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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April 30, 2016
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 […]
February 23, 2015
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.
September 1, 2014
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,
April 19, 2014
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.
June 13, 2012
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.
February 19, 2012
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.
December 10, 2011
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.
July 30, 2011
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.
July 16, 2011
Michael F. Bird has stolen the knife, waved a magic wand, transformed it into a feather, and twisted it. Bombshells have become cotton candy and grenades explode flower petals. I feel the love.
Some background: D.A. Carson and N.T. Wright have lobbed donnish salvos across the Great Pond. Carson, a New Testament professor at Illinois’ Trinity Evangelical Seminary and a lion of the ever-vigilant Neo-Reformed Movement, sniped at Wright when reviewing The Future of Justification by John Piper (Wheaton: Crossway, 2007), which questioned Wright’s interpretation of the Apostle Paul: “John Piper will not allow believers to put their trust in anyone or anything other than the crucified and resurrected Savior.” Wright, a British Anglican cleric and scholar, took umbrage in his weighty reply, Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision (Downer’s Grove: IVP Academic, 2009): “The implicit charge that the Pauline theology I have articulated might lead people to put their trust in ‘anyone or anything other than the crucified and resurrected Savior’ … is seriously misleading.”