Tag: Great Divide

  • Home of the Brave (Church)

    Home of the Brave (Church)

    This review was published on the Englewood Review of Books website and is reprinted here with permission. It’s not easy to talk these days. Try having a social gathering over Zoom and see how quickly you tire. Maybe one voice dominates. Maybe you’re frustrated by not having the side conversation you’d like to have. Maybe […]

  • Seeing the Way to ‘You Can,’ When the World Says ‘You Can’t’

    Seeing the Way to ‘You Can,’ When the World Says ‘You Can’t’

    What if your job was to go around blessing people? What if, instead of lamenting all that is wrong, you got to say, “There is something terribly, terribly, right with the world”? And what if you got to say this thing in the very places that get written off as ‘God-forsaken’? Michael Mather has such […]

  • Australia (and Nuance) Burning

    Australia (and Nuance) Burning

    Recently I had the opportunity to write a story about the Australian brushfires for the great FaithLink resource. The main essay from that curriculum is now up on Ministry Matters. Come for the spectacle of the fire. Stay for the musings about how we’ve killed nuance and the opportunity to really see what we’re seeing. Click here.

  • Saying Goodbye to Twitter Me: A Review of The Problem with Everything

    Saying Goodbye to Twitter Me: A Review of The Problem with Everything

    For me, it happens when I go to the Twitter feed after some recent ‘problematic’ event or statement has hit the news. Immediately the folks I have chosen to follow, ‘influencers’ among them, stoke the little fires of irritation I might have felt and before long lure me into the Twitter-sanctioned indignation I should be […]

  • Who’s Going to Make the Case for America? (I Mean, Along with Jill Lepore)

    Who’s Going to Make the Case for America? (I Mean, Along with Jill Lepore)

    Late in her brief but thought-provoking new book, historian Jill Lepore gets down to why she would write something titled This America: The Case for the Nation: “In American history, liberals have failed, time and again, to defeat illiberalism except by making appeals to national aims and ends…Writing national history creates plenty of problems. But […]

  • The Red State Christians You Don’t Know: A Review of Angela Denker’s New Book

    The Red State Christians You Don’t Know: A Review of Angela Denker’s New Book

    It wasn’t your typical megachurch experience. When journalist and Lutheran pastor Angela Denker showed up at New Destiny Christian Center to check out the ministry of Paula White, one of Donald Trump’s pastoral advisors, she might have expected a coffee shop in the lobby (she kinda did) and a glitzy auditorium for a sanctuary. Instead […]

  • A Plea Before the Next Tweet

    A Plea Before the Next Tweet

    Because you know there will be another one. And we will have the same choice we always have—to define the world in relation to the tweeter or… …to do something else. Recently I attended an experimental theatre production about the American healthcare system. We had to take off our shoes before going into the theatre. […]

  • Good God, What Happened to the Heartland?: Laughing and Lamenting with Lyz Lenz

    Good God, What Happened to the Heartland?: Laughing and Lamenting with Lyz Lenz

    Lyz Lenz is so funny sometimes that you can forget that she has written a hard book. As, for instance, when she’s surveying the physical layout of cookie-cutter megachurches and says that “the decor looks like a Hobby Lobby vomited all over the place.” (115) That’s the vibrant Lyz that you want giving you the […]

  • Getting Beyond ‘Should’ to What ‘Is’: The Virginia Reeves Interview Concludes

    Getting Beyond ‘Should’ to What ‘Is’: The Virginia Reeves Interview Concludes

    My interview with Virginia Reeves, author of The Behavior of Love, concludes with some thoughts on ‘should’ and the struggles of human beings in love to connect. (The interview begins here.) One of the other big words in this book for me is the word ‘should.’ In fact, you title a whole section ‘Should.’ I […]

  • Why a Story of Fugitive Slaves May Not Just Be History

    Why a Story of Fugitive Slaves May Not Just Be History

    In light of the current Great Divide, there is no innocent reading of history. We mine every thesis about the Constitutional Convention or the Civil War for evidence of another agenda. History becomes covert commentary on Trump and the Resistance. So when Andrew Delbanco’s wonderful new book on fugitive slaves in antebellum America landed in […]