That thing you just said… would you say that to my face? Would you just drop that link, that GIF, that meme into a personal discussion, like all you need to persuade a fellow adult is a sarcastic five-word comment overlaying a Vin Diesel pic? Would you ever pass by a perfect stranger, overhear their … More Would You Say That to My Face?
Do you still know how to read? Not just clickbait headlines. Not just sensationalist twenty-click articles. Not just the punchy all-caps lines in GIFs and memes. Not just a slew of video titles in the sidebar. Not just piecemeal Facebook arguments. Not just cable listings and Netflix titles. Not just one-line iPhoned emails. Not just … More Do You Still Know How to Read?
There’s a problem that follows on the heels of repeated evil behavior, and that problem is almost as evil as the evil itself: its normalization. As citizens, our ability to restrain or recompense evil is painfully limited. But we can always restrain, or at least slow, its normalization. How? At the very least, we speak. … More Trump, Immigrants, and the Image of God
On Sunday night at The Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey received the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award. Her rousing speech referenced her mother and Sidney Poitier, Recy Taylor and Rosa Parks, and culminated in a house-raising promise to little girls everywhere that the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements are the dawn of a new world. Thrilled followers immediately called … More What Oprah Told Us About Ourselves
When I think of 9/11, I think of many things. I remember where I was when I first heard about the attacks—walking to my 8 o’clock class with Dr. William Varner at The Master’s College on the West Coast. I remember the striking images playing out on television. And I remember the first responders. I … More The Spirit of First Responders
As Hurricane Harvey made landfall along the South Texas coast ten days ago, the Nashville Statement produced by the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) was picking up steam online. This statement is a multi-authored document with many noteworthy signatories seeking to articulate a concise biblical defense of traditional views relating to gender and sexuality. … More Hurricane Harvey and the Nashville Statement
In recent months I’ve seen an upsurge in tweet-threads among those I follow on Twitter. The increase has been obvious, within my (very) limited sphere. If your first thought is “Who cares?!” I applaud you. You’re likely living a happier life than those who do care. My interest, though, is not Twitter itself but what … More The Rise of Tweet-Threads and the Quality of Public Discourse
When a moral crisis engulfs a nation, that nation needs many things: collective self-restraint, urgent and wise dialogue, swift and righteous decisions, and an unbending commitment to unoppressive order and impartial justice. But as much as any of these things, if not more, a nation in moral crisis needs leaders with public moral credibility. No … More Moral Credibility, Moral Crisis, and the Leaders We Need
I don’t plan to make Sunday morning statements about most noteworthy events that make national news. I hope my brothers and sisters at BridgePoint Bible Church can appreciate when I do decide to make these statements without expecting that every injustice that tops the headlines will receive a focused response in our Sunday gatherings. But … More My Sunday Morning Comments about Charlottesville
This weekend, every major news network is covering the thousands of white supremacists who’ve descended on Charlottesville, Virginia. Their local micro-protest is the removal of Confederate statues and names from public parks and spaces. But their larger macro-protest is the increasing diversity of a nation they feel is squeezing out the white race, whom they deem … More Charlottesville, Racism, and the Church of Jesus Christ
Every time, the news hits closer to home. Every time, either the boy seems younger, or my boys seem older. Every time, I wonder what I can do to keep it from happening. I can feel that curly hair, because I cup my 11-year-old’s head in my left hand whenever I buzz his hair with … More For the Life of Our Sons
Holy Father, You exist as one God in three persons. Yours is the perfect spirit of friendship. We rejoice to know you and be known by you. Draw your people together into this holy spirit of friendship so that we might fellowship face-to-face and shoulder-to-shoulder, feasting and working alike, in joyful bonds of covenant love. … More A Prayer for Friendship
Holy Father, On this day of presidential inauguration, we gladly acknowledge that you alone are God. You are King of kings and Lord of lords, for all time and forevermore. Amidst the rightful pomp and circumstance of today’s events, we gladly worship you alone. You alone are our shield and defender; you alone are pavilioned … More A Prayer for Our President
Have you ever found yourself in an ugly social media “discussion,” or felt cornered by an unrelenting contrarian, or typed things in an online debate that you later regretted (or deleted)? Have you ever felt like Proverbs 18:2 might be true of all of us simultaneously? A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only … More Four Ways to Persuade No One
The Christian tradition has a complicated relationship with justice. In some situations, Christianized systems have been terribly unjust; in other situations, Christians have led the way toward justice. Sometimes Christians have denied that societal justice should be a concern of the faithful; at other times, Christians have decried any model of Christian theology that downplays … More Chains Shall He Break: The Jewish Messiah, the Christian Church, and the Hope of Justice
Now’s about the time when Christmas-lovers and snow-enthusiasts around the country start checking the 5-day weather forecast, united in their hope that Christmas Day will be marked by a freshly fallen snow. I should know — I married a snow-lover. I can still remember the sparks of excitement and the impromptu dances at windows and … More Why I’m Not Dreaming of a White Christmas