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Guy Sayles

In Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There,” Alice walked through the “wood of no-names,” where individuals didn’t remember their own names and had little awareness of qualities that set them apart from others. She encountered there a fawn; and, since they couldn’t understand themselves as different from each other, they […] Read More

The anger is palpable, isn’t it? The presidential primary campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have, in different ways, focused and channeled a lot of the anger people feel. Trump and Sanders diverge radically from each other in their fundamental assumptions about civil rights, about market capitalism and about effective political leadership. They both, […] Read More

Conversations about vocation and calling are one of many gifts I receive from my students at Mars Hill University. As they get closer to graduating, they inevitably ask questions like: “What’s next? Grad school? What discipline and where? A job? Can I find one that at least roughly matches who I am, what I care […] Read More

How can a congregation be “salt” and “light” in ways that help people in need without creating dependency? I had a fascinating conversation recently about this question with some folks who are trying hard to understand how their downtown church can positively impact its community and region. They’re compassionate and generous people who genuinely want […] Read More

When writer Rick Bragg was young and struggling to find his way in journalism, he won a prestigious fellowship to Harvard University. While there, he felt out of place. He hadn’t finished college, and he was in classes with people who were pursuing graduate degrees. He was surrounded by urbane Easterners; he saw himself, and […] Read More

How can Christian ethics guide our engagement with U.S. culture? That is the question my students and I are exploring together this semester, seeking the ways in which various approaches to Christian ethics conflict and converge with the values of U.S. culture or cultures. One of our conversation partners is Albert Borgmann, a professor of […] Read More

The heavy snow that recently fell in our area brought surprising gifts: the requirement (and permission) to step away for a few days from routine busyness, to have longer stretches of uninterrupted time to read and to think, and to rest without irrational guilt over not doing what we “should” be doing. Icy driveways, slick […] Read More

Much has transpired in the past few weeks. School children returned to the classroom, the 12 Days of Christmas culminated in the Feast of Epiphany, and the reckoning with credit card bills from December’s shopping sprees has begun. College football fans, especially in the South, made plans to watch Monday night’s clash between Clemson and […] Read More

I enjoy Christmas – always have. Every year I look forward to: Children’s pageants, complete with Burger King crowns for wise men, bath-robed shepherds and aluminum foil-wings for angels Misty-eyed singing of “Silent Night” in the glow of candlelight Watching George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge and Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, the Grinch’s stealing […] Read More

People went to the polls last Tuesday, an election day starting the one-year countdown in a presidential campaign that seems already to have gone on forever. Contenders for their party’s nomination are, in addition to staging media events, attempting to build coalitions of voters in each primary state. Such coalition building often involves “retail politics:” […] Read More