Do Christians Hate Forgiveness? (Are we Jonah?)

Not long ago, the president announced an initiative to relieve some of the pressure of escalating student loan costs and predatory practices with a small loan forgiveness program. The response among many Christians has been deeply fascinating. Social media posts on the subject have mile-long threads of replies. Strident articles are being published. People have […]

Recovering Fundamentalist? What is that?

Writing a Twitter bio is an interesting experience. In 160 characters you attempt to summarize yourself. This is the first place that people on Twitter will look to make sense of who you are, and why you’re saying such crazy things. Some bios are littered with hashtagged bumper stickers of the #affiliations and #viewpoints! of […]

Throwing out the vendors in your heart.

I was sitting in my office next to a man who was weeping. Terrible and selfish choices made years before had caught up with him. He lost his career, his livelihood, his family, and his dignity. He was absolutely certain that God was punishing him. He begged me to help him find some penance. He […]

The promise religion can’t keep, that Christmas does.

This week around tables and living rooms across the world, families gather. Christmas eve. Christmas morning. Christmas dinner. The long, lazy days after Christmas. Sitting together sharing stories, gifts, and great food. At least this is what we want, right? Some families have this experience. Some don’t. Some of us wish we had people to […]

Good news! You don’t have to earn access to God.

Want God to answer your prayers? Want a sense of intimacy with God? Then you have to show you’re serious in your commitment. You need to be doing all the right things and avoiding all the wrong ones. Try harder, believe more, really mean it this time. Not everyone believes this, but a lot of […]

OK, I admit it. I hate forgiveness too.

When my children turned 5 and 6, I started re-living my own elementary school experiences. Apparently comebacks haven’t changed much in 35 years. Call someone a name and you’ll hear, “I know you are, but what am I?” Mention that odor wafting in, someone will chime, “Whoever smelt it, dealt it!” Blame someone for something, […]

Brennan Manning: The ragamuffin who taught me Jesus’ heart

On this day in 2013 Brennan Manning passed. This was the message on Facebook: “It is with mixed emotions that we must tell you that on Friday April 12, 2013, our Brother Brennan passed away.  While he will be greatly missed we should all take comfort in the fact that he is resting in the […]

Time to stop trying too hard.

I’m A Tryer. Trying too hard.  You could use that phrase as a banner for much of my life.  Trying hard to do well.  Trying hard to be accepted.  Trying hard to be strong, to be a good husband, to be a good pastor, to be a good dad, to be more emotional and relational. […]