The Remarkable College Conference at Montreat

What’s better than 1,000+ college students attending a mainline church conference on their Christmas break and loving every minute of it? Maybe the Twins winning a World Series, but not much else. With my good friend, Taylor Lewis Guthrie Hartman, I am Co-Directing the next College Conference at the Montreat Conference Center in North Carolina! […]

Continue

Three Good Books

I finished off 2012 by reading three good novels (thank God for vacations) all of which I commend to you. Though I didn’t plan it, they all take up the theme of growing up, or maturing in some way, which seems most appropriate at the turn of the year. Richard Ford’s Canada (2012) tells the story […]

Continue

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 […]

Continue

No Christmas Trees in Church

[This is a repost, though slightly altered, of a post of similar name from a year ago. Since I don't seem to have won the argument, I figured I'd try again.]  It’s a wonderful tradition in my house: putting on Christmas music, lugging the tote full of Christmas decorations up from the basement, making hot […]

Continue

OMG: The Pope’s on Twitter!!!

Hey @pontifex, can I get a follow back! — Jesus Christ (@jesus) December 13, 2012 In this week’s news: Jesus asked the Pope to follow him on Twitter, and was rejected. In case you missed it, the Pope has joined Twitter under the handle @Pontifex. (Despite the cool hat collection, he’s not yet on Pinterest.) […]

Continue

Full, Not Busy

It turns out that December is a busy time for both pastors and professors. Pastors plan Advent services—often Sundays and Wednesdays—and, when Christmas Eve comes, the sermons pile up further. Professors have the end-of-semester duties of grading both final exams and final papers, plus there are more end-of-year deadlines than I care to count. When […]

Continue

Young Adults & Stewardship: What Gives?

Does Christian stewardship look different for millennials who grew up in our increasingly post-Christian world replete with Facebook, Justin Bieber, and legalized marijuana? Is the sky blue? Is North Dakota cold in winter? The good folks at Luther Seminary’s Center for Stewardship Leadership and I have been in some conversations recently about young adults and […]

Continue

Review: “Enrique’s Journey” by Sonia Nazario

Looking for a harrowing stocking stuffer that adds complexity to the illegal immigration debate, highlights addiction and poverty, and might even cause nightmares? Yeah, probably not. But, Sonia Nazario’s Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with his Mother (Random House, 2006) is a fine book worth reading. About ten years ago, […]

Continue

5 Ways New Media Has Changed the Way I Think (and Write)

5) Lists get hits. Opine all you like about our short attention span and the decline of critical thinking, but there’s something about a top five or top ten list that entices people to read. So, I sometimes write posts with lists (like this one). But hey, it’s not just a new media thing: God […]

Continue