Category Archives: Culture

The Cold

Recently I wandered the grounds of the Heartland Center, near Kansas City Missouri, in 7-degree weather. The sun was shining but the grass crunched beneath my feet. At night it dropped below zero. I had been thinking about the cold … Continue reading

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The Lion’s Den Delusion

Too many Christians use the story of Daniel’s night in the lion’s den, not his decades in the governor’s office, to define their relationship with the world. I understand this. I grew up with Bible stories, VBS, Sunday school, and … Continue reading

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Sympathy for the Idol

If you think about it, it is hard being an idol. It is a terrible burden, a crushing load of expectations. When we take a good thing and make it the most important thing, we begin expecting it to do … Continue reading

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Toxic Authenticity

Some people should never be told, “Just be yourself.” I have grown up in the church and have a nose for hypocrisy. Much of my life has been a search for authentic Christianity: people who are the real deal, who … Continue reading

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How Individualism Destroys the Pursuit of Wisdom and Ruins Everything

Recently our pastor preached an excellent sermon from Proverbs 4 entitled “Get Wisdom.” Together we looked at some of the ways we get wisdom: praying, reading the Bible, listening carefully to the Holy Spirit—that Inner Voice and Light that leads … Continue reading

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F-Bombs, Harvey Weinstein, and Jesus

If we are serious about the brick-by-brick dismantling of the rape culture, we need to get rid of the f-bomb. I am no delicate-eared prude shrinking in horror at a naughty word. I have worked happily in mills, fields, and … Continue reading

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Moths and a Curious Gift

A full bladder when one is camping in a tent a long walk from the bathroom is never welcome. It meant a roll and wallow to get out of the sleeping bag and slip on sandals and then a hunt … Continue reading

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Let the Circle Remain Unbroken

My church sat us in rows staring at a platform with a pulpit, but in 1970 I found myself in a circle in the back room of a Jesus freak coffeehouse on Sherman Avenue in North Bend, Oregon. We tore … Continue reading

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Tense Shift

Tense shift is an error I often mark in student papers. In church yesterday it occurred to me that it is also an error we make in our walk with God. In a paper, tense shift happens when a student … Continue reading

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Vampires and Running Water

In Bram Stoker’s Dracula one of the Count’s limitations is an inability to cross running water. I find this comforting and instructive. Comforting because I live on the coast of Oregon where water is running everywhere. Three forks of the … Continue reading

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