Obedience in search of faith

“Only the obedient believe.” Every time I re-read Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship, I feel like I’m jumping into mid-winter Arctic waters. Not only do his words sting as a wake-up call out of lukewarm Jesus-following, they offer fresh theological insight that is never detached from lived Christianity. In chapter two, “The Call to Discipleship,” […]

Globalization’s need for religion

Many of us find globalization troublesome because of the rampant materialism it fosters, but the bigger issue is its ateleological quest to improve human life. Globalization is progressing, but towards what does it progress? Chesterton wrote, “As enunciated today, ‘progress’ is a comparative of which we have not settled the superlative.” Indeed, if globalization does […]

Is the cross unbearable?

The idea of taking up an ancient Roman torture device–even a metaphorical one–on one’s back and carrying it around doesn’t sound particularly joyful or life-giving. In fact, it sounds unbearable. Would not carrying such a thing weigh heavily on one’s spirit, a constant burden disallowing even the slightest hint of merriment? Yet, Jesus calls his […]

Listening fearlessly

A friend of mine writes, “We cannot speak boldly (in any godly sense) if we do not know how to listen fearlessly.” (1) He’s speaking specifically about listening to the Holy Spirit, but I want to apply the phrase to something else (though it involves the Holy Spirit). Lately, I’ve been frustrated with Christians who […]

Evangelism as re-personing the world

A few weeks ago I heard Andy Crouch speak on the Church’s mission to “re-person” the world. According to Crouch, various cultural shifts and technologies have contributed to widespread de-personalization. Examples of this would be the shift of wealth from land to institutional banks (no more face-to-face relational interaction with landowners and farmers), the substitution […]

The end of your pen

After switching majors several times during undergraduate school, I finally decided on an English composition degree. As a young man in my early twenties, this category of study coincided nicely with my pursuit of an identity grounded in creativity, art, and self-expression. ‘I’ll be a creative writer,’ I thought, ‘maybe eventually teach writing as a […]