September 23, 2019

The central confession of the Christian faith is: Jesus is Lord. We don’t really use the language of “lords” anymore, but the phrase just means the Christian is supposed to live in obedience to Christ, as though Christ were a lord, or ruler, or king. Jesus is the boss. Whatever he says, goes, even when it comes to things that are not explicitly religious. Christian attitudes and postures are meant to imitate Christ’s attitudes and postures. So what would it… Read more

September 12, 2019

  At the Nelson Atkins museum right now, there’s an exhibit by an artist named Andy Goldsworthy called the Walking Wall. Goldsworthy is a world-renown artist who works almost exclusively with natural objects: rocks, trees, flowers, and leaves. Usually, when his work is completed, they film and photograph it and it floats away downstream or succumbs to the forest and the wind. Goldsworthy is teaching us to see the beauty of the moment—of things that are here for a moment… Read more

July 3, 2019

“Christianity is mostly a matter of politics—politics defined by the gospel. The call to be part of the gospel is a joyful call to be adopted by an alien people, to join a countercultural phenomenon, a new polis called the church.” Resident Aliens, p.30 When Stanley Hauerwas says, as he often does, that Christianity is a matter of politics, he doesn’t mean American liberal or conservative politics. He’s saying Christianity is not a belief system. It’s way bigger than that…. Read more

March 27, 2019

  One of the popular academic conversations (spilling out into the wider culture of the 1970s) involved new scholarship in the arena of human development. Cognitive Psycho-Social development theory was undergoing a renaissance. Three in particular: Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, Erik Erickson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development, and Lawrence Kohlberg’s stages of moral development—first took academia by storm, then worked their way into popular culture, inventing a new vocabulary with which to describe human development & maturation. Scholars from other fields began… Read more

March 5, 2019

Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell used to tell a story about a mission he flew in his F2H Banshee off the coast of Japan in 1950. He had missed the rendezvous point when his instruments mistakenly picked up a signal leading him away from his aircraft carrier. Lovell felt hopelessly lost as he flew circles in the dark over the stormy Sea of Japan. As he tried to use his map light, suddenly all of the electronics in the cockpit… Read more

February 4, 2019

My professional life exists at the intersection of creativity, God, and the church; which means my career has been made by trying to describe the indescribable. I work with words–whether with songs or prose–that are patently inadequate to the task I’ve been given. When I was young, I thought my job was to help people see God. Now I think my job is to help people let go of the God they mistakenly think they see. I cannot tell you… Read more

January 24, 2019

Is there anything more powerful in the world than forgiveness? Maybe the only thing that is nearly as powerful as forgiveness, is unforgiveness. Forgiveness releases incredible generative power into the world. Unforgiveness releases the power of enslavement and death. Forgiveness is another name for mercy: the forbearance of one’s right to punish another; to have vengeance. Unforgiveness is the pressing of those rights … to hold to an offense, and so to achieve retribution. Often, forgiveness isn’t really fair or just, but… Read more

November 29, 2018

We live in a time of massive disorientation: the loss of unifying narratives, loss of faith in institutions, a renegotiation around truth (what is true and who decides), a clash between the religious nationalism of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, and a host of new technologies that are transforming virtually all of our relationships in a short time. We’re going on decades of this kind of disorientation building up steam within our culture. Most people react to the disorientation in one… Read more

October 21, 2018

“And the moon is a sliver of silver, like a shaving that fell on the floor of a Carpenter’s shop; and every house must have it’s builder; and I awoke in the house of God.” – Rich Mullins This has to be one of the near perfect opening lines to a song I’ve ever heard. He was right about the moon, and about the fact that we all just woke up here one day, in the house of God, in… Read more

September 28, 2018

“So, I refuse to rage with our nation. I will get on with the hard work of loving my neighbor, loving my enemy, loving the poor and marginalized. I will not hate these poor, pathetic, and powerful white men. Their world is passing away. I will not hate my friends and family and neighbors who continue to be deceived. I will only pray for them and continue to pursue love. At least that’s what I’m going to try and do…. Read more

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