Month: September 2021

Somebody Special

I got this great email a few weeks ago from someone in the congregation I am serving now. She has gotten more involved in the ministries of the denomination, and she attended a Zoom webinar for racial justice recently, After the presentation she sent me an email that tickled and […]

The Difficulty of Truth

In a culture where more and more “truth” is subjective and we politicize everything, it becomes harder and harder to talk about anything. Take the names of Joe Biden, Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, and Nancy Pelosi out of the conversation and simply look at statements and behaviors – rational people […]

Faith-Filled Fruit Flies

This is a response to some very good questions raised by Dave Werner and others pressing me for a little more “how” and a little less “what” concerning civil conversation and navigating the current cultural context of conflict, polarization, and division. There is wide agreement that we should be able […]

Straining at Gnats; Swallowing Camels

Two recent conversations have been troubling me lately, and I finally figured out why. A colleague called me recently to complain about something I wrote. He said, “You know, we didn’t appreciate your criticism.” “What criticism?” I asked. “You wrote in your blog that we weren’t critical thinkers, that we […]


In my 35+ years of consultation work (as well as the dozen+ years in parish ministry) I have witnessed one consistent and undermining practice again and again. Examples: “Our Conference is currently working on these six top priorities,” and “we determined that every aspect of disciple making is our top […]

Rarefied Air

As more and more people die from COVID-19D, as more and more children are infected, as more and more lives are changed forever in a negative way, I hear more and more people ask one or more of the following: what is wrong with people that they won’t get vaccinated, […]

Dealer’s Choice

I cannot estimate the number of hours I wasted in college playing cards. I had three very different groups of guys I would sit down with, but the three groups had one thing in common: dealer’s choice. Who ever deals gets to choose the game. I think this is one […]

Diacritical Ecclesia

Is critical thinking hard? No, not really. Critical thinking is intentional, careful, concise, time-intensive, open-ended, and often demanding, but truly not that hard. Critical thinking is risky. It challenges the status quo, confronts sloppy, reactive, and unreflective thinking (therefore revealing flaws in assumptions and opinions), and demands change through growth […]