Why I’m Hopeful About the Evangelical Movement – USA Today

In 1976, the cover of Newsweek declared that, with a presidential election that featured the born-again Jimmy Carter, it was the “Year of the Evangelical.” Forty-five years later, the news media fascination with my spiritual family has not abated. From the heady days of 2004, when once again evangelicals were crowned a defining political force, to this moment when a cottage industry…

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A New Season and a Time to Build

Today it was announced what is next for me and my family. I’ve accepted a position as Director of the Land Center for Cultural Engagement at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I’ll also be serving as assistant professor of faith and culture at Texas Baptist College. I’ll continue to write for World Magazine as a columnist and contribute to USA Today. It’s…

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Passing The Plate In a Digital Age

I saw an offering plate before I was even old enough to attend church. My father was a lay elder and church treasurer. This usually meant I got to stay and play with my friends long after the services were finished, because Dad was counting the offering. The offering plate is as indelible in my…

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What We Learn from Peter’s Epic Fail

One of the most poignant scenes in the Easter narrative was written by someone who was not there, but who investigated the claims of the Christian movement and was able to paint for readers an agonizing scene of shame and betrayal. Luke, a medical doctor by trade and commissioned to chronicle the Jesus movement, zooms in on the…

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What Are You Building?

Too often our politics is one of mere deconstruction. Our advocacy is less about building coalitions of support to advance human flourishing or to advocate for a vulnerable people group but is instead a kind of performative activism.  This is why often the fights we see play out in the public square are less between…

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Why Is Our Activism So Mean?

From the time I can remember, I’ve been an avid follower of the news. When I was a kid the news came in two ways. It showed up every morning at the foot our driveway in the northern suburbs of Chicago in the form of three newspapers: The Chicago Tribune, The Daily Herald and The Chicago Sun Times. And…

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How Pastors Can Combat Conspiracy Theories

It came as a text from a very close friend: “Did you know Mike Pence is part of a global human trafficking ring?” I didn’t really even know where to begin. I know people who have worked closely with the former vice president and repeatedly vouch for his character and integrity. What’s more, if a…

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What do Christians Owe a President?

If you count my incoherent thoughts as a toddler, I’ve lived through the administrations of seven presidents and am now approaching life under the administration of a new one. On January 20th, former Vice-President Joe Biden put his hand on the Bible and took the oath of office to become America’s 46th President. Times like these…

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Resisting the Pharisee Temptation on Social Media

From COVID to racial unrest to a divisive political election, there was no shortage of ways in 2020 to trust in ourselves and look down on everyone else. Brands are quick to remind us they’re on the side of science, against racism, and want us to vote. And our social platforms are like modern-day temples…

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Why It’s Okay To Cheer on Good Economic News

This year has been gut-wrenching for many on almost every level: a global pandemic sweeping through our country has left well over 200,000 dead and many other sick, the restrictions many states have enacted have left many others without work, especially those who labor in the service and hospitality industries, and political and social unrest…

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How to Keep Your Friends In An Election Season

I recorded this video for Lifeway Voices on keeping your friends in an election season. I give four reasons: 1) Determine not to let politics be a litmus test for friendship. 2) Listen to those who disagree 3)  Look beyond the election 4) Take the long view

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