January 2, 2024

If you’re heavily involved in a church congregation right now, you might soon be asked to attend some kind of strategic planning and goal-setting process for 2024. My advice would be: don’t go. Not only that, I’d try to convince your leadership not to set goals this year at all, or ever again for that matter. I’m convinced that Churches shouldn’t have goals, mostly because goal-setting is a practice that comes from our success-obsessed culture. It’s what you do when... Read more

December 21, 2023

I’m a mid-fifties white male weaned on rock and roll. My top five all-time favorite artists are firmly cliche: Wilco, U2, Radiohead, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, & the Boss. If you knew those were my bands, you could correctly reverse-engineer my ethnography within a few percentage points. All that to say I’m probably the last guy you’d expect to become fascinated with the music of Taylor Swift. But I have. I’m not sure exactly how it happened. I was... Read more

May 15, 2023

I still remember when Glen Beck told viewers of his (then) daily FOXNews show something to the effect of: if the pastor of your church talks about the importance of social justice, then you need to find a new church. That was years ago, and I’ve heard it said time and time again by conservative commentators. The phrase social justice has functioned in much the same way the word “woke” now functions. It’s just a way to label and dismiss... Read more

February 22, 2023

The 2023 Asbury revival will likely become the release valve that dissipates the energies of change created by Black Lives Matter and Me Too movements, as well as the tensions arising from white evangelicalism’s brazen embrace of Trumpism and Christian Nationalism. The last major Asbury revival was in 1970. At the time, the Civil Rights movement and Sexual Revolution had created so much tension and pressure that white evangelicalism seemed poised to heed its own prophetic arm and embrace real... Read more

February 10, 2023

Football is in my blood. My dad was a high-school football coach. My childhood hero was Terry Bradshaw. Not to brag, but I was an elementary school flag football prodigy (I peaked athletically in the 6th grade). As a lifelong fan of Kansas State and Chiefs football, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t sincerely love the game. Yet, I’m always a bit troubled by how much I love football, and by the fact that football shapes us in... Read more

October 11, 2022

Rebounding from a low of 37%, President Biden’s approval rating is somewhere around 42-43% today, and both left and right wing pundits love to discuss. Why so low? What will this mean for the midterms? These hand-wringers should come to the youth group at my church and ask the students for an approval rating on their parents. Better yet, go to any high school and tally the approval rating of the administrator charged with discipline. I can tell you the... Read more

April 1, 2022

April Fools’ Day bothers me for several reasons. First, is there an apostrophe or no apostrophe? Is it acceptable to write “April Fools Day,” sans apostrophe? And if we are to go with an apostrophe, where do you put it? “April Fool’s Day” or “April Fools’ Day”? I’m pretty sure it is the latter, which means there is no way to write it without looking like a grammatical elitist, which is clearly not what this day is about. And how... Read more

March 23, 2022

I don’t know how many pundits I’ve heard as they attempt to climb inside Putin’s head to find some rationale for his murderous attack on Ukraine, but the number is high. In every case I end up talking back to them, trying to convince them that history, ambition, and personal grievance barely scratch the surface of Putin’s true motivation, which is, in my opinion, much simpler, much more basic than any of the experts surmise. Putin’s motivation has to do... Read more

December 14, 2021

It was a “Farewell Rob Bell” moment for the neo-Reformed harbingers of orthodoxy. I have always like Matt Chandler, but his recent assertion (in a clipped video posted to TikTok) that those who deconstruct their Christian faith just want to be in on the sexy thing, and that one cannot deconstruct an authentic experience of Christ (so your faith must not be authentic), has only amplified the deconstruction phenomenon. For awhile now, the hawkers have been cranking out books on... Read more

November 12, 2021

… There’s a big Critical Race Theory kerfuffle happening right now around an op-ed in the Washington Post by Marc A. Thiessen, with an assist from Danielle Pletko (both from the American Enterprise Institute), and from Allen Guelzo (Princeton) whose field is not philosophy, but history. Let me say up front that I don’t use Critical Theory, nor do I think it’s helpful at the end of the day. It’s too easy to use it to justify almost any position.... Read more

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