Essay / Culture

Surfers Defeat Strunk & White!

The New York Times called Strunk & White’s Elements of Style “as timeless as a book can be in our age of volubility.” It is a strong book, written with the same economy and sturdiness it calls forth from would-be writers. It is even a delight to read, at

Essay / Blog

On Useless Knowledge: The Lunar Eclipse

I did something completely useless this past week, and did it with great gusto. Having gotten wind of the upcoming lunar eclipse, I decided to go to the viewing event put on by the Griffith Park Observatory. With totality set to begin at 12:06am and

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Essay / Art

Biola’s Jesus Mural: How “The Word” Dwells Among Us

One of the first things you’ll notice if you visit Biola University’s campus is our Jesus Mural, “The Word.” It’s iconic for us, our evangelical counterpart to Notre Dame’s “Touchdown Jesus.” It’s huge–27 feet tall–and all the more significant as it stands in the middle

Essay / Blog

Waking Up to Sloth

I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it; I looked

Essay / Culture

The ‘New Monasticism’ Turns Ten

Professor Greg Peters examines the “new monastics” a decade on from their emergence into Christian life over at First Things: The new monasticism, characterized by Robin Russell as individuals and families who “commit to follow a ‘rule of life’ . . . and they immerse

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Essay / Blog

On Being White (And Talking About It) – Part 2

See the first part of this discussion here. As an African-American, third-culture adult teaching in an honors program at a predominantly white Christian institution of higher learning, married to a white American with a blended (bi-racial) daughter, I think about race a lot. I’ve been

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Essay / Blog

On Being White (And Talking About It) – Part 1

The last few weeks have involved lots of conversations about ethnicity, racial reconciliation, white identity, micro-aggressions, locs, Trayvon Martin, bi-racial children, “other”-ness, post-racial America, racism in Christianity, interracial dating, and a host of conversations about how to have these conversations. This may sound overwhelming, but

Essay / Blog

The Courage to Speak: Responsibility, Accountability, and Community

So often we talk about being responsible for ourselves. But responsibility is not limited to ourselves alone. Being responsible demands a willingness to speak the truth to others when necessary.  Consider David when he was at the zenith of his reign as King of Israel.

Essay / Culture

Down with Random Acts of Kindness (What’s Best Next)

Matt Perman’s book What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done is finally available. I’ve been looking forward to this book for a long time, and am glad to report that it lives up to the high hopes I’ve had

Essay / Culture

Lent for the Rest of Us

Lots of people these days are going liturgical. Really, that’s not quite the right way to put it. All churches are liturgical, in so far as their worship of the Lord takes on a form and has an order to it. But you know what

Essay / Culture

A Real Advent

According to St. Benedict of Nursia the Christian life should always be a continuous Lent. According to Sts. Wal-Mart, Target and Starbucks autumn should always be a continuous Christmas. One would have to be truly deaf and blind not to notice that Christmas decorations are

Essay / Blog

The Advent of Good Will

By far my favorite story about the celebration of Christmas is the Christmas truce of 1914. On the night of December 24th, entrenched and fully engaged in deadly combat, German soldiers in Ypres began to observe Christmas festivities. They lit candles, decorated a tree, and began