Connections 04.03.2016: Free Indeed

Something about this story bothers me. Now, I know that slavery was an accepted part of first century Roman culture. But I also know that for a human being to own a human being violates the humanity of both.

Formations 09.27.2015: Defending the Culture of Dignity

Sociologists from California State University and West Virginia University recently published a paper identifying three different ways human beings have regulated interpersonal relationships: honor culture, dignity culture, victimhood culture.

Formations 07.12.2015: The Value of Wisdom

Canadian author and theologian Tom Harpur observes that otherwise brilliant high-profile celebrities can get themselves into some extraordinary messes. “If only wisdom were valued as highly as charisma is,” he says, “many would be spared humiliation on the public stage.”

A View from the Pew: Mothers and Fathers

Church is a place for celebration. That celebration gets tricky when we as the church are handed a set of holidays outside of our faith tradition and the Scriptures.

Context and Community

It was the summer of 1976; I had just finished my freshman year at Mercer University. I was serving as the Associate Pastor for a small Baptist church way out in the Georgia countryside.

Formations 03.15.2015: Soul Food

Last month, Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois hosted its annual soul food dinner honoring the accomplishments of black people both living and dead. More than 150 people attended the event.

In Pursuit of the Spirit: Picking Our Way Through Advent

Our son, Caleb, will turn three a few days after Christmas this year. For the first two years of his life, we didn’t worry too much about holiday traditions, recognizing that he was too little to understand or remember much.

Formations 11.02.2014: The Next Culture War?

For several decades, the term “culture war” has percolated through the consciousness of most informed Americans. According to Alyssa Rosenberg, it began with questions about whether entertainment media should be decent.

Songs of Innocence: Using Popular Music to Engage and Inform Youth Sunday School

On Tuesday, as almost an afterthought to its announcement of a new iPhone, the Irish rock band U2 dropped a surprise new album, Songs of Innocence. What is quite remarkable for a band with this sustained level of popularity is the fact that three-quarters of the band members are professed Christians.

“The Stranger”

We read a lot in the Bible about “the stranger”. It is full of stories of cross-cultural encounters and experiences, both positive and negative. Like us, those in the biblical narrative needed guidance on what to do with the strangers in their midst. We learn from these texts themes of hospitality and inclusivity for those who are not like us.