The Long Obedience of Racial Justice

July 10, 2020 ...

On the other hand, I recall a ride with an African American taxi driver who grew up in Charlottesville. He recalled, without venom or vengeance, countless episodes of racism. The cruelty he suffered and the consequent disparities of life are part of growing up black in Charlottesville. Read the full article at Christianity Today.

Love > Civility

June 24, 2020 ...

We must labor at biting our tongue when we want to lash out. Civility can make us weary. But we do not tire easily of insults. I say this, because I’ve spent time studying honor and shame in social settings and political discourse. My doctoral dissertation from Harvard was on the rhetorical use of insults …

Why I Don’t Preach Partisan Politics

June 22, 2020 ...

Apart from disengaging from the culture entirely, I don’t think it is possible to sidestep politics. Any pastor who avoids preaching about anything politicians talk about will have decided not to address anything relevant to anyone who is listening. I’ve been accused (wrongly) of “preaching politics” whenever I have addressed biblical issues like racism, the …

Uncommon Decency

June 19, 2020 ...

Not Civility Alone Not that civility is the be-all and end-all of life. We will not solve all our problems simply by becoming more civil people. There are times when it is appropriate to manifest some very uncivil feelings. “Passionate intensity” is not always out of place. If I am going to be a more …

Making a Way Out of No Way

June 17, 2020 ...

The Expectations Project, the organization I lead, focuses on engaging people of faith to become policy advocates to improve America’s low-income public schools. The systemic policy change we seek often seems insurmountable as opposing education factions can dig into their own ideals, unwilling to compromise. Policy and political change require both an eye on the …

Beyond Civility

June 16, 2020 ...

Take the political demagogue who shakes all the right hands, the church pastor whose outward charms mask inner demons, the neighborly churchgoer whom Martin Luther King famously labeled the “white moderate.” Too often, civility is a ploy by the powerful to defend an unhealthy or unjust status quo. American evangelicalism is not immune from this …

Does the Golden Rule Apply to Politics?

June 12, 2020 ...

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus announced the coming of God’s kingdom and invited his followers to rethink their thinking in light of the remarkable opportunity to live under the rule of God. Those who follow the way of Jesus find their relationships transformed as they learn to love, serve and forgive even those …

An International Perspective on U.S. Christians & Politics

June 10, 2020 ...

From an outsider’s perspective, the heightened partisan divide in America is disturbing. Some will dismiss this as an American issue and not the business of those beyond its borders. However, we live in a global village; when Americans sneeze, the rest of the world catches a cold! Media reporting on U.S. evangelicalism has an impact …

To Cancel or Not to Cancel: That is the Question

March 23, 2020 ...

Government officials, medical experts, and civic leaders have all asked citizens to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus by practicing physical distancing. According to leading experts, churches are one of the top places of community spread. Why? Christians shake hands, embrace one another, and kiss cheeks. Some are liturgically directed to drink from a common …