Category: Faith

Rod Dreher on Cultural Engagement and The Benedict Option

“There are people alive today who may live to see the effective death of Christianity within our civilization.” So suggests Rod Dreher in his new book The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation. Dreher claims that the West has come to reject the principal tenets of Christianity. In fact, he says, not only has society at large bought into nominalism, come to value…  [more]

Self-care as a Spiritual Discipline

“Self-care” is a popular term that can be found everywhere these days, from Christian circles to secular magazines. It can refer to anything from a day at the spa to getting enough sleep to taking a luxurious vacation. I’m interested in looking at that phrase from a Christian perspective. What does the care of self have to do with our discipleship practices? In Scripture we are called to be doers…  [more]

Living as a Christian in a Post-truth World

Some years ago, I read an article that made a startling claim: the Information Age was about to usher in a new Dark Age, in which the difficulty of distinguishing truth from falsehood and significant from trivial would render us not unlike the pre-literate cultures of long ago. It was a prospect I found difficult to imagine. All these years later, however, it’s not only imaginable—it’s here: a new…  [more]

My Plan for Being a Faithful Citizen

One of the few things clear to me after last month’s presidential election was that I need to change my role as a citizen. My other identities, and the responsibilities they carry, are plenty clear to me: father, husband, worker, writer, church member, Cubs fan, and on. But democracy requires more than private people leading private lives. It requires more than consumers and sports fans and venting on Facebook.…  [more]

Christianity, Cremation, and Scattering My Sister’s Ashes

On April 2, the one-year anniversary of her death, we scattered my sister’s ashes. She had given us explicit instructions regarding her cremation and general instructions regarding their disposition. “Over water,” she told us. When we said “Lake Michigan?”, she nodded as if to say that would be suitable. Not required. Any decent body of water would do. When it came time, we divided her…  [more]

Canned Pumpkin and Christian Authenticity

Part of the magic of fall, at least for me, is the proliferation of all things pumpkin. That’s why I was distressed to come across a recent Food & Wine exposé claiming that canned pumpkin is actually made from squash. I don't like squash, and it felt like someone was out to ruin pumpkin pancakes for me. But as it turns out, the claim is slightly overblown—and I probably do like squash more…  [more]

Why I Changed My Mind About Yoga

A yoga studio is about as common as a Starbucks in New York City. Every few blocks there is a studio welcoming the busy New Yorker to come in, develop a yoga practice, and breathe. As I walk to and from the subway, I see yogis wearing t-shirts that exclaim “Namaste” or “Sleep. Eat. Yoga.” When I moved to New York to fulfill my call as a Minister of Word and Sacrament, I passed each studio…  [more]

How Christian Intellectuals Can Get Their Groove Back

Alan Jacobs’ recent essay in Harper’s poses the intriguing question: what became of the Christian intellectuals? By this term Jacobs means not merely Christians who are intellectuals, but Christians who function as interpreters and go-betweens of the cultural gaps between the Christian community and the cultural intelligentsia of secularized America. In Jacobs’ view, these public intellectuals have…  [more]

Colin Kaepernick and Christian Protest

Explaining why he has been refusing to stand for the national anthem at the start of the NFL’s preseason games, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick offered this: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the…  [more]

Praying for the police

The day I spent riding shotgun in a cop car is one I’ll never forget. It wasn’t so much the thrill of going on calls, the wailing of the siren or “booking ’em.” (Besides, I’m pretty sure only one person was booked that day.) The real marvel was in watching my big brother do the work he’s called to do. My brother and I haven’t lived near one another since he joined the…  [more]

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