Articles, Essays & Posts

When the Transgender Issue Comes Home

The Gospel Coalition, July 2014

A close friend called to tell me that I had a new brother. After nearly 20 years as four sons and one daughter, my family scratched another tally mark in the ledger column already chock-full of boys. “Have you heard about Jessah?” she asked. “She just announced on Facebook that she’s transgender.”

My new brother, it would seem, is my sister.

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Men Without Friends: Eros is Killing Phileo

Marriage Generation, June 2013

As a culture, we’re losing those categories in which deeply intimate relationships between men exist without sex—or at least without suspicions of sex. To put it in Greek, we’ve lost our phileo and the only category that remains is eros.


Jack the Giant-Hugger

Story Warren, February 2013

I tell my son, who is conveniently named Jack, two different versions of that classic story, Jack the Giant-Killer. The first is known to most of us as Jack and the Beanstalk, and it follows the traditional storyline: a tumbledown shack, a cow, some magic beans, a beanstalk, fee-fi-fo-fumming, bravery and derring-do, and, at the end, a very dead giant. The second story, one of my own devising, is called Jack the Giant-Hugger, and it follows much the same plot except for the ending.


The Holy Longing of Happily Ever After

Story Warren, September 2013, and The Rabbit Room, November 2013

By telling stories in which our heroes and heroines and repentant villains live happily ever after, we can create in our children an expectation that this is how good stories should end. True, these stories will leave them profoundly dissatisfied with Real Life. And when they confront the fact that the world doesn’t really work that way, we can show them how their disappointment points to a better story, a deeper reality. Happy endings create a holy longing for the kingdom come. That hunger is a kind of grace that we must feed, even as we point to its satisfaction in Christ.

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Why is Not What, September 2013

It’s no wonder that, in the beauty pageant of the public square, we’re losing. Marriage revisionists promise to fulfill your every desire for committed emotional and sexual companionship, while we rail on about entering a contractual relationship that contributes to the public good. It’s like asking my five-year-old if he’d rather have a cookie or take his medicine—and I think we all know the answer.


Digesting Grace: Why the Food We Eat Matters to God

Christianity Today: This Is Our City, August 2012

It’s Tuesday afternoon, which means I come home from work to a kitchen counter filled with bags of veggies and leafy greens. I dig through the produce: bok choy again. I’ve eaten more bok choy in the past three weeks than I have in the past three decades, but I suppose that’s sort of the point: When you buy into a CSA farm, you take what the land gives you.


The Meaning of Becca

Marriage Generation, April 2013

We all say we’re in it for the long haul—everyone has dreams and intentions of lasting commitment and boundless love on their wedding day. The problem is that, culturally speaking, too many of us have learned to end-date our commitments by tying them to our own personal happiness. Our wedding ceremonies have an unspoken exit clause. When one party stops being personally fulfilled, the marriage stops, too. Our culture still says “For better or worse,” but a more honest vow might be “For better.” Full stop.


A Biblical Look at Baptism

Engedi Church, October 2010

From the very beginning, baptism has signified new creation. In fact, the roots of baptism are found at the moment of creation. Genesis 1:1-2 reads, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

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