Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What teens (and parents and churches) really believe

Sixty percent of evangelical youth in America leave the church at age 18. In some cases, the estimates are as high as 90 percent. Notre Dame Sociology professor Christian Smith's book Soul Searching and his research on America's evangelical/conservative/protestant teens has some staggering insight into what

Friday, April 25, 2014

Survival dance to sacred dance

Richard Rohr says that the first half of life is really a "survival dance"--and surviving successfully at that. If things go well, we spend the first decades building a strong "container" for our lives. If we're given good role models (parents, teachers, coaches, youth leaders), we develop a secure identity, a sense of who we are and

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Where have I been? On a journey...

I haven't blogged in several months. I'm not sure if I should apologize to you or say "you're welcome" for giving you a break from my words. So...I give you both: sorry and you're welcome. But why the extended break from this blog? Well, I felt like I got severe writer's block at the end of last year and lost

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Achtung Baby [Warning]

For many years as a Christian, I simply could not handle some of Christianity's trickier doctrines that have been upheld for 2,000 years. And for good reasons, I think. Some are just extremely difficult to

Monday, October 7, 2013

Finding our real power

"The spirituality behind the Twelve-Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous is a 'low Church' approach to evangelization and healing that is probably our only hope in a pluralistic world of over seven billion...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

False hopes and fears

"The world's way of responding to intimations of decay is to engage equally in idiot hopes and idiot despair. On the one hand, some new policy or discovery is confidently expected to put everything

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

True tolerance

Cultural elites may tell us that to judge anything or anyone these days is simply intolerant. "Don't be judgmental," many say. In this postmodern era, we're taught to believe that there are no common

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The reason for everything

Suppose I'm at a cocktail party and I'm talking about you. Since you're not there, I may freely express my opinions about you, the interesting aspects of of your personality, my ideas about your best and worst

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

You can never be hurt

Have you been offended or humiliated lately? Probably within the past 24 hours. Maybe it was a slight at work. Perhaps something your spouse or friend said to you. Even the way someone looked at you

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The enduring 911

In the world of art and design it's so hard to come up with something that transcends your era. That's the Holy Grail. Only a few (movies, fashions, cars, novels, etc.) actually transcend an era and become a

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Religion for dummies?

Is Christianity a Religion for Dummies? Many people walk away from a university experience today left with that impression. If there was a faith in God upon entering the university, there's a good chance

Monday, August 5, 2013

Facing your biggest challenge

In Revolt of the Masses, Jose Ortega y Gasset wrote: "For life is at the start a chaos in which one is lost. The individual suspects this, but he is frightened of finding himself face to face with this

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Conversation with Jesus (2)

Mike: Jesus? Is that you again? I suppose this is another dream...
Jesus Christ: Yes it is. It's good to see you again Mike. How have you been?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The gospel-mill life

I have an image stuck in my mind that I think illustrates life in God. I imagine an old, sturdy wooden mill deep down in the heart, in the center of a person -- a mill placed there by the grace of God that

Sunday, June 2, 2013

There is a system

In discovering the Jesus of the Bible, at some point you have to acknowledge a fundamental reality: every human is part of a system. The Bible calls it "the world." Jesus said that we are all part of a

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Seeing out of one eye

I'm convinced that many "religious" people like me only see about 50 percent of Reality, or God's perspective. Fifty percent is better than zero percent, but it's still only half... We tend to think

Monday, May 6, 2013

Intellectual integrity

To build on the previous post, most of us instinctively know there is a God. Sure, some resist the idea but we essentially know this to be true almost without thinking (blink)... There's a source for everything.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The God of your iPhone

Christians are often considered narrow in their thinking. It might be the other way around. We could all stand to think and live bigger, including me. If we think of a created object, like a product,

Monday, April 22, 2013

A new kind of heaven

When most people think of heaven, we think of harps and floating on clouds. That's been my impression of the next world for most of my life and, honestly, it's never sounded too appealing. Whether you

Monday, April 15, 2013

What to do with the second half of life?

In his book Falling Up Father Richard Rohr uses the metaphor of a "container" to describe the first and second halves of life. It's very helpful in understanding the differences between the two halves, and also

Who are we? Part 2

I tried to argue in Part 1 that many of us don't really know ourselves. Without God, we are forced to find substitutes so we automatically hook our identities onto the low-hanging fruit of life: jobs, politics,

Friday, April 12, 2013

Who are we? Part 1

One big problem we have today is that we don't really know ourselves. It's a case of mistaken identity.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Jesus and the philosophers

Think for a second about these three statements: 1.) John is a really good guy. I can trust him.  2.) Did you see Les Miserables? It was so beautiful it made me cry.  3.) I can follow your logic and see what

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Our conscience and the poor

I have always had a sense that if there is a God (and I do believe there is), this God must somehow in some way put every human being on equal footing in the

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Doesn't everyone get a trophy?

My wife is on a mission. She wants to reform youth sports leagues. OK, she's not really on a mission but she's annoyed... Whether it's Little League or basketball,

Monday, April 8, 2013

Biased from the beginning

You can't finally trust the claims of those who argue against the truth of Christ or the Christian faith. Why? Just like CNN and Fox News seem to bend to the left or to the right, we humans too begin

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Have you been initiated?

Up until about 1,000 years ago, a custom of almost every human culture was a rite of passage or initiation for young boys. When they reached age 16 or so,

Friday, April 5, 2013

The road to destruction

A few years ago I attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C. It's an annual event that goes back to the Eisenhower administration in which

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Only He is Good

When you come to faith and really get to know this Jesus, you discover new levels and layers of "sin" in your life. You say, "Really, Lord? I thought we were good to go