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Missing from today’s religion news is a critically important, positive report about the role of the church in creating stronger and happier families. Most religion news centers around the latest conservative evangelical leader to endorse a Republican presidential candidate, especially by the national press and cable TV. When Jerry Falwell Jr. endorsed Donald Trump this […] Read More

The typical reading of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well in John 4:5-30 is faulty. This interpretation presents her as a “loose” woman, a serial divorcee (five times!) who is currently shacking up with a man in an illicit unmarried relationship. Because of her well-deserved reputation for immorality, she is shunned by all […] Read More

When it comes to marriage, I chose wisely. I can readily identify with Winston Churchill’s assessment: “My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.” This week, my wife, Amanda, and I are celebrating our 30th anniversary. This journey has been an adventure with unexpected twists and […] Read More

Ashley Madison is the world’s largest website dedicated to facilitate people to be unfaithful to their partners. Their tagline sums it up: “Life is Short. Have an Affair.” But over the last few weeks, the hacking of their database by a group called the Impact Team has been front-page news. The group threatened to release […] Read More

Today we no longer understand the value and power of ritual. This is more than an individual failing. It’s the cultural air we breathe. In the words of Robert L. Moore, we’ve gone “ritually tone-deaf.” The effects of this can be seen everywhere. Allow me two examples: First, we see this today in the failure […] Read More

When the Southern Baptist Convention’s future hung in the balance, the mantra from fundamentalist pulpits was that inerrancy should be defended for the sake of the gospel. If you didn’t believe in inerrancy, you didn’t believe the Bible. The fear of having preachers say that you don’t believe the Bible if you don’t believe in […] Read More

There’s a bumper sticker that says, “Marriage is finding that one special someone you can annoy for the rest of your life.” That’s funny, in a too-close-to-home kind of way, but it falls a little short of the picture of marriage that we see in Scripture. But if you change just one word, you won’t […] Read More

I entered the pastorate with a fair amount of preparation. From graduate to post-graduate work, I was surrounded by motivated friends and a world-class faculty. It was the best of times. I had every opportunity and I loved it. Along the way, I had the chance to apply what I was learning in “student pastorates.” […] Read More

Somewhere between personal and public morality there is a line that often enables us to focus on the one and be negligent of the other. But the sometimes awkward dance of personal beliefs and public policies can and does move us toward a more wholesome future. The relationship of covenant faith is accompanied by beliefs […] Read More

Picture an archaeologist or anthropologist centuries from now coming across a Sunday New York Times from our times.  He or she might wonder what light the relic would throw on tribal customs like marrying in 2012. (We are assuming that marriage will survive long after newspapers don’t.) The trained scholar would know that through the ages marriage […] Read More