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It’s in every corner of the Bible: God loves the downtrodden

August 10, 2017

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Cross-published on the HuffPost. I couldn’t escape. There was no exit. I longed to crawl into a pitch-black cave between chemotherapy sessions while GOP Senate leaders repeatedly hurled their proposals to cut off my Medicaid. I was all brawl at first, but I felt flattened as the dystopian proposals snaked their way through the House […]

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Mr. Self-Sufficient confronts his helplessness

May 3, 2016

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Suddenly, I feel encircled by kind introverts in white smocks. They deliver good news, but I find myself enveloped in a peculiar angst, only relieved upon re-reading the story of a storm and a sleeping Messiah. Strange: prospects of healing spawn listlessness. Such are the irrational vicissitudes of the life dominated by mouth cancer, which […]

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Finding light in a dark tunnel

April 30, 2016

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Who would-a thunk it? A potentially fatal illness has spurred me back to life. I’m more like wax and less like clay — a fact I pondered as I arrived home after my third and final 5-day in-hospital chemotherapy stint for mouth cancer on April 3rd, cue-ball bald and talking like Daffy Duck with a Swiss-German […]

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The winter of my contentment

February 23, 2015

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Perhaps I’m experiencing a forgotten brand of gratification drawn from the test, or the trial, or the challenge. Human history testifies to a spark that rattles us out of mere comfort and propels us into arctic adventures.

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The real message of Genesis …

September 1, 2014

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My suspicions have always nagged: Does the creationism-evolutionism debate totally miss the point? Let’s chill. Let’s listen to the message of Genesis 1-3,

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Viewing Good Friday Through Luther, Augustine, and Barth

April 19, 2014

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Perhaps not surprisingly, I find thinkers from previous ages more gripping than the moderns. Three especially shine: Augustine, Martin Luther, and Karl Barth. Each made colossal mistakes – with Luther’s chilling essay against the Jews the most inexcusable – but each understood that theology was a discipline offered to the Church at large, not merely to academia. What’s more, each wrestles with God. They’ve glimpsed transcendence. They’re doing theology on their knees. They’re imperfect because they see things through a glass dimly, but at least they’ve tried. I tried finding what each said about Good Friday. It’s allowed me to gaze at the day through their insights.

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“Almost Amish”: Cultural and spiritual wisdom in a horse-drawn buggy

June 13, 2012

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Nancy Sleeth has eaten the fish and spat out the bones. She looks beyond the group’s obvious flaws, learns from their attributes and applies their lessons in “Almost Amish: One Woman’s Quest For a Slower, Simpler, and More Sustainable Life.” The result: An entertaining, thought-provoking, refreshing, nuts-and-bolts manual for those of us who feel enslaved to the grid and our gas guzzlers.

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New Evangelicals free a hijacked movement

February 19, 2012

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A telling statistic: In 2009, 35 percent of evangelicals identified themselves as Democrats and 34 percent as Republicans. The rest were independents. In other words, most evangelicals aren’t even voting in this year’s GOP primaries. Another: 64 percent of all white evangelicals don’t believe church officials should endorse political candidates.

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Liberating Advent and escaping the mire

December 10, 2011

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I feel the ground rumble as the panic-stricken advertisers stampede. Someone just told them we should rescue Advent from its kidnappers and let it roam all year. Advent was meant to be a season of prayer and fasting, with the look and feel of Lent. The shopping malls would open late and close early. We would slow down and dwell in Christ. Activists would join contemplatives in the ancient disciplines of stillness, meditation and contemplation — all of which would kindle a cool fire enflamed with resolve, conviction, compassion, and contentment. We’d be peaceful enthusiasts, free from the allure of gaudy knick-knacks forged from the fossils’ ooze.

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Please don’t think of this as a lecture; think of it as … a lecture

July 30, 2011

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Many are revolted that no cool heads are prevailing as we veer close to the debt-ceiling precipice. But let us pause. Let us ask: Why has this come upon us? Look no further than the election of 2010, when “voter anger” chased out the last statesmen and ushered in thugs who view compromise as a weakness. We voters were angry, and we angry voters elected angry politicians who knew all about screaming and vilifying and nothing about human relationships. The result: Self-perpetuating, self-fulfilling, and self-metastasizing rage. We’ve got what we voted for.

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