Newspaper Columns

Starting with the Ferguson tragedy in 2014, I’ve written Faith Perspective columns for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and its online version, STLToday.com. Here’s an archive of some of them.

It’s Not Just About Sexuality
It’s Not Just About Sexuality

If the United Methodist Church, or any church, is apprehensive of new, varied voices, it can’t move into the future creatively. (March 1, 2019)

The Face of Tomorrow’s Christian?
The Face of Tomorrow’s Christian?

What does it mean to say that the future face of Christianity may bear a resemblance to Lady Gaga? (February 1, 2019)

Hope for 2019
Hope for 2019

Some things are out of our control. That doesn’t mean, though, that we need to live in a climate of perpetual fear. If we want 2019 to be better, we can take responsibility for making it better. (Jan. 4, 2019)

Atheism is not a dirty word
Atheism is not a dirty word

Atheists can provide insights, and examples of courage, to believers. (Nov 30, 2018)

Remember this before voting
Remember this before voting

You can’t sow hate and expect to receive love. You can’t do violence, with words or actions, and expect peace. (Oct 31, 2018)

When viewpoints differ
When viewpoints differ

When people see the same situation and come to opposing conclusions, it makes you ask why. (Oct 3, 2018)

The virtues of a quiet faith
The virtues of a quiet faith

In his 5 ½ years as a POW, John McCain quietly led worship, encouraged his fellow inmates, recited from the Bible and prayed. (Aug 31, 2018)

Casting out demons
Casting out demons

Turns out we’re more comfortable with demons than without them. (Aug 10, 2018)

How should you use the Bible?
How should you use the Bible?

The Bible challenges us to unify, not divide. (Jun 29, 2018)

Simply paying attention
Simply paying attention

What would I would notice if I weren’t so busy? A thought about boxer Jack Johnson. (Jun 1, 2018)

How the faithful should respond to atheism
How the faithful should respond to atheism

Honesty and humility reflect the strength of belief. (May 4, 2018)

Hamilton and a lesson in citizenship
Hamilton and a lesson in citizenship

No more ‘us’ and ‘them’: New citizens teach us unity. (Apr 6, 2018)

In God do we trust?
In God do we trust?

If I want to promote Christianity, or share the Gospel with someone, is arguing over a motto the best way to do it? (Mar 7, 2018)

Healing our divisions
Healing our divisions

It’s time we start listening to, and learning from, each other. (Feb 7, 2018)

Is the Force with you?
Is the Force with you?

There is certainly no perfect faith community, and the spiritual but not religious will always point that out. (Jan 12, 2018)

Unsocial media
Unsocial media

Social media interactions need a gentler touch. (Dec 15, 2017)

Our thoughts and prayers
Our thoughts and prayers

Observations from the tragic loss of life in the Texas church shooting. We need to go beyond trite phrases. (Nov 15, 2017)

No justice, no peace
No justice, no peace

What the Bible says about the relationship between justice and peace. (Oct 16, 2017)

Defending Joel Osteen
Defending Joel Osteen

Judging can be a bigger sin than what someone may have done. (Aug 31, 2017)

After Charlottesville: Let’s reject our natural destructive ways
After Charlottesville: Let’s reject our natural destructive ways

Just as we have the capacity for destruction, we have a possibly greater capacity for the life. Each of us must ask which side of human potential we’re enabling. (Aug 14, 2017)

The dog days of summer
The dog days of summer

All the distinctions we place in relating to each other don't matter to canines. On the contrary, it seems that the more different one dog is from another, the more intriguing and interesting that animal becomes. (Jul 13, 2017)

A father’s duty?
A father’s duty?

In great or small ways, it’s possible to take steps to avoid the eternal “I’m right!” “No, I’m right!” infinity circle. (Jun 14, 2017)

The best Mother’s Day gift
The best Mother’s Day gift

There is a place for honoring women in church. Listen to her tales of challenges, learn to empathize with struggles for equality. (May 11, 2017)

Is church worth your time?
Is church worth your time?

If going to church is punching your ticket once or twice a year, you’re missing the point. A faith community can be a unique place, but it takes your effort to go there. (April 19, 2017)

Painting a kinder world
Painting a kinder world

Ultimately, in the midst of de-humanization and violence, there is still compassion, hope, companionship, encouragement, justice. That’s an Easter message. (Mar 22, 2017)

Forging paths of peace
Forging paths of peace

Reflections on the peacemaker’s path: Violence is not a component of the kingdom Jesus proclaimed. (Feb 22, 2017)

Finding faith in humanity as Christmas looms
Finding faith in humanity as Christmas looms

We seem to excel in defining ourselves by our religion, politics, class and many other distinctions, but are deficient in the basic stuff of simply being nice to each other. (Dec 21, 2016)

This kind of change forces greater understanding
This kind of change forces greater understanding

The results of Nov. 8 give us little choice but to get to know each other better. (Nov 30, 2016)

A Christian’s guide to the election
A Christian’s guide to the election

Living out our values in concrete ways is what is ultimately important, not who wins or loses the election. (Nov 2, 2016)

Do Trump and Clinton understand forgiveness?
Do Trump and Clinton understand forgiveness?

When the candidates admitted their mistakes, they gave explanations then swiftly pivoted to point out the past sins of their opponent. Does forgiveness apply in such a context? (Oct 12, 2016)

What is a “Christian” American?
What is a “Christian” American?

When freedom becomes a license to do what I want, regardless of how that may affect others, we get off course. (Sep 21, 2016)

In the mountains we gain perspective
In the mountains we gain perspective

Mountains are a biblical theme for a reason. They provide much needed perspective for our hectic lives. (Sep 1, 2016)

Hope in a divided land
Hope in a divided land

The truth lies somewhere between the colors red and blue. (Jul 27, 2016)

Stronger together or apart?
Stronger together or apart?

Events that threaten to separate us can serve to illustrate just how much we need to come together, the more diverse the better. (Jul 2, 2016)

Ali’s spirituality and character shone through his cockiness
Ali’s spirituality and character shone through his cockiness

Muhammad Ali indirectly taught me to look at the full drama of a person’s life, not just one scene, before passing judgment. (Jun 15, 2016) 

How does God speak?
How does God speak?

The United Methodist General Conference wrestled over LGBTQ issues. We have to learn how to come together in order to move ahead. (May 26, 2016) 

When the news is bad
When the news is bad

Train your gaze away from the ‘weeds’ to see beauty, hope. (Apr 20, 2016)

The early Christians honored free speech — a right some Americans ignore
The early Christians honored free speech — a right some Americans ignore

When threats of violence caused Donald Trump to cancel a Chicago appearance, it wasn’t a victory for some, but a defeat for what our country’s founders believed. (Mar 16, 2016) 

Balancing the portfolio of life
Balancing the portfolio of life

If you want to balance the emotional swings of the market, invest heavily in relationships. (Jan 29, 2016)  

When doubting is saintly
When doubting is saintly

When the canonization of Mother Teresa takes place, I’ll remember the lesson she taught us after her death: our faith ultimately doesn’t rest on how we feel at the moment, but how we live it throughout a lifetime. (Jan 5, 2016)