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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Confessions of a Young Pastor
Sep01

Confessions of a Young Pastor

Rarely do I get to offer thoughts about church to a broader audience. So here I, a young pastor, have compiled the things I wish I could tell more people about the church. A lot of this is based on conversations I’ve had repeatedly with people who struggle with the idea of going to church. I hope they’re conversations I get to keep having. Churches will always fail at being perfect I would venture to say that everyone has experienced...

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New Series: On Going to Church
Aug29

New Series: On Going to Church

“How baffling you are, oh Church, and yet how I love you! How you have made me suffer, and yet how much I owe you! I would like to see you destroyed, and yet I need your presence. You have given me so much scandal and yet you have made me understand what sanctity is. I have seen nothing in the world more devoted to obscurity, more compromised, more false, and yet I have touched nothing more pure, more generous, more beautiful. How...

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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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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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Making Sense of Death Is Living Life Wisely
May28

Making Sense of Death Is Living Life Wisely

On this Memorial Day, I found myself trying to make sense of death. Every time I hear the laughs and babbles of my infant son, I am struck that the term “infant” is from the latin infans, which means, essentially, “incapable of speech.” Yet, with gurgles and coos and nehs and wahs very present, he has a language all his own, and I am enthralled. It was the same way after the birth of my daughter, who just...

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But Aren’t You a Christian Counselor?
Apr29

But Aren’t You a Christian Counselor?

“My son, he goes to a Christian university, and we just found out last night…he’s struggling with homosexuality. Can you help him?” That’s a verbatim quote from a worried mother who contacted my counseling practice last fall. I get a handful of calls like this every year. I recall them vividly because, among other reasons, the parents are usually so sincere. It’s something that always sticks with me...

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