Category Archives: On Faith

Apologetics, Theology, and Exposition

Loving Smeagol–and Addicts

Odd, as it may seem, reading J. R. R. Tolkien has helped me love meth addicts—of which there are many in Myrtle Point. Tom Shippey’s book, J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, argues that Tolkien’s Lord of the … Continue reading

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Lauren Daigle, Mushroom-pickers, and Church as Staging Area

Recently I was listening to Lauren Daigle’s song “Rescue” on the radio (K-Light). As can happen with radio, her beautiful song was juxtaposed with news of the ongoing search for a lost mushroom picker. On the southern coast of Oregon, … Continue reading

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Nietzsche, Tom Bombadil and the Stronger Song.

Friedrich Nietzsche famously said of the church: “They would have to sing better songs to make me believe in their Redeemer.” Although wrong about much, Nietzsche is right about framing belief and salvation as contest of songs. J.R.R. Tolkien also … Continue reading

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“Pajamas!”–A Hobbit Battle Cry

Of course, the actual battle cry of hobbits was “The Shire!” This cry, like “pajamas,” does not summon visions of military or urban grandeur. The memory of fat cabbages in well-tended gardens and fat hobbits in cozy holes are what … Continue reading

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More Than One Angel

Despair. I don’t despair in God, but I am sometimes shattered by despair for those I love. Free-will is alternately exhilarating and terrifying. Of course, Christians have been divided over free-will and salvation. Some take comfort in the idea that … Continue reading

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Chastch Me!

With eyes lit up and curly hair flying wild, my grandson, Ari, will often say, “Papa, chase me!” He is three, so it actual sounds more like “chastch me”—a combination of chase and catch. So around the kitchen table and … Continue reading

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Dear Sons, In Case You Missed It

We are saved by grace. Yes, I know, you have all heard this. One of you even sang, “Amazing Grace” at Grandma’s funeral. Nonetheless, we all need to hear this again and again—sometimes in new ways. Sadly, much of church … Continue reading

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He Came to Himself

In a hot mess of inarticulate father-love, I sputtered, “But you love Jesus!” My son had been explaining how he wasn’t sure he was still a Christian. I had been challenging him to return to Jesus. My declaration felt pathetic. … Continue reading

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When the Light Goes Out

Few things are sadder than seeing the light of God’s Spirit go out in the eyes of your child. The moment it happens is easy to miss. There are natural rhythms of wandering and return in the lives of most … Continue reading

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Open Flowers

Sometimes the Holy Spirit draws my attention to a phrase in Scripture and blows a trumpet. This happened recently with the phrase “open flowers” in the description of the temple Solomon built. Usually I would blow right past this phrase, … Continue reading

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