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Workaholics in the Hands of a Firing God

Workaholics in the Hands of a Firing God

“When work becomes the primary arbiter of identity, purpose, worth, and community in our lives, it has ceased to function as employment and begun to function as a religion. Or at least we have made it responsible for providing the very things to which we used to look to God.” Those two lines are taken […]

Moonlighters Anonymous

Moonlighters Anonymous

Moonlighting—also known as working a second job, having a “side hustle”—is a pretty standard theme these days. Thanks to Pinterest and Instagram, everyone’s got a home renovation project, a knack for macramé, and a small business opportunity. But in truth it’s been around forever. Loads of famous people “made it” by moonlighting. The American poet […]

Coworkers and Anger, Delfina and Me

Coworkers and Anger, Delfina and Me

Huge thanks to this contributor for their anonymous post. Delfina is driving me crazy. Okay, the person who is driving me crazy isn’t actually named Delfina, but I’m leaving Guatemala as I write this, and the name Delfina is on my mind. So that’s what we’ll call her. Delfina is someone I work with occasionally […]

Death and Resurrection (but Mainly Death) in Church Planting

Death and Resurrection (but Mainly Death) in Church Planting

I am a failed church planter. From 2008-2012, my wife and I and a group of friends started a new church in New York City. It was, in many ways, a wonderful time. We gathered a young, vibrant congregation and formed life-long relationships but, in the end, we could not reach the proverbial, and dreaded, […]

Lonely People and Lonelier Communities

Lonely People and Lonelier Communities

Lately, the social science data, human interest stories, and public policy initiatives all seem to point every step of the way to one panacea: connection. It explains why Her Majesty’s Government has recently appointed the minister for loneliness. It explains why truck commercials are snagging MLK speech snippets, and why Elon Musk wants a girlfriend […]

The Church Built on the Rock of Hypocrisy

The Church Built on the Rock of Hypocrisy

The New York Times posted a video last month of an interview they conducted with Ray Dalio, the founder of the largest hedge fund in the world (Bridgewater Associates), and the captain of one of the more terrifying work cultures ever. Bridgewater, which manages $150 billion worldwide, preaches a work culture euphemized as “radical transparency,” a culture so […]

I Did Not Build Me: Politics, Fragility, and the Self-Made Life

I Did Not Build Me: Politics, Fragility, and the Self-Made Life

“Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own… If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” – Barack Obama July 13, 2012 When I heard President Obama utter those words I just about lost it. Usually I […]

Time Precious Time: On Unread Emails and Productivity Panics

Time Precious Time: On Unread Emails and Productivity Panics

Our phones were piled on top of each other on the table near the charger. Not just mine and my wife’s but those of the four friends who had dropped by for dinner. People had been showing each other photos earlier in the evening and someone had suggested we leave our devices in the kitchen […]

Never-Ending Performance Measurement & The Pitfalls of Taylorism

Never-Ending Performance Measurement & The Pitfalls of Taylorism

This one comes to us from our friend Matthew Wilkins. I first learned about the work of Frederick Taylor in a Public Administration course I took as an undergraduate. His book, The Principles of Scientific Management, first published in 1911, signaled a seismic shift in the way companies and organizations thought about workplace efficiency. I […]

Playing it Safe with Consumer Reports

Playing it Safe with Consumer Reports

It’s taken a while to write this love letter. Consumer Reports has for 80 years now provided its readers with solace from the fear of getting it wrong. Its slogan, “Smarter Choices for a Better World,” says it all. Who doesn’t want to make smarter choices? And when it comes to consumer products, who doesn’t […]

Flannel Antinomians and a Satisfaction Guaranteed

Flannel Antinomians and a Satisfaction Guaranteed

If the pattern keeps going, we’re going to need Ethan Richardson to write volume two of This American Gospel. Ira Glass and crew at This American Life have given us some of our favorite stories and sermon illustration over the years, and episode 591’s exploration of LL Bean’s return policy joins the ranks. If you […]

Hollywood Teaches Us How to Be Good Friends: A Much-Belated Review of <i>The Intern</i>

Hollywood Teaches Us How to Be Good Friends: A Much-Belated Review of The Intern

I inwardly sighed last week when my wife suggested that we watch the 2015 Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway comedy The Intern on HBO Now. One has to admit there are problems with the film’s setup. Robert De Niro plays Ben Whitaker, who is a retired, widowed, 70-year-old who spent 40 years climbing the corporate ladder […]