March 29, 2021

A house is an inanimate object, and as a terrifying number of people in the western United States and the Gulf Coast can now attest, houses are objects that burn or blow away. But these stacks of wood-and-nails also have a way of becoming symbolic of more important things, especially to children. That was the case with my Grandmother’s house of almost twenty-five years, which still stands, but now belongs to a stranger. Saying goodbye to that house and moving... Read more

November 23, 2020

For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave… At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or turn my ear to my instructors.... Read more

September 23, 2020

Progressives keep promising conservative evangelicals they’ll be our friends if only we stop harping on sex and serve people. The problem is that every time evangelicals try to serve people, progressives want to harp on sex. A few years back, the late Rachel Held Evans wrote an opinion piece at CNN on why millennials are leaving the church. As a left-leaning Christian, she took it upon herself to speak for her generation. One of the explanations she offered for the millennial exodus... Read more

May 14, 2020

Another week, another lengthy YouTube video alleging a coronavirus-related conspiracy reaching to the highest levels of government. This time the villain is National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease director Dr. Anthony Fauci who, as the title of the video in question suggests, is supposed to have planned this pandemic. If my experience is any guide, conservative evangelicals are among the quickest to share this sort of shoddy documentary (and have been for some time—the Religious Right is a hothouse... Read more

April 13, 2020

Our gym has closed during the coronavirus quarantine. That means more than me having to try chin-ups on tree branches (which I don’t recommend). Thanks to the childcare service our gym offered, it also means that my wife has lost one of her rare reprieves from watching the kids, along with a chance for us to exercise together. This leaves her trying to snatch breaks whenever and however she can. She’s taken to leaving our brood with me while she... Read more

February 4, 2020

Two of my best friends and I have an informal liturgy: whenever we go camping, SCUBA diving, or hiking, and find ourselves assaulted by some unexpected vista or impromptu congress of dolphins, one of us turns to the others and quips, “It’s the End Times, y’all.” The inside joke is that we share a more or less postmillennial eschatology and expect that the parousia will look little like it does in the popular, evangelical imagination. We think we are saved to enjoy... Read more

January 15, 2020

Contrary to some Christian pundits since the days of the Moral Majority, cultures seldom give up on having moral values. What they do is exchange one set of values for another. This is a poor trade when the new set of values is less concrete than the old set. “Go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7AM” is a better New Year’s resolution than “get in shape” because it’s something you might actually do in real life.  Sadly, as Americans enter the third decade of the 21st century, the new set of values we’re adopting is as vague... Read more

November 25, 2019

I recently learned that there is a debate about the nature of drunkenness. The old school scientific description of what it means to be sloshed is called “disinhibition.” This theory suggests that the heedless and impulsive attitude of a person who’s had a mug-too-many is caused by alcohol’s power to shut down the brain’s inhibiting mechanisms. “Liquid courage” silences our inner traffic cop, making behavior that would usually seem foolhardy or even life-threatening look inviting. Hence those 1AM ex-texts, bar... Read more

November 18, 2019

There’s a delightful scene in 2012’s “Avengers” where Marvel’s man-out-of-time, Captain America, blurts out his glee over finally catching a cultural reference when he’s usually left with no clue. I think we all feel that way sometimes, and lately more than normal. In a moment of frustration over realizing that a movie I had intended on seeing had already vanished into that interminable no-man’s land between its theatrical run and appearance on Netflix, I tweeted: At some point you just have to... Read more

November 7, 2019

I’m actually 31. This column is adapted from a Facebook post one year ago. It was well-received, and I still think my observations about young adulthood hold true. So I offer them here in a more organized form: 1.) You become who you will be for the rest of your life around age 25. They say the brain continues maturing until midway through a person’s twenties, and I believe this, based on experience. I don’t think who I am as... Read more

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