Are You Addicted to Distraction?

Many of us are, says Cal Newport, author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. Particularly since the internet has become a part of our lives, our tendency is to multitask almost all of the time. For example, I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve written with my email inbox open.…

Scribes and Pharisees

I’ve been writing down some theological reflections on Mark’s gospel. Perhaps at some point these will constitute the makings of a short book, but for now they’re just reflections. Here are some brief thoughts on the scribes and Pharisees in Mark. I’d appreciate any constructive feedback you have.  Let’s clear something up about the scribes and…

An Open Letter to Pastors

Dear Pastors: This is a letter to say thank you. For the messages of hope that you preach, the people you lead to Christ, the baptisms you perform, the newcomers to whom you teach the faith, the long-time churchgoers whom you nurture in the faith, thank you. Thank you for the counsel you provide to those who…

Preaching Atonement

“In Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us” (2 Cor 5:19). This is one of the most well known passages of Christian scripture. It is also one of the most puzzled-over. Atonement is a particularly knotty theological matter. While the…

Why is preaching so hard?

I’m preaching this morning. Granted, I don’t preach all the time. I speak publicly quite often, but preaching is different. I can give an hour-long lecture on a research topic as a matter of course. Putting together a twenty-minute sermon, however, is something I have always found very difficult. After some reflection, I’ve decided the reason…