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Religion


Come As You Are to Jesus

I have always felt especially ministered to by music — something about the way that the truths of scripture are set to tunes that get stuck in your head for days after singing them on Sunday morning. I end up unknowingly reminding myself of the ways God loves me, simply because a few lines from […]

The One Thing She Needed

This post comes to us from Will Ryan: Once when I served as a youth minister during seminary, the church received a phone call from the county sheriff’s office. I was the only one in the building, so I answered it. The deputy on the phone detailed a situation. They were called to make a […]

Rediscovering Lent with StoryMakers, Augustine, and St. Paul

For most of my life, everything I knew about Lent had been learned in the Catholic school cafeteria: give something up for forty days and make sure to tell your friends. The best way to conquer Lent was to choose something that didn’t really matter that much to you so it wasn’t a real chore […]

Confessions of a Former Youth Minister

At one point, I wrote a goodbye scene to show how my hard-drinking, cowboy daddy had bailed out on me when I hit puberty. When I actually searched for the teenage reminiscences to prove this, the facts told a different story: my daddy had continued to pick me up on time and make me breakfast, […]

Praying in the Night

Growing up, I thought everyone’s family only prayed prayers that rhymed. My family’s rhyming prayer roster included “Before We Eat” (for when a child hadn’t already wolfed down several slices of bread), “Evening Has Come” (for when a child had wolfed down several slices of bread), and “Thank You for the World So Sweet” (for […]

Putting the Christ in Christian: Do You Feel Uncomfortable Enough?

This post comes to us from Bror Erickson: Christians live in tension and paradox, reflecting the many different maxims of Christ. We are to be in the world but not of the world. We are to lose our lives for Christ so that our lives will be saved. Perhaps the apostle that most exemplified this […]

Confirmation Bias and the Wisdom of Humility

In “Working Class Hero” (which, profanity notwithstanding, is a much better song than its A-side, “Imagine”), John Lennon complains that “they” keep blue-collar people “doped with religion and sex and TV.” As a result of this triple-acting sedation, the working class doesn’t think to rise up and overthrow oppressive economic and social conditions. “They” continue […]

Stubborn Burros: Why Intrafaith Dialogue May Be More Important Than Interfaith Dialogue

“[A]s far as I’m concerned, he can go to hell.” — President Jimmy Carter on Jerry Falwell, Sept. 1986 Dialogue across social and political lines often seems to get a bad rap these days. I wish I had counted how many of my social media peers had gleefully announced over the past two to three […]

A Feast of Biscuits and Apple Butter: Church in the Time of Covid

This post comes to us from Andrew Johnson: It’s Sunday morning. I’m spreading apple butter on a homemade biscuit. An organ sounds, so I’m grabbing my coffee mug and hustling to the living room for church. Live on television: the organ pipes in the loft of Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral. The angle of the […]

The House That Who Built?

I don’t agree with everything Fr. Stephen Freeman publishes on his blog, Glory to God for All Things, neither can I vouch for all the assertions he makes in his vast library of writings. After all, he operates in a ministerial context on the verge of the polar opposite side (doctrinally) from where I minister. […]

How Strange Is Your God? James Wood on the Idolatrous Voice of Christ

All week the forecast was bad. Weather.com showed only thunderclouds, rain, and a long series of yellow lightning bolts. But when the day came — a day when college-aged Christians would gather outside to protest human trafficking — the storms held off. The clouds came in, but the air was clear. One of my friends, […]

Heaven Is a 12-Step Meeting

A Person in Recovery is under No Illusions about their Ability to Control their Life