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Showing posts from April, 2013

Atlas Stumbled

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I grew up in the church. And as a homeschooled high school drop out, my entire social life existed at church as well. So you would think that it would feel like home to me. That I would share the same partiality and affection toward it as I do with the state of New Jersey.

But it don't.

And the worst part is the assumption that I'm going through that rebellious, younger person phase, or perhaps "a crisis of faith." Name your platitude. Either way, the expectation exists that I will eventually come to my senses and accept the church as it is.

Did you catch that? There's a remarkable sense of confidence among church leaders today that the church has arrived. After centuries of fighting and bickering, we've finally weeded out all of the world's evil influence and gotten to the unadulterated core of doctrinal truth.

One problem: we are the world. As hard as that song hashtags #firstworldguilt, the phrase is true. We can't disassociate people from history,…

It Cuts Both Ways

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Some people think men and women aren't any more different than a three-letter word is from a five-letter word. And it strikes me as odd that something written into our genetic code is being treated like an accessory. Because DNA is just as annoying as an Apple product. It's not open source. So no matter what drive you partition or what piece of hacked code you append, a Mac will always be a Mac.

And I will always be a man. Sometimes I wish this wasn't the case. Not my being a man, but the static nature of my physiology. It must sound like I want to be a trans-sexual. But no, I have no great desire to spend countless dollars on anything that involves an IV and scissors. Rather, all I want is to be understood.

Everyone wants different things, has different needs. Some people desperately need affirmation. Some people need attention. Some people need adventure. It's called having a personality, and it's what makes all of us distinct creatures. My need to be understood …

No Publicists

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I love the Northeast. There will be some who can't relate, but I'm captivated by the sheer megalopolis that is the old thirteen. Where I grew up in New Jersey, I had the unique opportunity of living within a half-day's drive from D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Hartford, and Boston. In fact, my first experience with the Chicago suburbs was one of anxiety as we got further and further west, and I realized that there wasn't another city for hundreds of miles. As far as I was concerned growing up, anything west of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania was wilderness.

So it especially saddens me when I see my homeland undergoing tragedy. I felt a sense of loss last year when the place my wife and I had our first date was flooded by Sandy. Even though I don't have any friends in Connecticut, the Sandy Hook shooting was still close to home. And yesterday, we found ourselves checking with friends in the Boston area who thankfully reported in safe. But we know some weren'…

Broken - Body and Soul

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A few months ago, I had a very real, very intense dream. I was in a bank as it was being robbed, a scene not unlike that at the beginning of The Dark Knight. The details elude me how it came to this, but at some point I found myself alive among the dead victims of the heist. I was behind a counter frantically trying to figure out my survival.

My plan: play dead.

I flattened out onto my stomach and tried to breathe as motionlessly as possible. Then I heard their footsteps. I don't know how many there were, but at least one of the robbers stopped at my feet. And I thought to myself that if I were them, I'd put a bullet in every body--just to be certain. Well, their gun was silenced. But the scream in my head was far from it as I felt a bullet pierce my heart.

The scary part wasn't the blackness that enveloped me like a cold, velvet blanket on a warm day. Nor was it the slowing beats of my heart or the air draining from my lungs like a leaky air mattress. I was calm. In a eup…

Generations

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A friend of mine recently pointed out that my blog posts were predominately negative in tone. This is true. I have a lot to critique as the church is plagued by inadequacy and well, people. Many have said it before me: church would be so much easier if it didn't involve people. But alas, this is the fallen institution to which we've been called to call our home away from home. I'm not alone in this.

Statistics continue to pour in as the church laments, "the exodus of the young people." Perhaps this is the lot of younger people: to criticize those who've gone before us. Yet somehow I find this reductionist at best, pejorative at worst. Because one of the values of my generation is authenticity. And it would go against everything we value to promote the goodness of the church institution if we held even the tiniest bit of skepticism about it.

Make no mistake; young people are leaving the church. But the mistake is to think that they are leaving the faith. Rathe…