November 9, 2018

It’s early November, and Michael Buble has already told me it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And the weirdest thing is, I asked for it. I didn’t walk into a mall and get assaulted by the early onslaught of carols to ring in the shopping season. Nor did I hear Buble’s honey-coated voice as I accidentally caught the radio station that plays 24-7 Christmas music shortly after Halloween. No, I did this on purpose. Driving for my second... Read more

November 7, 2018

This week, Judah Smith, pastor of Churchome — the mega congregation that is home to the Hillsong worship band and famously attended by Justin Bieber — announced that the church’s latest location was not a physical plant in Nashville, Houston or some other city. Rather, the church’s new location is “everywhere,” via an app called Churchome Global, which allows “members” to stream services, listen to sermons, submit prayer requests and engage in discussions via a “lobby” feature. It’s the church’s... Read more

October 1, 2018

I know, I know. It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything. My bad. It’s been a busy last few months. Funerals, vacations, back to school, outside obligations; it’s been hard to set aside some time to write anything of substance, although it looks like I’ll be doing some film-related writing that I’m very excited about in the near future. But yeah, it’s been dry here. But it’s not for lack of material. The truth is, for someone who writes about... Read more

September 14, 2018

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I grew up in a Christian home, deeply entrenched in our Baptist church. Much as I might find to critique about it, I’m thankful for that experience. I was surrounded by family and friends who found joy and meaning in their faith, and I was part of a community that genuinely enjoyed serving together. In my darkest moments of doubt, it’s this warmth, joy and commitment to something bigger than myself that... Read more

September 7, 2018

Recently, Christianity Today published results of a LifeWay research poll stating that 57% of American protestants prefer to attend church with people who share their political beliefs. While this doesn’t mean denominations are going to be rushing out to set up politically segregated congregations anytime soon (well, not officially), it shines a light on our divided culture and, more importantly, on what we value in church. I can understand why many Christians instinctively prefer to worship and serve alongside people... Read more

August 31, 2018

I pity anyone who was my friend when I was single. I was the king of second-guessing my dates, and my friends had to bear the brunt of my neuroses. “We talked for three hours — do you think she’s all talked-out?” “She said she likes me — is she lying?” “She said she’s busy on Friday but can go out on Saturday…but do you think she’s just avoiding me?” “She said we need to talk tonight…is that bad?” (It... Read more

August 20, 2018

  Although I was largely invisible in high school (and liked it that way), there was a nickname a few people had for me: Baptist Boy. It was given to me because I didn’t drink, swear, go to parties or sleep around. I didn’t appear to have any friends outside of my youth group. It wasn’t meant as a particularly kind nickname, but it fit. If there was a more stereotypical Jesus Freak in American high schools, I’d be surprised.... Read more

August 13, 2018

Sometimes I wonder if God knows what he’s doing. I wonder that right now, nearing the end of a summer in which funerals have been a more common occurrence in our family than weddings or graduation parties. When I last wrote, we’d experienced three deaths since May. We just had another family member pass this past weekend. Just as we’re all preparing for vacations to recover from a tough summer, we had another tragedy strike. It’s overwhelming. It’s all too... Read more

August 9, 2018

Odds are, we’ve never met. Unless you’re one of my friends or family members, you probably happened across this post because it appeared on Patheos, you saw it someone’s social media feed or you stumbled upon it inadvertently. We don’t know each other. We’re not friends. I’m just another content creator giving you a few minutes of distraction at worst or illumination at best. We’re strangers. So why the hell have I wasted so much time trying to impress you?... Read more

July 26, 2018

In the past two months, my family lost a generation of matriarchs. In May, my maternal grandmother, my Nana, died after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. The same week she was diagnosed with the disease, my wife’s grandmother, her last remaining grandparent, received the same diagnosis and prognosis; she died two weeks ago. Last Thursday, my father’s mother was rushed to the hospital after an aneurysm burst. A woman who I had never seen sick — indeed, who I... Read more

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