Category: Theology and Practice

The Four Quadrants of Church Life in the Gray Zone

Any pastor of a church over 70 people[1] has to develop some kind of rhythm or strategy with which they encourage their church into greater fruitfulness in Christ. For better or ill, we’ve been calling these things ‘programs’ for some...

/ October 18, 2022

Ecclesiastes’ Cure for Depression

Twenty years ago, I was depressed. I was 37 years old living in a nice home in Kentucky. Just a couple of months earlier I thought I was set up for the life I had been working so hard for....

/ October 12, 2022

Sex Ed as the Leading Edge of the Revolution

Families and churches relinquished control over sex ed to public schools in the early 1970s. Now families and churches are reaping the whirlwind. Initially, at least, public schools assumed control over sex ed to stop the spread of sexually transmitted...

/ October 5, 2022

When Permanent Contraception Can Be Licit

Alex and Sarah are Christians who have been married for five years. They have 2 children and would like to have more. However, they feel called to adopt as the route to parenting more children. Their only hesitation is that...

/ October 3, 2022

Flawed Myths

Lyz Lenz. Belabored: A Vindication of the Rights of Pregnant Women. New York: Bold Type Books, 2020. 240pp, $26. At church, I was taught that if a woman denied sex to her husband, he would find sex elsewhere. At church,...

/ September 23, 2022

The Great Unmooring

Richard Sennett. The Corrosion of Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism. New York: WW Norton, 2000. 176pp, $15.99. Anne Helen Petersen and Charlie Warzel. Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from...

/ September 22, 2022

Good Work

We hunted for steel along flat-bottom train rails—glass blanketing the gravel track bed like chicken feed, jimson weed between creosote-steeped timbers— picked over buckled trailers and garbage stacks: cracked pump heads, mower blades, band saws rusted mid-cut. The clang of...

/ September 21, 2022

The Discipleship of Work

When we moved to our farm several years ago with a toddler and newborn in tow, we mainly had it in mind to experience a bit of the country life: to plant a large garden and perhaps raise a few...

/ September 20, 2022

The Mega Church Born Again

I arrived in the Thessaloniki airport and passed by the customs office, its door casually propped open, and saw everything I had come to Greece to avoid: a framed reproduction of Warner Sallman’s blonde-haired, blue-eyed American Jesus, testimony to the...

/ September 19, 2022

The Cross in Our Calling: A Reflection on Mary’s Magnificat

Mary is chosen for the sacred work of bearing the Incarnate Son of God, and the unforgettable words we know as The Magnificat come tumbling out: And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God...

/ September 15, 2022