The Bright Sadness of Lent

I came late to observing Lent.   In college, I came across a book called Living the Christian Year by Bobby Gross. I picked it up because Lauren Winner wrote the foreword, and I will read just about anything she…

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As If

I grew up in an evangelical, white, middle-class home. We loved Jesus, went to church each Sunday, and studied the Bible. We were Baptist, so we didn’t follow much of a liturgical calendar—in fact, any liturgy was treated with suspicion….

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Love Poured Out

  If love is an ocean, Then this world has run dry. Valleys of worthless salt lie, on this blanket of sand, That once was a vibrant place, This silent place leaves a violent taste in my mouth, Like spears…

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Following Jesus into the Fog

I grew up in the church. I went to youth group, worked at a Christian summer camp, gave my life to Christ at six and rededicated it at 13, pledged to and saved myself for marriage, didn’t swear or drink…

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The Faith to Doubt

I still remember the panic welling up from somewhere deep inside me. I had lingered in the classroom after all the other students had left in hopes of getting some answers from my professor. No, “answers” is the wrong word….

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All Things Are Yours

The last few months I’ve been reading books by writers some people condemn as heretics. Heretic is an interesting word; it means “a person holding an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted.” To most people, then, Christians are…

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Examen: A Skeptic’s Guide to the Spiritual Practices

When I was growing up, my family took a summer road trip out west. My parents, who were former experiential educators, always made good use of each “teachable moment.” We stopped at historical markers where Conestoga wagons left ruts in…

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For the Limits of the Law, Better Call Saul

Three seasons in, most of the cynicism has faded from the response to AMC’s most prestigious and highly-rated television series, Better Call Saul.   As a spinoff of — and prequel to — the immensely popular Breaking Bad, Better Call…

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Prayer: A Skeptic’s Guide to the Spiritual Practices

Last week I started watching Netflix’s new adaptation of Anne of Green Gables. I was skeptical. Having been raised on the 1980s version starring Megan Follows, I couldn’t fathom another actress embodying the iconic role of Anne Shirley in quite…

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Not Defined by Our Broken Parts

Paul calls me on an ugly day, the sky an even, dull gray and leaking onto my window. The connection is patchy and there’s background noise on his end. But even with this, I can hear the anxiety in his…

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