Should We Kill the Essay? Is It Dead Already?

If no boss is ever going to require employees to write an essay, why should professors assign them?

7 Reasons We Love Lists with 7 Reasons

I’m not a huge fan of the “7 Strategies for Success,” “5 Unsupported Claims,” “10 Top Cat Videos” type of article, but I click on them all the time. Heck, sure, I write them from time to time too. What’s up with the lists?

Helpful or Hurtful? On “Aspirational Hymns” such as “For Everyone Born”

I received an interesting message from an old friend asking about the hymn, “For Everyone Born” (text by Shirley Erena Murray; tune by Brian Mann). He wondered whether the hymn struck me as controversial. After all, how do we sing about abuser and abused having a place at the table?

What Makes a Great Coffee Shop?

I spend a lot of time in coffee shops. I go to coffee shops to read and write. For work, I regularly meet students and colleagues in coffee shops. I even got engaged in a coffee shop. I’m a coffee shop connoisseur, a java junkie, a free wireless wonk. Here, then, are my top coffee shop quality indicators.

Digi-social-i-Tablet. What’s the best tech speak?

It’s awfully difficult to know what words to use these days to describe that newfangled technology stuff that takes up so much of our lives. What phrase is best?

MPR Op-Ed: A Lesson in Caution, in time for Christmas

A Minnesota Public Radio commentary of mine went up today, “A lesson in caution, in time for Christmas.” I’ve posted the introduction below, but you’ll need to click over to the MPR site for the full piece.   A lesson in caution, in time for Christmas A few days ago I wrote a bitter, snarky […]

Hopes and fears from Collegeville

A post from the Collegeville Institute, Summer Writing Program: Theology in the Real World with Kathleen Norris “What are our hopes and fears for the week?” Kathleen asks us Sunday night as the shadows fall and the mosquitoes fly. “Write them down. We’ll share them in the morning.” Fears? Fear are easy. Anxiety is one […]

Theological Doctrines, Plain Speech, & the Public Square

What basic Christian tenet, doctrine, or word have you struggled to “translate” into plain speech? That question is part of an essay prompt I’m considering for a July writing workshop with Kathleen Norris at the Collegeville Institute at St. John’s Abbey and University in Minnesota. Can you help me think out loud on this one? […]

Acts 8:26-40, Castrating Our Customs

An exegetical essay of mine went up today at ON Scripture, a wonderful project of public theology hosted by Odyssey Networks. The project has a partnership with Huffington Post’s Religion work, so it also appears at that site. I’m going to start regularly posting some essays at my new Huffington Post portal which, honestly, is […]