clothed in righteousness: thoughts on moral trauma

War is messy. It is a mess of dirt, sweat, blood, gunpowder, rubble, tears, death, and destruction unparalleled by anything else that comes about by the brute force of humanity. Those affected by war as either its practitioners or its victims get this mess on their bodies, their lives, and…

exceptionalism and American Christianity's love of war

American Christianity--especially American Evangelicalism--has a love affair with war, guns, 'freedom,' and the military. Christians in America are historically very supportive of our military, our various interventions around the globe, and all things pro-gun-related. This support is manifested in Evangelicals' love for patriotic church services, their admiration and gratitude…

to the lowly, not the exalted

Where reason is indignant, where our nature rebels, where our piety anxiously keeps us away: that is precisely where God loves to be. There he confounds the reason of the reasonable; there he aggravates our nature, our piety--that is where he wants to be, and no one can keep him…

adoption always involves pain

Adding three children to our family through adoption has been one of the biggest blessings our family has ever enjoyed. Sound cliche? I know. It is also absolutely true. So are many of the other things you hear about adoption: it can take a long time it is an adventure…

'impossible' grace

"Impossible." All too often that is our human response to the notion that God conveys grace through means like the sacraments. Perhaps, in America, we are too steeped in a Christianity influenced heavily by a Zwinglian flavor of Reformed thought or an overly-sensationalized, Pentecostal television ministries. Perhaps, in 2013, we…

pursued by goodness (getting Ps 23 right)

This morning in church we read Psalm 23. There is absolutely nothing even remotely odd about that.  After all, this is one of the most beloved and comforting psalms in the entire Psalter.  This morning our focus was on the first part of verse six, which is traditionally rendered: Surely…

morning prayer, Psalm 61

God, hear my cry; pay attention to my prayer. I call to You from the ends of the earth when my heart is without strength. Lead me to a rock that is high above me, for You have been a refuge for me, a strong tower in the face of…

God working through suffering

God works against evil and suffering. But God, in immense divine power and inscrutable divine wisdom, also works through evil and suffering. - Miroslav Volf, Free of Charge photo credit: Creative Commons | Hartwig HKD…

heart trouble

All sorrows, all heartaches, all disappointments, all bereavements, and all heart troubles lose their bitterness in the sweetness of the Savior's tender promise: 'I will come again.' -- from Meditations on the Gospels …

entirely for Him and Him alone

When we think seriously about what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He doesn't know what our obedience will mean.  Keep to the point--He does know.  Shut out every other thought and keep yourself before God in this one thing only--my utmost…