March 28, 2012

SPOILER ALERT! If you are not caught up on “Mad Men”, you may not want to read this post. The 2-hour premiere of Season 5 of “Mad Men” is out and countless reviews and reflections are in. One of the most striking scenes in the premiere is when Don’s new wife Megan tells him, “Nobody loves Dick Whitman. I love you. That’s why I threw you a party.” Megan knows his secret—Don really isn’t Don. He’s Dick. At least she… Read more

March 26, 2012

Many of you know about the tragic slaying of seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin in late February by a neighborhood watch leader in Sanford, Florida. The story has received national media attention, sparked protests in various places, and has quickened responses from political leaders, including President Obama. Up until now, no charges have been filed against the neighborhood watch leader, since he claimed that he was acting in self-defense. Florida has a law (“Stand Your Ground”) that individuals in Florida receive immunity… Read more

March 23, 2012

Listen to this piece. An anonymous Mormon representative responded to my Op-Ed piece on Mitt Romney and Evangelicalism published in the SunSentinel. The respondent made several striking claims in his comment. I have attached the comment here, as the linked version does not include it: Mormons’ theology is based on New Testament Christianity, not Fourth Century Creeds.  For example, the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) views on Baptism, Lay Ministry, the Trinity, Theosis, Grace vs. Works, the Divinity of Jesus… Read more

March 23, 2012

In an interview several years ago with the Rt. Rev. Dr. David Zac Niringiye, then assistant bishop of Kampala in the Church of Uganda, Andy Crouch asked this question: “What could equip us to be more countercultural, living in a nation that is very much at the center of power?” I loved the Ugandan church leader’s response: “We need to begin to read the Bible differently. Americans have been preoccupied with the end of the Gospel of Matthew, the Great… Read more

March 19, 2012

Last night, a Ugandan friend and I spoke of “White Man’s Burden.” Some of you may know of the phrase from Rudyard Kipling’s controversial poem by that title published in 1899, or the 1995 movie starring John Travolta and Harry Belafonte. My Ugandan friend, Michael, and I didn’t have either in mind in any direct sense. What was on our minds is the ongoing burden white Americans and Europeans often still seem to have to try and carry the world on… Read more

March 12, 2012

Ugandan journalist Rosebell Kagumire recently responded to the grassroots effort of Invisible Children to bring Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army to justice (called “Kony 2012”). Who are Joseph Kony and the LRA? Joseph Kony is the leader of the LRA, which arose in northern Uganda several decades ago. Kony and the LRA have slaughtered thousands, kidnapped multitudes of African children, and turned boys into soldiers and girls into sex slaves in various parts of Africa. Kony has been wanted by… Read more

March 10, 2012

My teenage son walked in the door the other night and told me emphatically that I needed to watch this video on Kony 2012 produced by Invisible Children. Some of the students at his high school are mobilizing to support the movement and its attempts to make Joseph Kony famous/infamous all over the world. Their hope is that the authorities will be able to find and take Kony into custody and bring him to justice before 2012 is over. The movie has… Read more

March 6, 2012

Much has been made of the video “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” by Jeff Bethke . Even Time has entered the conversation. The video has been watched countless times since it appeared in early January. Regardless of what one makes of Bethke’s words, one cannot question his ability to connect with young people. Bethke’s primary audience (those between the ages of 18-29) “avoids churches but still loves Jesus,” according to Time. Bethke’s aim is good—to point others to Jesus…. Read more

March 1, 2012

There is a problem when our reflex action is “Jesus didn’t really mean to say….” It’s almost like a scene from a Monty Python skit involving a bunch of religious leaders debating Scripture. No, Jesus really did mean for us to deny ourselves and lay down our lives for him (Luke 9:23) and consider all other loves as hate in comparison with love of him (Luke 14:26). Jesus did call us to love our enemies and pray for those who… Read more

February 27, 2012

The Justice Conference took place in Portland, Oregon February 24th and 25th. Over four thousand people gathered together to take to heart the call to bear holistic gospel witness to Christ by serving those most in need. Francis Chan’s concluding talk on Saturday evening on sacrificial living was prophetically powerful and radically refreshing. It was so radical that it was biblically normal. His words reminded me of what a friend once told me: I long for the day when what is… Read more

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