The Bottomless Well of Disagreeing Well

It has been an interesting couple of weeks, where multiple people have offered me a compliment that humbles me because they are identifying something that I think I need a LOT of work on. The praise goes something like “I remember the meeting, School for Ministry, legislative session, hallway conversation, […]

Must We?

I am growing more and more concerned about the ways we use language for instruction and direction. I have been reading a variety of church leadership and Christian spirituality books lately and maybe it’s just me, but it seems that religious writers are bossier than ever. On almost every page, […]

A Critical Clarification

I am big on dialogue, on civil conversation even when disagreeing, and doing everything I can to understand other people’s points of view. I believe we are doing great harm by polarizing every disagreement into hostile debate, and feel that the Christian witness should be significantly more mature and tolerant […]

Taking a Pause – Vermont

Barbara and I have been in Vermont for the past week, soaking in the gorgeous colors (leaves), enjoying unseasonably mild temperatures, glorious lake views, breathtaking mountain views, and getting to know the land we purchased for retirement. I worked really hard to leave everything behind and to attend only to […]

Cognegative Discrepancies

I have been reading a number of articles that all point to a common occurrence — those who are the greatest opponents to a variety of issues are those who know and understand the least about them. Really good research has been done around a variety of controversial topics and […]

Nerdiness and Neediness

I always love the subtle, but significant shift that can come in the meaning of words by simply substituting one letter for another. A horse can become a house, a mower can mow lower, while you may lack the luck to lick a lock (whatever that might mean…) This morning […]

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 […]