Born to Kill

March 6, 2015 at 8:02 pm

        Long before I ever read Timothy Kudo’s article in the New York Times, I already knew how to kill. Never with my hands, but with weapons I was given at birth that always proved to be equally as fatal; a quick mind, a heart perpetually turned inward […]

The Hobbit & The Battle of the Five Denominations

January 6, 2015 at 9:11 pm

41,000 That was the figure given in 2011 by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity as an estimate for the total number of Christian denominations and organizations worldwide. Unfortunately, it is probably safe to assume that the number has only risen in recent years, not declined. As a member of […]

The Unpreachable Santa

December 19, 2014 at 6:06 pm

     I once learned a valuable lesson in the pulpit; of all the places in the world in which it remains offensive to declare, “Santa is not real,” Sunday worship still manages to rank fairly high.         To be fair I did not begin my sermon with […]

What the Church can learn from Serial

December 12, 2014 at 6:18 pm

     In its introductory season on air the Serial podcast has become one of the most popular podcasts in the world, surpassing even the long-time champion This American Life, which is produced by Serial host, Sarah Koenig. If you are not currently among the over one million weekly listeners […]

Pastoral Suicide & the Lamenting Church

November 13, 2014 at 8:14 pm

  “To enter a broken heart means that our hearts will be broken as well.” – Paul Miller        It was close to a year ago that I sat at my computer writing a reflection on the suicide of a fellow pastor named Stephen Hightower. Today, I find […]

Pastoral Lessons from Banksy

October 23, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Be very careful what you wish for.        In the world of pastoral ministry (especially the evangelical variety) what seems to be wished for with an increasing frequency is fame. Despite the fact that it is often shrouded in more spiritual terms like “influence” or “maximizing capacity,” there […]

How Hipsters Became More Powerful than the Gates of Hell

August 15, 2013 at 6:28 pm

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matt. 16:1   Scene 1: I am on staff at a Presbyterian church that follows a formal Presbyterian liturgy. I am taking a respite […]

Unbearable Darkness

April 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm

What I remember most was the fluorescent lights. They refused to dim or turn off and they cast a strange pale blue onto every surface, making the already surreal scene that much more discomforting for me. In the corner, dressed in hospital scrubs, was a young man who was in […]

Our Final Lesson

March 28, 2013 at 1:22 pm

He didn’t take his seat right away like the others. He stood in the doorway and watched as we gathered around the table to dine. We kept motioning for him to come and sit, but he stood silently, resolved to wait until something else happened first. I didn’t know what. […]

Generational Sin

November 29, 2012 at 8:27 pm

In the days and weeks surrounding the holidays I am always reminded of a theological truth known as “generational sin.” The phrase itself sounds rather archaic, medieval even. The notion that the sins of future generations trickle down to fall squarely on the shoulders of proceeding generations sounds more like […]