Why I Stay
Sep15

Why I Stay

I was an incredibly fortunate school-learner.  Traditional school structure, highly-formatted classroom learning — they worked well for me. I was the one those environments were built for — the reader, the achiever. I loved it and succeeded with ease. Every time I reached for the next rung on the ladder, it was immediately in my grasp. Obviously, it is not this way for everyone. Likewise, I’m a fortunate churchgoer. The...

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Myth, Identity, and the Healthy Church
Sep07

Myth, Identity, and the Healthy Church

Myth, Identity, and the Healthy Church Last Sunday was the first time I had been to church since May. Church hurts, and attending is like trying to date again after going through a painful divorce. Past churches hurt me, and it takes a lot of intentional steps to trust again; trust requires a vulnerability that I can’t always muster. Typical answers to “Why go to church?” like “Because it’s your...

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Richard Rohr on Dispatching the Loyal Soldier
Jul11

Richard Rohr on Dispatching the Loyal Soldier

“The voice of our ‘loyal soldier’ gets us through the first half of life safely, teaching us to look both ways before we cross the street, to have enough impulse control to avoid addictions and compulsive emotions, to learn the sacred ‘no’ to ourselves that gives us dignity, identity, direction, significance and boundaries. We must learn these lessons to get off to a good start. It is far easier to begin...

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Moving Beyond Tribal Religion
Jun26

Moving Beyond Tribal Religion

Several years ago it dawned on me that most all of my spiritual heroes are unabashedly ecumenical.  Father Henri Nouwen, Brother Roger of Taize, Sister Joan Chittister, Father Richard Rohr, Thomas Merton, Parker Palmer, Wendell Berry.  If you read their writings, you’ll find themes of radical inclusivity, radical compassion, and radical identification.  Each in his or her own way points to a God that includes everyone, loves everyone,...

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Deconstructing Temptations Men Face
May20

Deconstructing Temptations Men Face

Recently, I attended an evangelical Christian Men’s Conference that, for the most part, I enjoyed.  It’s just that the parts I didn’t enjoy were about what it means to be a Christian man.

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What is Lust?
Apr15

What is Lust?

Recently, I had the distinct privilege of chatting with Soulation’s Jonalyn Fincher about that most vexing of problems, lust. Soulation is a virtual warehouse of spiritually-focused content designed to, in their words, “help people become more fully human.”  This clip is part of a larger conversation we had, the remainder of which will be published online some time in the next month or so. I hope you enjoy it! This...

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Tweet, Tweet: Mark Driscoll’s Simple World
Jan10

Tweet, Tweet: Mark Driscoll’s Simple World

A friend of mine asked me for my professional, psychological analysis of Pastor Mark Driscoll today after this tweet:   He wasn’t surprised at the content of Driscoll’s tweet, per se. My friend, an evangelical himself, understands that this line of thinking is par for the course in terms of many evangelicals’ theological viewpoint. Instead, he was trying to understand “the motivations for such a post. Is...

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The Sacred Question Mark
Oct17

The Sacred Question Mark

“Can I tell you what I think?” I’ve responded like this countless times to clients posing what is to them a vexing life problem: Is my relationship’s disintegration my fault or because we’re incompatible?  Do I keep sabotaging myself or am I terminally a failure?  Do I keep gravitating to women who abandon me because I don’t love myself?  Do my parents have the right to keep telling me what to do as an adult?...

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A Therapist Goes to Church
Oct03

A Therapist Goes to Church

Over the past 10 years or so, I’ve sensed something deeply amiss in my experiences within the context of the institutional, Western, primarily evangelical church.  For a very long time I muted my dissonance, being unfamiliar with its nature, and not terribly desirous to understand it more clearly.  Early on, many of my misgivings were obscured by my own personal emotional, mental, and spiritual struggles.  I had a hard time knowing...

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Why Church Small Groups Struggle to Create Community
Oct03

Why Church Small Groups Struggle to Create Community

The spiritual life is not a life before, after, or beyond our everyday existence. No, the spiritual life can only be real when it is lived in the midst of the joys and pains of the here and now. Therefore, we need to begin with a careful look at the way we think, feel, and act from hour to hour, day to day, week to week, and year to year, in order to become more fully aware of our hunger for the Spirit. –Fr. Henri Nouwen, Making...

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