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As We See It

Lenten Parables

“Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” Luke 9:54 In the passage above, Jesus has just sent his disciples ahead of him to the towns and communities he plans to visit on his way to Jerusalem. Among the places his representatives are sent is Samaria. Home of the despised northern cousins of the Jews, whose worship is not quite pure enough to be considered orthodox, whose lineage is not quite pure enough…
April 10, 2019
As We See It

Whom Shall We Fear?

I’ve been thinking lately about fear. There are books already written – and probably a library’s worth on the way – about the way that fear has been used to influence politics. Fear of immigrants is used for political marketing the way fear of failure is used by Gatorade and fear of not-belonging is used by GAP. Fear is powerful. In John 10, Jesus tells us he is the gate. He’s setting up a contrast when he says he’s the…
January 1, 2019
As We See ItChurch

I Never Was an Evangelical, and I Never Want to Be

Those of us in this little Reformed tribe: Do we, or do we not count ourselves as Evangelicals? Since the rise of the current American Disgrace-in-Chief, flung into power on a trebuchet constructed by white Evangelical voters, the Reformed/Evangelical dilemma has become the subject of some urgent consideration. On  the Reformed Journal's blog, The Twelve, Kristin du Mez wrote  back in April 2015 about Rachel Held Evans’ defection from Evangelicalism, and du Mez described her own youthful forays into Evangelical culture,…
October 31, 2018
As We See It

I Believe in Hairy Legs

On a hot, humid summer afternoon, my sons, then  4 and 7, came rushing, breathless, to ask me to watch the praying mantis they caught in our weedy flower garden eat the cricket they just put in its cage. It was one of those days. The past week had been exceptionally busy. The lawn and garden desperately needed attention. The laundry, accumulated over the past week or more, needed to be done. I had work to catch up on, and…
September 1, 2018
As We See It

A Godly Act of Disruption

On Oct. 1, 2017, the wider body of believers celebrated the Eucharist through our annual World Communion Sunday. This is a wonderful tradition that deepens the faith of the many as they come to the table in celebration for unity and ecumenical work. This once-given spilling of blood means blood is not shed between neighbors or between God and us. I love communion. This remembrance and feast strengthens and sustains the body, calling us to be reconciled to those we…
September 1, 2018
As We See ItMagazine

On Crafting Coalitions: Lessons from the Right-to-Life Movement of the 1970s

I know half of you just saw that title and are ready to take me to task. Learning a lesson on building political coalitions from the right-to-life movement? Baloney. From one of the most stalwart conservative movements of the past 40 years – a movement on an issue that remains one of the most polarizing issues in American society? Good luck. And you’re right to be skeptical. The polling numbers continue to show stark polarization on abortion, at least in the political realm. And…
As We See ItMagazine

We Need to Talk

Pardon the length of this piece, but we really need to talk. It’s become inevitable that I’ll get a call or email once or twice a month asking to consult with a church on a lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-questioning dialogue. Most often, I’m grateful that churches seek to be more informed, engaged and conversant. But this essay is not about the LGBTQ conversation necessarily. It’s about the first question I ask when I’m invited in: “How does your church talk about sexuality in…
June 30, 2018
As We See It

This Is about Race

I sat in a room recently with moms and dads who learned about how they can prepare their families in the event of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid. I learned about the importance of having a plan – collecting documents and birth certificates, authorizing someone to pick children up from school, ensuring children born in the United States  are registered in the country of their parents’ birth so they aren’t rendered stateless should the family have to relocate. I…
April 30, 2018
As We See It

Shakespeare’s Language Lessons

“He was not of an age, but for all time!” – Ben Jonson Shakespeare indeed was a man of his age. Ask anyone sitting down to read his plays for the first time – with their 16th- and 17th-century language, idioms and references. Nevertheless, Ben Jonson’s message about his friend is obviously true: Shakespeare’s works have spoken to countless eras and cultures in the 400 years since his death, and they continue to do so as we return to his…
February 28, 2018