Don’t take “Christ” out of Christmas, but get the tree out of the church

Christmas trees, in the current-day United States at least, do not have a clear connection to the Christian faith. So why put them in the sanctuary with the other symbols?

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Two Bits on American Exceptionalism

As I got a haircut this week, my stylist asked, “So, would you want to live abroad for a few years?” We had a lovely, fairly nuanced chat ranging into aspects of American exceptionalism. I love discussions of American exceptionalism because, if they are managed well, they get into some tricky issues rather quickly (much […]

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Beyond Mashed Potatoes: Giving Thanks Together

This week at Theology Pub we discussed Thanksgiving from various angles. I found it an interesting topic because giving thanks — and gratitude in general — is certainly not unique to people of faith. Apparently, the religious origins of the first Thanksgiving(s) are debatable, but in later years Thanksgiving certainly took a more religious tint. […]

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Review: Metaxas’ “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy”

I read many books, but seldom biography. Perhaps that’s due to negative experiences with book report assignments growing up. Who knows? Upon a social media acquaintance’s recommendation, however, I picked up a Kindle copy of Eric Metaxas’ biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. Quickly, I found myself looking forward to evenings in […]

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What? You don’t have a TV! (part 3)

[For previous installments of this series, see Part 1, and Part 2] The amount of time Americans spend watching TV has gone up in recent years. Studies differ, but it’s usually estimated we watch on average nearly three hours of TV a day. Since I don’t have a TV, what do I do with my time? […]

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Review: “The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry” by Root & Dean

I’ve never been a youth ministry sort of guy. When I was looking for a call out of seminary, oftentimes folks would assume that since I was in my 20s I’d be going into youth ministry. They did not know me. Don’t get me wrong: I love youth and youth ministry, but it is not […]

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New Same-Sex Marriage Study for Youth

Are you looking for a way to discuss same-sex marriage with youth, a way that gives credence to multiple perspectives and acknowledges that (no matter your personal view) Christians read the Bible in different ways? Well, you’re in luck because The Thoughtful Christian.com just published a youth study that attempts to do just that (and […]

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What? You don’t have a TV! (part 2)

[For previous installments of this series, see Part 1] When I’m traveling for work and staying in a hotel room, I’ll often turn on the TV set. Generally, I’ll watch live sports, ESPN highlights, or CNN. It’s sort of a treat. On vacation, however, I never watch TV. For me, TV watching is somehow antithetical […]

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What? You don’t have a TV! (part 1)

Megan and I are part of the 1% — we don’t have a television. In fact, we haven’t for over five years (well, ten years, if roommates’ TVs don’t count). The decision to eschew a television was not one we pondered for long. It was not a measured countercultural stand against multinational corporations’ braincell-destroying dross […]

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