What if my Religion is just Self Help?

I came to religion for selfish reasons. I was often depressed. I felt empty. I couldn’t find meaning in life. I explored faith because I wanted to receive, not to give. I was looking for a spiritual solution to my lack of direction and purpose. I wanted a faith that would make me feel good. […]

Is America Headed Towards Theocracy?

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve known that some Christians want the United States to become a theocracy. I was surrounded by this kind of Christian in middle school. Many of them were lovely people; others were not. What they all had in common was this: They believed that America could – and should […]

The Parable of the Two Investors

There were once two investors. One was wise, another was foolish. One day, the stock market plummeted. For the next few weeks, prices were in free fall. Many were panicking. What if this was another Great Depression? Early on in this crisis, each investor met with his financial advisor. Each received the same advice: “Things look […]

What Is the Life of the Spirit?

This is a sermon that I preached on Sunday, 3/12/17, at the Washington City Church of the Brethren. The scripture readings for this sermon were: Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 & John 3:1-17 You can listen to the audio, or keeping scrolling to read my manuscript. (FYI, the spoken sermon differs from the written text.) Listen Now […]

Do You Think You’ll Age Like Wine?

Christianity is a wine-soaked religion. My teetotalling Quaker ancestors did their level best to rid the world of alcohol. Still, the pages of the Bible are full of references to the drink. Jesus’ ministry began and concluded with celebration. He kept a wedding party going strong into the night when he transformed water into wine. […]

What If This Is the End of the World?

Pretty much every generation has thought theirs might be the last. We’ve had different reasons. The early Christians thought that Jesus was going to come back and wrap up history. During the Middle Ages, the Black Death gave people reason to think that the world was ending. In my parents’ lifetime, the threat of nuclear […]

How Can I Love You When You’re So Wrong?

This week I spent a couple of days driving across the Heartland, from Kansas City back to my home in Washington, DC. I hadn’t packed any music to listen to, so I ended up listening to about 16 hours of radio. I don’t normally listen to much radio, and I’m a terribly fickle listener. I […]