Have you ever had one of those moments when you're driving in the car and listening to the radio--maybe it's an in-depth news story on NPR or some similar station--and you become so engrossed in the story that even though you have arrived at your...
Jesus' PDAs for Us
Some years ago, my children and I went to The Renaissance Festival being held not far from where we live. One of the friends in our group decided it would be fun to pay a whole slew of "wenches" to plant wet, slobbery, nasty lipstick kisses on my...
In my first rural parish in North Carolina, I was as a young whippersnapper of a pastor even more of a liturgical and theological and musical snob than I am now. I regularly used as my example of what we ought not to sing the hymn "In the Garden." Why...
I wonder if we are willing to abide in anything, to immerse ourselves wholly in something, to allow anything to captivate our heart and life, to view our whole existence through that one lens . . . At first I want to say, no, no one would be willing...
By What Power?
Some time ago there was an article in TIME magazine which described how over 100,000 former Christians have downloaded "certificates of de-baptism" in a bid to publicly renounce the faith. The website, sponsored by the National Secular Society of...
It's Touching Time
A number of years ago I knew a young woman who was looking for a church in which to get married. She nearly drove her fiance and her mother crazy, scouting out just about every sanctuary in the city, looking for just the right one...the one with the...
We have very limited parking available around our church which poses some special challenges for us, especially on top attendance Sundays, like Easter. We've developed a diligent and committed parking team to help with the problem, and one Easter a...
In the summer of 1979, I left Harvard for the priesthood. I was twenty-four years old, newly married, and had been a first-year graduate student working towards a Ph.D. in American History. I was a restless student, less interested in history than I...
God Is Dead
Twenty years ago this spring my father died from Alzheimer's disease. It had been a slow, agonizing end to a good, long life. The worst part of it was a stage, two or three years into the decline, when Dad realized that something terrible was...
Written Within You
It's been many years ago now, but I still remember the scene: Just a few days before I was to start my first-year classes at Vanderbilt Divinity School, my sister and I were riding in the car together, somewhere in rural, far-western Kentucky; and she...
The Appropriate Response
Today's lectionary passage from the Gospel of John begins in the wrong place, because for us to really discuss it, we will need to back up a few verses. The beginning of the third chapter of John is the better place to start, for there we meet a...
Driven from Distraction
In a church I once served as pastor, there was an infrequent attender who was always chasing after various get-rich-quick schemes that never amounted to anything much. Most of her pursuits involved little work and little investment, especially on her...
One of my all-time favorite cartoons comes from the New Yorker Magazine. It shows two businessmen sitting in a bar, one clearly despondent. The unhappy one says to his companion: "I was on the cutting edge. I pushed the envelope. I did the heavy...
Angels in the Wilderness
There were angels in the wilderness. It's important to remember that. After the same Spirit that descended on Jesus at his baptism like a dove, then turned into a dive bomber and drove him out to the desert, there were angels in that wilderness. Along...
Trust the Transfiguration
They must have been filthy by the time they reached the top. All four of them--Peter, James, John, even Jesus--covered in dirt from head to toe. Smelly, too. You can't climb a mountain in Galilee without breaking a sweat. Of course, they always...
When Life Comes At You
At the church I pastor, a Sunday School class for parents of young preschoolers decided to rename itself. They kicked around several possibilities, such as Seekers or Searchers or maybe Learners. But all of these seemed too removed from the everyday...
Right-Minded or Big-Hearted?
"People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care." These familiar words come from legendary adventurer and leader Theodore Roosevelt...but it is a safe bet to say that a certain first-century adventurer and leader named Paul...
No Time to Lose
"Doc, are you telling me that you built a time machine...out of a DeLorean?" A memorable line from the popular film Back to the Future. Let's face it, time travel has been a recurrent theme in movies, in books and short stories, in television episodes...
A Fresh Read
In a 2010 biblical commentary entitled The Africana Bible--Reading Israel's Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora, published by Fortress Press, Dr. Randall C. Bailey, a noted Old Testament scholar from Atlanta, writes: Traditionally, the...
Torn Open, By God
Sometimes, I wish it were harder to join the church. I mean, honestly, sometimes I think it's harder to get a membership at Costco than it is to become a Christian. And that's a bad thing. It's bad, specifically, because if the church is easy to join,...
- Winston Salem, NC
644 West Peachtree St, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30308-1925
Atlanta, GA 30308-19251-888-411-3291