strong pastoral personalities founding brand new churches, some of them mega, and even denominations, schools, TV stations, and seminaries. Part and parcel of this pioneering experience was an atmosphere of resistance from the non-charismatic church. There was a kind of scorn that developed among the Billy … [Read more...]

Modest Hopes for My Two Girls

It's been about a year since I started blogging more intentionally, and during that time I have learned so much.And I've learned so much from you, the readers (many of whom are brilliant writers) who comment and engage and challenge and inform me as I put my ideas and experiences out there.For some reason, a lot of what we've talked about here (and on Facebook and Twitter) has revolved around gender dynamics in the church, family, and culture. Some of the things I've learned … [Read more...]

Why I am Conservative AND Progressive

A recent conversation on Twitter got me thinking about how I find myself straddling the line between what folks might call "conservative" and "progressive."Now, my definition of "conservative" here is more literal than political. I'm not saying that I am conservative in the sense of identifying as a political - whether social or fiscal - conservative. The entire American conservative political movement is fairly repulsive to me. Listening to the local evangelical (read: baptized American … [Read more...]

Watching an Episode of Celebrity Christianity

They might as well just rename the show, "Celebrity Christianity" instead of Preachers of L.A.Because this is the definition of celebrity values corrupting the very core of the gospel to the degree that it is really no gospel at all.In my previous post on the topic, I argued that despite the spiritual claims and the apparent concern for compassion causes among many participating in this trend, Celebrity Christianity is really a counterfeit. While supposedly seeking to help disadvantaged … [Read more...]

Video: I’m in the Empire Business

Working on my book proposal today for Empire Business: What Don Draper and Walter White are Saying to the American Church. Here's the inspiration for the title:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwIyClDuBgoAnyone want to publish it? … [Read more...]

Breaking Bad Recap: One Hell of a Story

The series finale of Breaking Bad was, in a word, perfect.I couldn’t be more satisfied - and that is saying something, seeing as my level of fanaticism for this show manifested in much real-world anxiety in the hours leading up to the final episode. In other words, this show matters to me. It carries deep significance. And its end carried the potential for deep disappointment (perhaps even a sad sort of TV disillusionment).Every since Ozymandias, I, along with many others, have been making p … [Read more...]

Stop Calling Your Critics “Haters”

It's a Christian culture internet phenomenon that has reached viral status many times over, especially among well-known Christian leaders.Calling your critics "haters."It's the perfect deflection for any and all critique, really. If you are a famous Christian leader, what better way to demonize your detractors than to accuse them of hate - especially in the popular sense of hating on your success because, you know, they're just JEALOUS. Steven Furtick famously minted this phenomenon in the … [Read more...]


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