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The Illumination of Jordan Peterson’s Pen of Light

Since quarantine began I have finally had the time to peruse the bookshelf where unnecessary Amazon orders have found their place to reside for quite some time. When Jordan Peterson was the talk of the World Wide Web, I ordered his book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. Now three years later, the […]

Count Your Midlife Blessings (At Your Own Risk)

It’s not often that people my age ask me why they might want to go to church. Perhaps this is because mid-life tends not to be a time when people are looking for one more thing to do. They’re definitely not looking for one more thing to feel bad about not doing. But occasionally, after […]

Phone-Banking and Other Coping Mechanisms

You’d think that, as a person both generally anxious about most things and specifically anxious about the outcome of the 2020 election, I’d have frantically engaged in voter mobilization or information sharing over the past few months. Ideally, a more active approach might have instilled a sense of anxiety-quietening political self-efficacy (and some research shows […]

Eff-up Nights: Breaking the Power of Failure and Shame

This post comes to us from Joseph McSpadden: In the opening scene of Patton, the brilliant WWII commander as played by George C. Scott has some stern words for his audience. “Americans love a winner, and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell […]

The Gospel of Amazon Prime

Online shopping has exploded over the last few months, as more and more retailers turn to the Internet to keep their businesses afloat during the pandemic. Etsy’s stock value has gone up over 300% since April, Walmart’s online sales nearly doubled, and food delivery is the new normal for the foreseeable future. But the biggest […]

Tim Kreider on the Pleasures and Perils of “Outrage Porn”

Imagine if we had chosen the path of retribution and revenge. Our country would have been dust and ashes. – Desmond Tutu, on the end of Apartheid Look, I’m mad too. I’m scared too. I’m anxious and exhausted and finding it hard to be kind too. These are dark days. Some fear, some anger, some […]

Law, Gospel, and “Cruel Optimism”: An Excerpt from The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience

There’s so much to love in Simeon Zahl’s latest monograph, The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience. In addition to being a theological tour de force, the book offers numerous outstanding reflections on how theology might explain the experiences of everyday life. The following comes from Chapter 4, “Grace in Experience”, pp. 172-75 (emphasisadded). [A vital […]

Caught Between Love and Shame

Another excerpt from The Soul of Shame by Curt Thompson. Toward the end of his book, Thompson makes the case that our everyday lives are marked by tension between shame and love, isolation and community, disintegration and integration. In this chapter on vocation, he uses Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians to discuss the role […]

The Shearing Effect of Shaming Children

For some light(!) summer reading, I picked up a copy of psychologist Curt Thompson’s book The Soul of Shame and blew threw it about a week or so ago. Thompson’s book is a remarkable look into the overlap of brain structure, psychology, and Christian spirituality. He outlines how shame functions in the structures of the […]

Chasing Perfection: “Do Not Throw Away Your Shot”

Election season is in full swing and the candidates of both parties are set to vie for our loyalty. And while the most vocal of fans are ardent followers of the candidates, many profess that both political parties have their faults, with little that inspires support or anything resembling devotion. We don’t like imperfect options, […]

Inheriting the Crazy Bible: My Grandfather and Me

In our family we have what has come to be known as the “Crazy Bible.” We know that religion was a huge part of my grandfather’s struggle with bipolar depression. It is well remembered in family stories and documented in the records from the military psychiatric facilities where he desperately tried to get well. We […]

Exorcising Regrets By Divine Amnesia

Failure and sports go hand-in-hand. As much as we might hold up elite athletes as gods, perfection is never their goal. The best batters strike out 60% of the time. The best quarterbacks have 40% of their passes hit the ground. All-star athletes have to have remarkably short memories. They can’t dwell on their mistakes. […]