When people struggle to get close to God, to find a God they don’t feel is near, wise old men usually give counsel in this order: alms, scripture, and obedience. Alms: Try it one of these days. Do something wonderful for someone who can never pay you back. Do it in secret. Don’t tell a..
Just who is in charge here, anyway? I’ve studied enough history to know there is a kind of terror that befalls a region when competing armies contend for territory–when the only protection you might have against fickle martial law, plunder, rape, and murder is the conscience of a battle-hardened sergeant who has been living off..
I try to start my day in an ancient text. I scold myself if my mind wanders, because I’m trying to treat it with at least the reverence I give Scottish shortbread. I’m trying to savor the stuff—even when the words feel dry and tasteless. The point isn’t just to read, but to think, and..
Hugh Hefner died this week. It’s not fake news. Three different women in my life blurted out the same words, almost immediately upon hearing it: “good riddance!” Another female friend of mine on Facebook had a different reaction. She loved Playboy magazine, the interviews, the advertising, the cartoons, the Vargas girls and the photographs of..
Not sure if I’m all blogged out on the Pharisee spirit of the NeverTrump movement, (probably not) but I think it’s important to refute the empty-headed use of scripture. One NeverTrumper used these verses to justify political apathy, or, uh, something: It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man…
“Do the right thing.” ..Thus admonished Morgan Freeman’s character, a New York judge, in Bonfire of the Vanities, as he faced down a mob of social justice vigilantes, bent on crucifying a wall street trader for a hit and run traffic accident. Morgan’s judge made the pronouncement as though the nature of that mandate were as..
In the wake of the Josh Duggar story, it is wise to remember that when a basic human hunger is demonized by church culture, weird things happen to people. Pornography, abuse, homosexuality, infidelity all can be traced to a failure of the church to celebrate sexuality. The church isn’t sexy enough? No, please, I am..
You won’t hear scripture quoted very much, over Sashimi in Santa Monica or among biscuit nibblers at the Yale Club in Manhattan; the words of the Bible make the well heeled and the hip look away, awkwardly, as though you were trying to sign them up for a multi-level marketing program. They see scripture as..