Category: Musing

CultureMusingTheology

Does Conservative Theology Empower Abuse?

Here are three things that I believe are true and that are important for honest people to admit: It is a moral travesty when religious people or organizations use their beliefs, influence, or infrastructure to hurt, control, or manipulate other people. Theologically conservative organizations have been guilty of doing this, many times, often with disastrous,…

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LifeMusing

My Father’s Best Gift

My father's best gift to me was his obscurity. In the 20+ years in which he pastored churches and his children grew up, he never published anything other than a newsletter article, spoke anywhere other than a church pulpit, or was known by anyone other than those who had met him or us. Whatever the…

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BooksCultureLifeMusing

Some Advice for Writers

Recently a few friends of mine have asked me about writing, and for some perspective and/or advice on how to get started doing it seriously. I've given the same advice enough times that I figured it might be helpful to put what I most frequently say here as a kind of reference. As always, none…

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educationMusingPolitics

What Graduation Means

Last spring spent about four hours of a Monday night at a college graduation. My wife was being awarded her degree in elementary education, and she was joined by (according to the college president) 995 other undergraduates. Graduates were welcomed, inducted, charged, presented, and awarded, in that order. The night was long; speeches repeated, processionals and…

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CultureLifeMusing

Cynicism vs Discernment

Cynicism: "I don't believe these news reports because they critique or reflect poorly on those in my political tribe." Discernment: "Of course, I have my convictions and my loyalties, but everyone, including me, is capable of doing wrong." Cynicism: "The problem is clearly that these media outlets have an agenda against my tribe. You can't trust them." Discernment: "Bias is real,…

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CultureMusingPolitics

The Outraged Are Always Right

It's getting really bad out there. Americans, including very intelligent, thoughtful ones, simply cannot abide the mere presence of someone they don't agree with. How else to explain the spectacle of allegedly reasonable people scurrying to punish The New York Times for hiring Bret Stephens to write op-eds? Stephens, his critics charge, is a climate…

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LifeMusing

A Prayer For Wonder

Heavenly Father, Thank you for being God. Thank you for being such a wise, creative, powerful, tenderhearted, patient, and sovereign King of the world. May your name forever be hallowed, in my heart, in my home, in my church, and in my world. You are indeed a good King, and we, made in your image,…

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CultureLifeMusing

Putting Down My Inner Polemicist

I'm not a pastor, but this post by Kevin DeYoung hit me where it hurts. For the sake of clarity, "polemics" in the sense that DeYoung is using here refer to a particular mode of engaging ideas critically, with a goal of correcting bad ideas. While polemics qua polemics are inherently valuable, the word is…

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LifeMusingTheology

The Cross vs Nostalgia

We call it “Good Friday” now. But no Christian should want to relive that day. On the day we call Good Friday, Jesus’ disciples were foolish. They volunteered to die with him, demonstrating that they neither understood his mission or their own hearts. Hours after pledging their lives, they fled at the sight of Roman…

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