Monthly Archives: October 2015


Where my opinions currently reside among the top ten candidates after last night’s debate.

Trump: Still think he’s crazy, but the entertainment has a pretty good shelf life.

Bush: He would make a good college professor.  I’m not convinced he really wants us to vote for him.  I guess he has to spend all the money somewhere.

Christie: He’s grown on me a bit, but I can’t imagine I would ever be excited about him as president.  For the really curious, read what David McCullough mentions John Adams said about the rudeness of New Yorkers.  Yes, Christie is from New Jersey, but that can be worse.

Fiorina: Give her a cabinet position.

Paul: Naive.

Huckabee: Great line about the tie, but needs to go back to TV.

Rubio: Would probably make a decent president, but drives me crazy how he can’t admit his failures.  He’s like the Fonz from Happy Days.

Kasich: He’s done, well done.  Liked him quite a bit, but starting to feel the political vibe too much with him.  Not the scariest pol I’ve seen, but he has the disease.  Then again, don’t they all?!

Carson: It would be fun to see him utterly lose it.  He was quite the brawler as a kid.  No joke.  Watch the terrific movie, “Gifted Hands.”

Cruz: He started out with a big deficit for me.  His announcement at Liberty University was one of the most shameful displays of throwing red meat to the carnivorous, Christian crowd.  He’s grown on me and not just because I like a good steak.

This is my prediction, but it does not mean it is my personal pick:

It will be a Carson/Rubio ticket





According to Peter Drucker, the late leadership guru, the four hardest jobs in America (and not necessarily in order, he added) are the president of the United States, a university president, a CEO of a hospital and … a pastor.

HT: DJ Chuang


This is the fourth book I’ve read by Andrew Delbanco.  He never disappoints with his keen insights into literature, culture, and American history. 

I am very interested in the first half of nineteenth century America.  As a Christian, there are many significant movements of thought swirling which make it endlessly fascinating and challenging. 

Delbanco’s Melville has the author’s characteristic brilliance: great writing coupled with brilliant insights.  For me, one of the most poignant things is seeing how well Delbanco captures the tormented genius of Melville along with showcasing the compassion of his dear friend, Nathaniel Hawthorne. 

Christian ministers could learn a lot about compassion and being patient with serial doubters like Melville.

I have two seminary degrees and would love to see books like this as required reading in the curriculum.


At both Dallas Theological Seminary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School I heard the story of modern-day Evangelicalism.  It was a movement which sought to break away from the anti-intellectualism and lack of cultural engagement of the hapless Fundamentalists.

The consistent impression was that the Evangelicals left the Fundamentalists for good. I’m no longer so sure of that narrative.

It seems there remains at least some Fundamentalist tendencies within much of Evangelicalism.  I see it regularly in the lack of interest in the church’s history, and confidence, even hubris, over how one understands non primary doctrinal issues like the age of the earth.  The pugnacious and polemical spirit which characterized modern-day Fundamentalism seems to still find safe haven in too many so-called Evangelical churches.


Reading through all my sermons and landed on a rather arresting application I gave in one from July 20, 1997:

“Each night as you fall asleep imagine that your bed is your casket.”  My point, of course, was not to be unduly morbid.  Rather, it was to spend a few moments reminding one’s self of memento mori (“remember you are mortal”) and order your life accordingly.  Ps. 90:12!