I was stunned to learn that as recently as the 20th century, some infant girls in Korea, particularly those born into poor families, were not given names by their parents—ever. These nameless girls were born unwanted in a society that valued […]
Lately I have been reading Michael Massing’s massive Fatal Discord, an account of the relationship between the sixteenth-century scholar Desiderius Erasmus and the reformer Martin Luther. Erasmus was a typical academic: happiest when surrounded by his books. He longed for […]
One of the more obvious ways I feel like my culture is at odds with evangelicalism is in our approach to power. I’m part of the hip-hop generation. For us, power is an ever-present topic of thought and conversation—who has […]
A familiar social media ritual happens in my Facebook feed every day. Someone will post a clickbait headline designed to shock, surprise, or inflame. Then people post their reactions. Many times those reactions, instead of being written comments or emojis, […]
Through practice, I’ve learned to use those very moments as markers to look for God’s presence. I’ve added “found moments” to the spiritual practices I pursue, and they have become as important to my spiritual health and connection with God as planned times of prayer, silence, or reading Scripture. The difference is that I don’t put them on my schedule—I let the Holy Spirit remind me to find the time throughout my day.
Recently I heard a pastor describing his efforts to reach marginalized people in his community with the good news. He cited this story and made a startling statement: “Sometimes in order to get people to Jesus you have to mess with the structure.” These entrepreneurial men didn’t let propriety stand in their way! They messed, quite literally, with the structure.
As a seminary student, I knew that the majority of Covenant churches were in rural communities, but when the time came for me to accept my first call, I was looking everywhere but a rural setting. I wanted adventure. I wanted to create change. I wanted opportunity. And where in the world is Ceresco, Nebraska?
There’s a legal doctrine that I’ve learned from the equivalent of several years of law school from watching legal dramas. It’s known as “fruit of the poisonous tree.” … Over the last few years I’ve come to see this as another handy metaphor to describe the failings of American evangelicalism.
My friend Kim and I were sitting with our toes in the sand, watching our boys climb up the ladder and slide-splash into the lake. The weather was a glorious seventy-eight degrees in western Minnesota, following a cold snap that had killed all the mosquitos. It was a unicorn day at Lake Beauty Bible Camp. A kind of day where, like light through a prism, I caught a glimpse of the kingdom of heaven.
A man in my hometown recently filed a lawsuit against the instructor of his sword-fighting class because, while demonstrating a particular move, the instructor accidentally stabbed him in the eye. When I read that story in the news, my first thought was, Oh, man, that would preach.
Last summer I worked my way through a massive biography of Thomas Cranmer, the archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, his ill-fated son Edward VI, and, briefly, Henry’s oldest daughter, Mary.