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 […]

Humble and Riding on a Donkey

If there is anything better than a large group of children of all ages on Palm Sunday, marching down the center aisle of the church waving palm branches while the congregation sings the great Palm Sunday hymn, “All Glory, laud and Honor To Thee Redeemer King, To whom the lips of children Made sweet hosannas […]

People of the Book

I am disappointed at the way Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, one of the leading Evangelical Christian colleges in the country, is dealing with Political Science Professor Larycia Hawkins. Hawkins announced on Facebook that she was wearing a Hijab during Advent to show solidarity with Muslim sisters and brothers. She went on to explain that Muslims […]

A Grateful Man

I knew it was coming some day but never imagined that it might actually happen. As of January 1, 2016, I am fully retired. For the first time since September 1960, I am no longer employed as a minister and no longer responsible for the life of an institution. I worked as a Presbyterian minister […]

Where Is God in this Mess?

One of my most precious memories that returns every Christmas is the catastrophe that resulted from recruiting my then young children to join me at the kitchen table to help assemble a cardboard do-it-yourself crèche. Christians have been recreating the Bethlehem birth tableaux, mother and child, dutiful father, barn animals, shepherds and wise men , […]

In Support of Planned Parenthood

My wife, Sue, and I support Planned Parenthood. We have been financial donors for years and Sue has served on the Board of Planned Parenthood Chicago. The work of this organization is critically important. Planned Parenthood provides family planning consultation, birth control, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), 500,000 breast exams and 400,000 […]

I Don’t Know Everything & I Wish I Knew More

Star gazing not only invites but almost insists on serious reflection. Years ago, lying on my back at the beach with a young son, looking up into a brilliant star-filled night sky, he broke the long silence I was enjoying by asking, unbidden, the ultimate ontological question: “Daddy, who made God?” The June 10 edition […]

One Wild and Precious Life

John Buchanan presented the following lecture at Campbell University, Buies Creek, North Carolina, in January 2015.  People are curious about clergy. Even people who are not particularly church-oriented regard ministers and priests as curiosities. They think we are somehow fundamentally different from everybody else; that we are untouched by the normal matters of life that […]

A Season of Waiting

O, You better watch out, You better not cry, you better not pout,  I’m telling you why: Santa Claus is coming to town. “Christmas Creep” has been happening around here since before Halloween. The great engine of American retail commerce has been operating at full speed for weeks, urging us to shop and purchase in […]

Some Thoughts on Gratitude & a Prayer of Thanksgiving

    It doesn’t have to be the blue Iris, it could be weeds in a vacant lot.. just pay attention, then patch a few words together.. this isn’t a contest, but the doorway into thanks… – Mary Oliver, Praying It begins with simply paying attention, noticing, seeing the countless gifts we are given every […]