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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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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The American Dream for Losers
Jul04

The American Dream for Losers

*Identities changed to protect those involved.  “Come on,” I said.  “You want all of these good things for yourself.  That doesn’t seem consistent with not going to school.” “It’s not,” responded Rashid*, a handsome, African-American young man who was surprisingly engaged in counseling.  “Some days I just didn’t have a choice.” “You’ve always got a choice, man,” I said. “No, like I really didn’t have a choice.”  “Like you didn’t...

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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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