The Theology of Extremity

What matters most to God? In recent years that question has grown larger and deeper at the center of my soul. My struggle to discern what really matters most to God has settled around a rather unsettling phrase: “the theology of extremity.”

Crossroads: God Makes Beautiful Things

I’m very clumsy. And sometimes I break things. There have been times when I have broken dishes as I washed them. Usually, when I break something, I have to throw it away.

Broken Spirits and Dry Bones

We have a friend in the Bible named Isaiah. God was looking for someone to deliver some hard words to God’s people. Isaiah had an incredible encounter with God involving an angel and some coal (Isa 6). And after this experience, he told the Lord “I’ll go, send me.”

The Weight of Pain

Why does pain almost always seem to weigh more, to have more substance, to impact us more powerfully, than joy? For many people, the moments that have been most life-changing have been, not the moments of joy, but the moments of pain.

More Beautiful for the Brokenness

Art and repair merged in 15th-century Japan when a shogun sent a prized tea bowl to be repaired. When it came back mended with ugly metal staples, the shogun was so displeased that craftspeople jumped at the chance to find a better way to repair it and other broken ceramics.

Breaking Things

I am not terribly clumsy and yet I have a way of breaking things. Now, I am not the artist that my cousin Stan was. When we were boys, I dreaded when Stan, who was a few years younger than I, came to our house because he would want to play with my toys and any toy that Stan touched broke.