August 6, 2018

“I’m sorry, but if you were seeing this with your parents…[and] you didn’t want your parents to know what 8th grade was really like for you…you just got, like, exposed.” – Eden, an 8th-grader It’s the pitch-perfect indie hit of the year. It’s a masterpiece of “queasy verisimilitude.” It’s a film so unwaveringly authentic, viewers are describing it as a cross between “must-see” and “see between your fingers.” Is it a horror movie? Officially, no. It’s a movie about being… Read more

August 3, 2018

I confess: I want to be cool. A little cool, at least. A little square too, but square in a hip, retro way that conveniently wraps back around to the ultimate goal: cool. I don’t like this about myself. My one consolation is that you’re probably like me. Inasmuch as I’m human, and you’re human, I have a terrible feeling we’re pretty much stuck with this. They’ve even given it a name: FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out. Every marketer knows… Read more

July 30, 2018

Well, that escalated quickly. When I published this piece on the Jordan Peterson/Sam Harris debates a week ago today, I expected it would pick up some attention. I’m active in various Jordan Peterson fan groups on FaceBook and Reddit, so like a good Patheos author I hustled it about. For a couple of days, it did quite well. Both the Peterson and Harris fanbases, typically at each other’s throats, enjoyed a rare bipartisan moment by giving me almost universally positive… Read more

July 26, 2018

A clip of Elevation mega-pastor Steven Furtick on faith and doubt has generated much discussion recently. My friend and Patheos colleague Owen Strachan wrote a strongly worded response piece to this clip here, which has since been picked up by the Christian Post. The question of the day: Is doubt a sin? For Furtick, the answer is a resounding “No,” for Strachan a resounding “Yes.” While I find much to agree with in Strachan’s response, I believe there is room… Read more

July 23, 2018

[Update, 7/30: Wow, that escalated quickly! If you enjoy this, see my follow-up piece here, in which I start answering some of Sam Harris’s questions. Thanks for reading!]   [Update, 9/15: Both Harris and Peterson have now released all the debates on their official channels. Click here for Night One and here for Night Two. See also unofficial links to Dublin here and London here.]   To say Jordan Peterson has had a busy summer would be an understatement. His… Read more

July 19, 2018

Bruce Ashford of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary enters the thick of the cultural conversation on religion and politics with this fresh collection of essays, structured as letters to a hypothetical Gen Z Christian. Spanning the gamut of hot-button issues, Ashford breathes new life into a brand of conservatism that has fallen out of fashion in post-Trump America. Let me start with a bit of personal history: I am the child of Reagan conservatives. Our house was a library filled with… Read more

July 16, 2018

For my inaugural post at Patheos, I am proud to present a conversation I had with Dr. Gregory Thornbury, author of hot new Larry Norman biography Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music? Tracing the curious rise and fall of Christian rock’s most enigmatic and contradictory figure, it offers an intriguing look at the culture wars, the perils of the music business, and the fraught history of a still-divided nation. This interview was first published in highly abridged form… Read more

April 28, 2018

[Note: I have forayed into the world of Jordan Peterson think-pieces once before, here, but his work and the cultural phenomenon in his wake deserve more careful attention than a think-piece can capture. I hope to share more thoughts on it in this space. I encourage other Christians to engage him with the vigor, generosity and candor he deserves, between the Scylla of fawning admiration and the Charybdis of paranoid dismissal. Such opportunities and such men come perhaps once in… Read more

September 22, 2017

  Part 1 Here. In which I continue the process of spotlighting the 20 songs of Rich Mullins that I think are the most enduring, the most memorable, the “desert island” collection I would hand to someone who was hearing his music for the first time. (But not without a long list of honorable mentions.) One of the things that impresses me most about the work of Rich Mullins in hindsight is its versatility. He could write classically cheesy 80s… Read more

September 20, 2017

  Part 2 here. For those who are interested, I have written some thoughts on the life and legacy of Christian musician, writer, wise guy and unofficial saint Rich Mullins at The Stream here. As I write this late at night, it was twenty years ago this night that his life abruptly ended in a car crash. Later, it came out that neither he nor his passenger was wearing a seatbelt–a boneheaded thing, but as those who knew him could… Read more

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