Can a Church Split Truly Be Gracious?

I’m grateful to report that Religion Dispatches published an essay of mine! In the piece, “Can a Church Split Truly Be Gracious?” I describe and reflect upon my experience leading a commission (officially a “Presbytery Engagement Team”) to investigate a church seeking to leave my presbytery, the Presbytery of Northern Plains. The process was fraught, troubling, and yet […]

Goodbye, dear friend. I don’t plan to keep in touch.

One of my best Fargo buddies ruined my life this semester by getting a great new job and leaving town. (An all too common occurrence if you live in Fargo.) The other evening, over beers, Andrew was preparing me for when he’ll be gone. “Just so you know, I suck at keeping in touch” he […]

Why it worked: 2 weeks, 10 Students, 1 Lutheran NGO + Me

The pilot travel seminar to Nicaragua, a partnership between Concordia College and Lutheran World Relief, was a huge success. I’m recently back from a 15-day journey on which students and I saw LWR’s work in action, meeting with cocoa and coffee farmers, drinking the water their projects helped clean, and learning from LWR partners near […]

Festival of Faith & Writing Recap

Last weekend, I attended the Festival of Faith & Writing with 2,000+ others at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The experience deserves more than a quick post, but such is life. A few reactions follow.  What fun to be around so many stellar thoughtful folks considering faith, writing, and culture. The quality of presentations […]

Lent 40 Day Project: Cup by Cup

Has my experience in a coffee growing region of the world, in one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere changed anything? When it comes to the question of food justice, was my (extremely privileged) visit with coffee farmers anything more than a progressive’s version of feel good token tourism?

Top Struggles of 2013!

Rather than trumpeting my accomplishments at the end of the year—anyone can do that, after all—I’d like to reflect briefly on my year’s biggest struggles both professional and (slightly) personally.

Sorry, Megyn Kelly, Jesus Wasn’t White….and Thank God

The danger of assuming Jesus looks just like me is pretty simple: Jesus is not just like me…Jesus always stands with those on the margins of society; he was neither white nor privileged.

What’s Your Facebook Profile Religious View? Why?

When asked, my students articulated clear, considered reasons for their religious views on their Facebook profile. What does this say about new media and religion today?

Learner Beware: Why I’m Starting a PhD Program in the Humanities and Why I Recommend Against It

“Do what I say, not what I do.” I recently began a PhD program in Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture. Why? Because I’m a glutton for punishment, bad odds, and the esoteric. Also, I’m a sucker for academic virtues and the love of learning. But, learner beware: a PhD in the humanities is probably a bad idea.