December 11, 2018

When nothing makes sense, Christmas still does. So far in this season of Advent, we’ve lit the candles of hope and love. But sometimes both seem so impossibly out of reach. About a year and a half ago, I released a book called The Light is Winning. Strangely, for me personally, the season in which I wrote the book and much of what came after have provided ample evidence to the contrary: that the light isn’t, in fact, winning. (This… Read more

August 12, 2018

I ain’t your prodigal son. I ain’t your older brother. I’m the servant in the servant’s quarters, cleaning the bathroom floor, setting the table for your party. I was thinking about the prodigal son parable earlier and the typical (often evangelical) presentations of it. The most famous of which is probably Tim Keller’s The Prodigal God. In his outline, the story is about the father (God) who is himself prodigal, spending everything on the wasteful, sinful younger brother when he… Read more

August 2, 2018

There’s no doubt that we are living in a shifting time. But if the early aughts were about American Christianity emerging, and the 2010’s have been about progressing, it seems to me the next decade might well be about rooting, centering, and building. I’ve lived out this early-millennial era in American Christianity personally, planting a church at the height of that emerging/missional phase, and writing/preaching publicly through all the recent progressing. But despite the crescendo that we seem to have reached… Read more

July 23, 2018

I was just reminiscing with a friend about one of the greatest seasons of television ever created: the first season of HBO’s True Detective. (Don’t even get me started about season 2.) Just about a year ago, I released a book called The Light is Winning: Why Religion Just Might Bring Us Back to Life, published by Zondervan. The tie-in is this: in the final episode of True Detective season 1, there’s a scene where a battered and bruised detective… Read more

July 10, 2018

“Blogging is dead,” or so they said. And so they did—content to spatter short-form or visual content across social media rather than spill words in the hundreds for a supposedly waning audience. This drift among former bloggers toward social media as their primary opinion-sharing and community-building outlet is well documented. If you’ve hung around the Christian blogosphere for long enough you’ve seen it; and if you’ve been writing in this space for more than a few years, you’ve probably gotten… Read more

July 5, 2017

Donald Trump wants you to think that he stands for “worshiping God, not government.”  Read more

May 23, 2017

Blessed. Rest. Pause. Restoration. Savoring. Beauty. Appreciation. Goodness. These are the ways the purpose of Sabbath is shown to us. What if we celebrated Sabbath through these ideas? What if these were the touchstones for creating a Sabbath practice in our home? Read more

May 11, 2017

The narcissist’s entire life is a post-truth existence, their entire worldview a wildly spun web of alternative facts. Read more

January 26, 2017

Martin Scorsese’s Silence is a movie about doubt. That’s clear not only from a cursory viewing but also from the trailers and press surrounding the film. And doubt, we all know, is a theme that resonates profoundly in our current cultural, spiritual, and political moment. /Spoilers, of course/ The Jesuit missionaries (played by Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) sent by the Church in Portugal to rescue their mentor (Liam Neeson) from impending apostasy under Japanese persecution both descend into doubt over… Read more

January 24, 2017

I’m standing in a dimly candle-lit room full of strangers, staring at the faces of long dead-saints, and hearing the chants of a priest I can barely understand. No, this isn’t some nightmare of mine, this is my first Vespers service at an Orthodox church. A Vespers service is quite the beautiful affair. With the songlike chanting and the many candles and intimate feel, it evokes a sense of magic, I think. The history of the liturgy practically smells of… Read more

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