This morning our nation awakens to the second official holiday of the year: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Our other federal holidays include New Year’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day (in most states), Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Our kids have no school, my son will attend a midday birthday party, and… More Let Justice Roll: White Americans, White Christians, and the Martin Luther King Holiday
Juggling takes practice. It’s not easy to keep three things moving between two hands. Without some level of ambidexterity, a lot of things will be hitting the floor. American public discourse is rarely ambidextrous. In a society saturated with click-bait, sound bites, and hashtag activism, public dialogue often proves unable to keep even two things mentally… More Two Things at Once: Polarized Public Discourse and the Mosaic of Intellectual Maturity
We sure do want a lot out of life. By now your social media feeds have been filled with articles about New Year’s resolutions and 2016 goals — mind, body, and spirit; work, rest, and play; personal, professional, and relational. There are the optimists who are aiming high, and there are the pessimists who are… More How to Prosper in All of Life: The Main Thing You Need to Do in 2016
The man who regularly speaks without a burden should stop speaking until he finds one. Or one finds him. Until our lives have weight, our words will have none. And until we bear a burden, our lives will be weightless. Burdenless lives produce weightless words. A man’s burden tells us who he is. It tells us… More The Burdened Life and the Weighty Word
In 2014, get weird. You know how you sometimes wonder if you’ll die having given your threescore and ten years to the status quo, having worried too much about being normal and accepted, having spent days and weeks and months looking laterally instead of vertically, having trusted your fears too much and your dreams too… More Get Weird
If you want to be a scholar, you have to know your field. The seminal works, the major contributions, the game-changing periods, the ebb and flow of dialogue throughout the decades or centuries or millennia. You have to join the conversation. There’s one potential problem with this (well, more than one, but only one I’m… More Give Me the Scenic Route: Intellectual Curiosity vs. Intellectual Cul-de-Sacs
A mind is a terrible thing to waste. It’s been said that the intellectual life, or the thinking life, is nothing more than a mind awake. And who in their right mind could bear to live as a mind asleep? To think is one of the highest privileges humanity possesses. Made in God’s image to… More A Mind Awake
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught his disciples to make this regular request: “lead us not into temptation” (Matthew 6:13a). Perhaps because “temptation” sounds so ominous, believers and non-believers alike typically view it as a noticeable, passing, one-time event. We certainly see these types of temptations in the Bible: Adam and Eve in the garden (Genesis 3:1-7), Jesus in… More Temptation Is Bigger Than You Think
In a fallen world, life is not worth living without convictions. If such things as evil, lies, and suffering are not mere illusions — not just the darker side of our social constructs — then evil must be fought, lies unmasked, and suffering eased. If such things exist at all, and especially if they flourish, then we… More Assumptions vs. Convictions
I’ve always thought the account of Simeon in Luke 2:21-35 was a very precious and moving story. I’ve read it and been stirred by it at all times of the year. But it’s particularly striking around Christmas. Simeon was an elderly man who had been promised by the Holy Spirit that he wouldn’t die until he had seen the promised Messiah,… More All I Want for Christmas: Simeon’s Hope
How do you encourage someone after a tragic loss? How do you minister to someone languishing in discouragement? There’s no simple answer, and certainly no one-size-fits-all solution. The most helpful initial responses are counterintuitive: presence, sympathy, listening, and hands-on help. Inexperienced counselors or fix-it friends often err by rushing to offer solutions and explain truth before the person has… More Letter to a Sorrowful, Suffering Saint
The wisest man in history besides Jesus of Nazareth said, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7a; 9:10a). Like many proverbs, this one is layered. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom in several ways: 1. Fearing God grounds wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the beginning… More How Is the Fear of the Lord the Beginning of Wisdom?
Every day in my role in Student Life at Boyce College, I enjoy rich conversations with students and staff about the nature and dynamics of spiritual life. I only wish that I had an hour at the end of each day to reflect on all that I learned. Today, my late afternoon conversation with an enjoyable young… More From Anxiety to Gratitude
When the pastor closes in prayer, the service ends, and the congregation is dismissed, what’s the first thing you say about a great sermon? One thing I hear (and say) far too often: “That was a great sermon.” “He did a great job.” “He’s a great preacher.” These are ways of communicating our conviction over the message… More A Great Sermon or a Great Savior?
Thrones are not where you go for grace. “The rulers of the Gentiles,” Jesus said, “lord it over them” (Mark 10:42). Sovereigns are not often known for their sympathy. So when we read that we have (a) a “great high priest” (b) “who has passed through the heavens” (c) as the very “Son of God”… More The Sympathy of Christ and the Throne of Grace
I often cannot see the guiding hand of God over the days, weeks, and months, but over the years it is crystal clear. I often identify any cascade of consecutive trials as an erosion of his covenant promises, but the dusk of each season of life finds him faithful once again. “God doesn’t play games with… More The Sight of Faith