Dear Church, We all know that over the past three weeks, the constant news about our global pandemic has given way to relentless dialogue about race. These impassioned conversations are happening almost exclusively in online spaces due to our homebound lives and our collective dependence on the endless town hall meeting we call social media. … More Part 2—Dear Church: Can We Talk about Race?
What is a reckoning? A reckoning is “a settling of accounts.” But sometimes, a reckoning is far more—the sudden and brutal arrival of consequences long coming. What we’ve been watching the past two weeks is a reckoning. In recent days, America has caught on fire. The agonizing eight-minute suffocation of George Floyd under the knee … More Part 1—The Reckoning: America, Race, and the Church
Yesterday our church’s worship service was cancelled due to COVID-19 precautions. We’ve also cancelled all activities this week except our in-home small groups. We want to honor our leading authorities and join our society in minimizing health risks for the most vulnerable among us. If you know our church’s history, you know this isn’t our … More Christian Reflections on the COVID-19 Crisis
The church of Jesus Christ hosts the only repository of pure truth that exists in our world. God’s Word is ours, the Spirit of Christ resides in us, and the knowledge of God illumines our hearts and minds. We know the truth, and the truth has set us free. Why then is the church the … More Open Church
Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen… 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen… the king made made silver as common in Jerusalem as stone (1 Kings 10:26–27). You’d think the narrator is describing a successful king. But he’s not. He’s describing a failure. How do we know? God’s earlier law: The king must not acquire many horses for … More Sometimes Success Isn’t
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 2020 goals—mind, body, and spirit; work, rest, and play; personal, professional, and relational. There are the optimists aiming high, and the pessimists decrying the overambitional impulses that leave people disappointed … More How to Prosper in All of Life: The Main Thing You Need to Do in 2020
Our best loves are those we can’t fully explain: a flavor that grabs us, a partner who gets us, a place with roots in our heart. The Christmas season is obviously here, and while some feel more darkness than light during these days, many moments are filled with a warmth that can’t be measured. But … More Why We Love Christmas
The country has been riveted, conflicted, sorrowful, defiant, and divided as we’ve watched the Senate Judiciary Committee examine the formal allegations of sexual assault made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Judge Kavanaugh is President Trump’s top pick for the Supreme Court opening left vacant by the June retirement … More Christine Blasey Ford, Brett Kavanaugh, and Something Greater than Solomon
American culture is obsessed with dropping the mic. YouTube is overrun with videos of Shapiro or Colbert or Peterson “destroying” or “embarrassing” or “shutting down” some allegedly outwitted opponent. We love the idea of leaving an adversary speechless, their intellectual sails in tatters, the foundations of their confidence shaken and (we like to think) irrecoverable. If … More Four Ways to Drop the Mic
Fifty years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Fifty years later, the church in America is still grappling with the systemic aftereffects of multigenerational racism. The things I’ve seen and heard and experienced as a husband and father in a multiracial … More A Time Such as This: MLK and the Future of the Church
Outrage. Fear. Confusion. Anger. Nostalgia. Withdrawal. Many of the ways we Christians respond to opposition are far from ideal. Peter knew what it was like to face opposition, to lash out in anger or draw back in fear, to be restored in love, and then to step out boldly with gospel courage. It took him years to learn, … More Look to the East: 10 Christian Responses to Opposition
Social media didn’t exist when the book of Proverbs was first published. But folly and wisdom did. Here are twelve proverbs, reformatted for our social media age. 1. Joining a stranger’s Facebook argument is like grabbing a stray dog by the ears (26:17). 2. Where there are many comments, sin is unavoidable, but he who restrains his … More 12 Proverbs about Social Media
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