Ekklesia: A Radical Social Experiment

My heart breaks for our country and world today. Racial inequality, deep seated mistrust, increasing violence and boiling hatred fill our headlines daily. I write this in the aftermath of the horrific white nationalist rally and car crash in Charlottesville. Followers of Jesus must denounce such evils clearly and in the strongest terms. (Read  statement from…

Loosening the Helmet: Narrative & Communal Dimensions of Salvation

In this essay from 2004, I seek to expand our understanding of salvation emphasizing the significant roles of both narrative and community in one’s conversion. Many years ago, seemingly in a different life,  I found myself on a bus full of zealous Christians headed to a San Diego music festival to pass out gospel tracts on the street corner. Only after…

Move the Stone, Come Out & Be Unwrapped

I’ve been studying the raising of Lazarus recently. I love how a closer examination of a very familiar passage can reveal new spiritual truths. Here are a few little insights I’ve gleaned. First, this story is full of deep emotions and coated with tears, grief, loss and longing. Just think of the last funeral visitation you…

“Behold, Electricity is at Hand!”

I pulled the little chain and nothing. My little green lamp didn’t turn on. I checked the bulb to see if it was dead or not screwed in tight. The bulb was fine. Pull the chain—nothing. Hmmm? My favorite green lamp simply wouldn’t work. Just as I was beginning to grow frustrated and ready to…

If the Cursed Fig Tree Could Talk…

God placed our kind on earth on the third day of creation. We were planted into the soil in order to give ourselves away for others.  We give oxygen for all living things.  We give shade in the summer heat. We provide a backrest for a weary traveler. We give fruit for other’s nourishment. And many of us will give our very…

The Palms of His Hands

I tend to be a bit forgetful at times. I’ll walk upstairs to get something but forget what it was when I arrive. I’m only 37 but I swear my short-term memory is fading!  The obvious solution for this affliction is to write things down, make lists, or plug it into my iPhone calendar. Before iCalendars,…

Cabin 21: Sweat it Out

Jesus led me out of the Fishing Room, down a corridor, deeper into the mysterious Fish House. The walls and ceiling were all of warm, sweet smelling cedar planking. Lanterns lined the walls giving the place a cozy cabin feel. Under my feet, the ice was replaced by granite tile covered by a long, Persian…

Nic @ Night 5: Nicodemus at the Car Shop

Reposted from 2012. I brought in the car for a $25 oil change this week, and came home with a laundry list of significant repairs estimating over $3,550. The car has 200,000 miles on it — so we knew this day was coming. Nicodemus probably came to Jesus hoping for a simple religious tune-up —…