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Less Spiritual and More Human: The End (Telos) of Youth Ministry

For the young people I know, the world’s gone crazy, and the church isn’t far behind. They’re not concerned with the same things adults in the church seem to care about, at least not in the same way. Human sexuality? I’ve found young people across the theological and political spectrum are much more thoughtful and nuanced than adults. Politics? Social issues? Same thing. They’re not a monolith, but they’re much more willing to engage the conversation in a way that…
January 31, 2022

Reformational Politics: An Interview with Jim Skillen

With much attention being given to the evangelical support of President Trump, it's easy to become polarized and assume Christians must align with one side or the the other. In this interview with Jim Skillen, former director of the Center for Public Justice, the focus is on a reformational view of politics: politics as an important part of God's good creation that seeks human flourishing and the common good.
October 29, 2020

Justice Walk: Race, Protest, and Faith in a small Iowa Town. On Friday, June 5, a Justice Walk took place In Orange City, Iowa. Orange City is a rural Northwest Iowa community that is predominately white, protestant, and politically conservative. How does a conversation about race and justice happen in a town like Orange City? What does protest look like? I talked with Rahn Franklin and Caleb Arnett, two people involved in organizing the event, to find out. Click on the video above to hear the interview.
June 24, 2020

Ending the Culture War: The Way of Saint Francis

The polarization of the United States is most recently symbolized by the mask—a small piece of cloth with two rubber bands that has become a symbol for a much broader conflict. (For an excellent theological discussion of mask wearing see Cambria Kaltwasser’s post.) Many Evangelicals have thrown their support behind President Trump as a calculated strategy to win what they see as a “culture war”. Feeling their way of life is in danger, they support President Trump to ensure conservative…
June 22, 2020
Inside OutScience

The Rocks and Colliding Black Holes Cry Out

“Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, order your disciples to stop.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.’” – Luke 19:39-40 “Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?” There I stood in front of 29 eighth-grade students, my daughter among them, having to speak truth about Adam and Eve’s navels. “Probably,” I responded. There was a gasp, then an explosion of chattering. “How could they, if God created…
April 30, 2016

Leave Metallica Alone!

FEBRUARY 2012: AS WE SEE IT by Jason Lief Numerous times I have been asked, "Have you read that book about Metallica going to church?" (John Van Sloten, The Day Metallica Came to Church: Searching for the Everywhere God in Everything). Every time I awkwardly respond, "Uh . . . no." I can’t blame people for asking. I'm a metal fan, after all. I grew up on Metallica. I learned to play guitar listening to Metallica. So of course those…
October 30, 2014
As We See It

Feeling Minnesota: The Art of Not Winning

MAY/JUNE 2014: AS WE SEE IT by Jason Lief "So who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl?" All week it was the same question. "I hope they both lose," is the response I gave. "Oh, but Peyton Manning—" Blah, blah, blah. Yes, great football player, even better Saturday Night Live host—his United Way skit is comedy gold. Still, I wanted him to lose. "But the Seahawks, come on, they've never won a Super Bowl. Surely you'll root for…
May 1, 2014