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Category: Culture

Addiction as Idolatry

Addiction as Idolatry

When I was in Thailand, I saw idols.  They were outside bakeries and 7-11s.  They would be sitting on shelves behind the cash register at restaurants.  Cab drivers glued them to their dashboards and placed pieces of their lunch in front of them.  I even saw them outside of brothels when a group of us did a prayer walk through the Red Light district in Bangkok.  I watched as women offered food to these small statues surrounded by incense before…

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Do You Think For Yourself?

Do You Think For Yourself?

From Willimon’s book, Pastor, in a section where he describes the church as a world or culture in which it’s members learn how to live — a place that has rituals, practices and ways of being that teach us who we are and how to be in the world: So, when an early twenty-first-century North American says, “What the church says may be OK for some people, but I think it is important to think for myself,” that person thinks…

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Journey to Mosaic — Where has my Dad Gone?

Journey to Mosaic — Where has my Dad Gone?

“He left for work in the morning and never returned.  We didn’t know what happened to him.  I called friends and then I called his co-workers.  Only later did I discover that he had been pulled over on the highway and arrested.  He doesn’t have a drivers’ license — he can’t get one because he’s an undocumented worker — and once they realized he is an undocumented worker they deported him.  We didn’t even get to say goodbye.  We’ve been…

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Are Chinese Mothers Superior?

Are Chinese Mothers Superior?

An article asserting the superiority of Chinese mothers in comparison to their western counterparts has been making the rounds recently.  I’ve had it emailed to me and I’ve seen friends posting it to their facebook walls.  You can read the article “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior” online. The article is written by a Chinese mother (who happens to also be a Yale Law School professor and author) named Amy Chua.  In the article she anecdotally argues for the superiority of…

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Moralistic Therapeutic Deism

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism

We’ve just started our series on identity and last week I preached on how what we believe shapes our identity.  In preparation, I did some research on what Americans believe.  It turns out someone has tried to categorize and synthesize a framework of belief commonly held by youth and young adults in America. After doing hundreds of phone interviews with teenagers for his book Soul Searching and then more research with young adults for his book Souls in Transition, he…

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Is Voting Our Christian Duty?

Is Voting Our Christian Duty?

Throughout the day, I’ve had countless Christians and particularly Christian leaders urging me and all their other social network connections to vote.  It’s left me wondering, is voting our Christian duty? Surprisingly, theologians differ.  Some, characterized by the hard religious right (e.g. Dobson) and the progressive Christian left (e.g. Wallis) believe so.  They see voting, and political involvement more generally, to be one of the primary ways that Christians are called to transform the world.  Whether it be abortion legislation,…

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When Doing Good Is Bad

When Doing Good Is Bad

One of the most exciting terms used to describe the church today is the word missional.  It correctly categorizes the people of God as a community on a mission — a people sent out by Jesus to extend and promote his ministry and message in the world.  But unfortunately, what it has devolved into is frequently little more than do-gooder volunteerism. I believe the word missional ought to properly characterized the church (and I hope it does ours), but I…

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When Reason is Treason

When Reason is Treason

Last week, late night (fake) news hosts, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert announced their upcoming rallies to be held on 10.30.10.  Stewart announced his rally first.  The Rally to Restore Sanity is for people who think all this passionate dialogue about politics has gotten a bit too crazy.  Colbert countered with his March to Keep Fear Alive, because he thinks we should stay afraid.  After all, reason is just one letter away from treason. I agree with Colbert.  Reason is…

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Mumford & Sons

Mumford & Sons

It’s been just about 15 years since I bought a new album that blew me away.  It’s been more than a decade since I bought an album, and stopped listening to all other music just so I could just listen to it over an over.  It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed the lyrics of songs so much that I’ve had to google them so I could read them all at once.  Mumford & Sons album, Sigh No More,…

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Glenn Beck, What Would Jesus Do?

Glenn Beck, What Would Jesus Do?

Glenn Beck is a polarizing figure. People seem to land in one of two camps — they either love him or loathe him.  He’s either the savior of our democratic state or a catalyst to toxic political debates around the country.  Just a week ago, he held a rally that drew thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, to Wasington D.C. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  It’s clear that a large percentage of the country loves Beck’s message. What…

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