A Missional Church in Tulare, California

Last weekend, February 20-22, I had the privilege of ministering in several different places in California‚Äôs Central Valley. For those who do not know the Central Valley is the most fertile and productive farming country in all of the United States. Both the soil and climate are perfect for growing a large number of crops that feed millions of people. … Read More

Justice in America? The Failure of Our Prison System

Our prison system is an unmitigated disaster. Very few Christians know the real problems in the system and even less really care. This is positively wrong. We need to become advocates for justice and mercy in the very best sense of both words. Our system is moving towards a serious collapse and few know the answers. An obvious problem can … Read More

The Intersection of Faith, Media and Politics: An Evening with David Brooks

Last week I enjoyed another one of those great lectures that I get to hear now-and-then. (I have made reference to these several times recently.) This time the presentation was an evening hosted by the Center for Applied Christian Ethics (CACE) at Wheaton College. The speaker was New York Times columnist David Brooks, one of my favorite columnists. Brooks spoke … Read More

Ash Wednesday: The Beginning of Lent

Many evangelicals believe that Lent, and thus Ash Wednesday, are Roman Catholic celebrations. Nothing could be further from the truth. In this instance the "evangelical sub-culture" has misinformed multitudes of people to embrace a reactionary response against church tradition. I was pleased to see in the news today that several non-liturgical congregations in my suburban Chicago area were actually holding … Read More

The Passing of the Peace

One of the most basic traditions of holy worship practiced by Christians down through the ages is called "the passing of the peace." This tradition is rooted in the several passages in the New Testament that refer to giving one another a "holy kiss." I remember the first time I read those texts and asked the adults of my church … Read More

The Season of Epiphany

We come today to the last Sunday in Epiphany. Next week begins Lent and the church's preparation for Easter. Most Christians, at least those who are Protestants, know very little about this celebration. This is actually a sad loss since whole segments of the church do not not use the church calendar. January 6 is the actual day of "The … Read More

Michael Beschloss on Presidential Courage

One of the privileges I am afford, living in a city like Chicago, is the opportunity to hear various noteworthy scholars, teachers and journalists speak publicly. Elmhurst College, where both my wife and daughter received a B. A. degree, is only about twenty minutes from my home. It is a first-rate liberal arts college that is affiliated with the United … Read More

The Academy Award Goes To . . .

The five nominees for Best Picture are Slumdog Millionaire, Frost/Nixon, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Milk, and The Reader. Slumdog Millionaire received ten Academy nominations and thus will, most likely, win the most awards this year. There is some suggestion that Academy voters will create a last-minute backlash against the film since it became popular so long ago and … Read More

24: The Seventh Season

Yes, I really do enjoy 24. I actually think this is a much better season than the last several years in the 24 series. The shift to Washington, D.C., is genuinely great and the recovery of the heart and soul of the old CTU team is unexpected and great fun. The new "Madam President" is both tough and likeable but … Read More

Sudan Will Not Go Away

Michael Gerson noted this last week "That while a new administration is just getting started, history doesn't stop." He expressed deep concerns about the problems in Sudan and Darfur. There is a very good reason for this concern. President Obama's Africa policy team is already working on these issues and what they will find should open everyone's eyes if the … Read More