A Perfect Brutality

My dad was pretty hard on me growing up. No matter what I did, he wanted me to do it better, especially in school. If I got a B on a test, he wanted me to get an A, and told me so. If I brought home an A, he wanted an A+. If I answered 49 out of 50 questions correctly and got an A+, he’d want to know why I...

Transferring Clean

One of the basic laws of physics is that if you dress a child up for a special occasion—a wedding, a funeral, Easter Sunday, the opera, that kind of thing—as soon as you aren’t looking their clothes will no longer be clean. Dirt, slime, peanut butter, pizza grease, dog poop—all manner of nasty things will...

Tamar and Being Caught in Adultery

There is a story in the Bible about a woman who is caught having illicit sexual relations outside of marriage. The charge is undeniable, the guilt unquestionable, and the penalty indisputable: death. And thus she is condemned. But in an odd and surprising twist, her accuser and the man with whom the...

Grace Unbalanced

Something interesting happens whenever I talk about grace, forgiveness, and acceptance. People push back. As much as we like those things, as much as we need those things, as much as we realize that they are central to our faith as Christians, we seem to want to qualify them. To put an asterisk by them....

Let God Be Judge

There are things that make us human, and there are things that make God God. If God wants to become human, you end up with Jesus. And that’s a good thing. When humans want to become gods, we become less than human. The evil that is done in this world is not caused by some dark, shadowy figure; it’s caused...

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