An Absence of Humility

153 Evangelical leaders convened recently in Nashville under the auspices of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood and issued a statement on sexuality. Signers include some of the most prominent and influential leaders in the Evangelical family: James Dobson, Richard Land, James Robinson, Tony Perkins. The statement targets gay, lesbian and transgender persons […]

If the Answer is “Yes.”

I have resisted the temptation to weigh in more than I already have on the Donald Trump phenomenon because we are saturated. Television news and the newspapers can’t keep their eyes off of him and I confess that I watch the 7:00 a.m. news because I don’t want to miss the latest outlandish thing he […]

A Blow to My Optimism

I am, and always have been, a hopeless optimist. I always expect that my team will win, that everything will turn out alright. My Christian faith tells me that there is always a light in the darkness and that the darkness will not overcome the light. But my optimism has been dealt a severe blow […]

This Land So Fair and Free

Nationalism seems like it ought to be synonymous with patriotism but nationalism is actually very different and much more than patriotism. Webster defines patriotism as “love for or devotion to one’s country.” Nationalism, according to the dictionary, is “exalting one nation above all others, promoting its culture and interests as opposed to other nations or […]

Simply Being Kind

One of the occupational hazards of the preaching vocation is that not everyone likes, or agrees with, what we say – particularly when we push on beyond the words of scripture to the behavioral and social ramifications. On occasion, rare to be sure, listeners tell us, in no uncertain terms that they did not like […]

The Unconscious Revolutionary

It was Confirmation day at our church last Sunday. Twenty-two 8th graders sat in the front pews, stood up and answered some questions about their faith and promised to be faithful members of the congregation and of the church wherever they go in the future, and knelt as the minister and Elders laid hands on […]

A Prayer for Brussels

It is all so distressingly familiar. On a perfectly beautiful, sunny morning beside the sparkling bay, enjoying the start and promise of a new day with gratitude to God for the gift of life, a daughter calls: “Turn on CNN. It has happened again.” It is so distressingly familiar: innocent men and women going about […]

Love Has Good Manners

Among the voices I rely on to be honest, intellectually stimulating and morally grounded is David Brooks’. In addition to reading his New York Times editorials, I try not to miss the “Shields and Brooks” segment of the PBS News Hour on Friday evenings. Brooks is a thoughtful conservative who regularly drops references to the great […]

Mother of Exiles

There is a lot I love about this country and at the top of the list is that the United States of America, from its inception, has been a nation of immigrants. One of the least attractive dimensions of my country is the way it has treated the only truly native Americans. But what makes […]

The Joy of Summer Reading 

I don’t know what it is about the ocean that is so conducive to reading. I experienced it again this year, returning, as we have for almost four decades to the same barrier island off the coast of North Carolina. Maybe it’s the absence of distraction with the only really necessary activity planning what fresh […]