If I may, I’d like to ask a direct and uncomfortable question right out of the gate. What scandalizes you? The term snowflake has transformed in meaning over the past few years. It used to refer to freezing precipitation, or as a metaphor for the unique attributes of each person. But now snowflake is a … More Christians and Offensive Art
There’s quite a smorgasbord of ways to refer to folks in my line of work: Priests Holy Rollers Men of the Cloth Bible thumpers Elders Preachers One particularly dear sister at my church calls me “Pastor Sweetie” Whatever you might call us, I’m sure you’re aware that people of my occupation aren’t perfect. We are … More When Pastors Say Stupid Stuff
There’s a hypothetical ethical quandary posed in nearly every basic ethics class. I’m sure you’re familiar with all the main beats: You’re an average, working-class German during the era of the Holocaust You’re hiding a Jewish family in the crawl space of your house in an attempt to protect them from the Nazis The Nazis … More More Literal Than I Thought
By the time I started seminary, I had been around church enough to know that Christian leaders aren’t always what they seem. I had seen a man with passion in the pulpit and abuse in the home. I knew the beloved youth pastor from my hometown who had been fired for looking at porn on … More My Mentor’s Downfall
Why Can’t We be Friends? Old-school, fundamentalist Christians and avant-garde, progressive atheists don’t have much in common. These two groups tend to have divergent opinions on topics ranging from marriage to marijuana to metaphysics. But I’ve noticed one area of common ground – a lack of meaningful friendships between men and women. But why are … More Men, Befriend Women (and vice versa)!
Fractures are everywhere. In the discarded shells of the eggs you had for breakfast. In the cement floor of your hardware store. In the X-rays that were taken after you fell off the monkey bars. In the earth itself near the epicenter of a quake. In your windshield after a pebble strikes. There are cracks … More Fractured Friendship
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 Rage. I hadn’t experienced much of it in my life, so I was taken off guard when a heavy dose hit my bloodstream and mixed with the already-circulating confusion and disillusion. My church … More Closer than a Brother