June 29, 2018

In the introduction to her recent book Political Tribes, Amy Chua wrote, Humans are tribal. We need to belong to groups. We crave bonds and attachments, which is why we love clubs, teams, fraternities, family… But the tribal instinct is not just an instinct to belong. It is also an instinct to exclude. Lately, as people wrestle with what it means to be, and to not be, an evangelical, it seems we’re approaching evangelicalism as if it is a ‘tribe.’… Read more

June 12, 2018

Many Christians today act as if Jesus gave a great suggestion instead of a great commission. Read more

May 18, 2018

I’ve had the privilege of participating in a book study group at Schole House, a center for Christian thought at VCU. As we’ve started this summer, one of the books we’ve decided to read through is C. S. Lewis’s classic volume, The Abolition of Man. In the first chapter (or essay) in the book, “Men Without Chests,” Lewis shares his concerns about what was starting to be taught in upper schools in England, particularly in his time. These invasive curricula… Read more

May 16, 2018

A recent controversy at the Southern Baptist Convention reminds us that living out Christian principles sometimes means repudiating our own. Read more

May 15, 2018

Nighttime was especially dangerous on the West Bank – we always tried to get back home to Bethlehem in our little VW Beetle before dark.  As foreigners living among the Arabs, we felt vulnerable, although our neighbors were friendly and supportive.  But they could do little to help us if anyone wanted to visit harm upon us. Even if we had a telephone (which we didn’t) there were no police to call for help.  When the first “Intifada” (Arab uprising)… Read more

March 23, 2018

Different sounds accompany great disasters.  An earthquake begins with the rumble of heaving earth and the crack of fissured faults, followed by the cacophony of books falling off shelves, dishes clattering to the floor, roofs collapsing, and houses sliding off their foundations.  A tsunami’s whoosh is quieter, but far more deadly: the ocean itself rises up to wash away automobiles, trains, forests, and entire towns.  Radiation from a nuclear meltdown makes no sound at all, yet somehow the silence amplifies… Read more

March 12, 2018

As I welcomed Easter parishioners, I noted the normalcy of the morning. A typical Seattle April day with high clouds and a slight chill, families arrived in three generational clusters. Teens looked as if they should have stayed in bed. Singles approached shyly. The day, however, was anything but ordinary for me. After a year of isolation following a bone marrow transplant, I was serving as a greeter. For far too long, I had not been allowed to touch anyone… Read more

February 26, 2018

“When we define, we seem in danger of circumscribing nature within the bounds of our own notions…” –Edmund Burke “Poetry is the mother-tongue of the human race.” –Johann Georg Hamann Given in explanation of the above title is the illustration of two football players recalling with boisterous self-congratulation the events of a recent win. While speaking the players make exaggerated gestures, describing the size of one’s would-be tackler as “big as a gorilla” and the other’s stretching the ball over… Read more

February 22, 2018

He was the same person in private as he was in public. Read more

February 14, 2018

Watching the Winter Olympics from South Korea brought to mind someone I met at a book exposition several decades ago.  Read more

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