This past week, I felt compelled to change my Sunday sermon and to talk about a serious concern I’ve had as I’ve watched our collective response to the intensifying events of 2020. Based on our congregation’s response to the message, I wanted to share it here as well. This message is not a response to … More A Time to Mourn: Learning to Grieve in 2020
Election Day is November 3. Many millions have already voted, and many more will soon. The church of Christ is an embassy of God’s kingdom, so we are not consumed by elections. But all believers should be faithful citizens of the countries we inhabit on earth, so all believers should care about elections. With that … More How to Vote as a Christian
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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