Try Being Less Spiritual and More Decent

“What then should we do?”

That was the cry of the crowds who were touched by John the Baptist’s message in the region of the Jordan, that God’s ax was laid at the root of the trees, and those that produced no good fruit would be cut down (Luke 3:9).

What are those good fruits? What are […]

Refugees, Trump and the Light of the World

Several months ago a team of people went into my heart and fixed it. They, in fact, probed with wires right up through both an artery and a vein in both of my upper thighs, right up into my heart, and burned a number of clusters of cells that were giving off electric signals that […]

Immanuel Kant, and Why I Will Not Watch the Super Bowl

Tomorrow all the world will tune into a gladiatorial contest. We fancy ourselves more civilized than the ancient Romans, but college and professional football are popular because of the hits. And each year the hits get harder as the linemen and running backs bulk up and get faster and more massive.


We know it, but we […]

Is Government Too Big or Our Interests Too Narrow?

                The Republicans have hammered at it for over a century now. Libertarians refined and focused the message. The Tea Party at first was against any Big Guys picking on the little guys, but their message was co-opted.

                They all now complain, loudly and in unison, about “government overreach.” So much so that it […]

My World for a Kleenex

I walked out the door, into the parking lot and to my car. The class was over. Had I taught anything at all? Did the threat of a test open any minds to Buddha, no-self, compassion?

          A push on the button unlocks the door and I step onto the torn and dusty floor mat. My […]

Shadow and Substance


            The apostle, Paul, writes to many congregations whose main problem is not the lack of religion, but too much of the wrong kind. The church at Colossae is one of them.

            In the lesson for the 10th Sunday after Pentecost, Colossians 2:6-19, Paul urges the people who have “received Christ Jesus the Lord” to “live…rooted […]

Preaching That Slices Like a Sword

Sermonizing has a well-earned bad reputation. Can it be redeemed? Yes, if conviction, civility, good information, realistic story-telling, respect for all, and compassion for the oppressed are brought […]

He Touched the Pain: God and Suffering

Iris DeMent’s song, “He Reached Down,” expresses the way God relates to our suffering and the way we relate to God in […]

Incarnational Christianity

A recent Wendell Berry poem beautifully states what we regard as a Christianity true to the Incarnation of […]

Dressed to Impress or Clothed with Christ?

Reflections on Galatians 3:23-29
Pentecost 4 C

 “Are you going out looking like that?” 

That’s what my mom used to holler at me as I was going out the door dressed in my normal hodgepodge way.

Our family didn’t believe in putting on airs, but even we had our standards, and I often pushed the edges of those.

Our lives […]