Friday, July 31, 2009


We usually think of people with great authority as higher up, far away, hard to reach. But spiritual authority comes from compassion and emerges from deep inner solidarity with those who are "subject" to authority. The one who is fully like us, who deeply understands our joys and pains or hopes and desires, and who is willing and able to walk with us, that is the one to whom we gladly give authority and whose "subjects" we are willing to be.

It is compassionate authority that empowers, encourages, calls forth hidden gifts, and enables great things to happen. True spiritual authority is located in the point of an upside-down triangle, supporting and holding into the light everyone they offer their leadership to.

-Henri Nouwen, Bread For the Journey

Monday, July 20, 2009


Rather than leave my blog completely neglected while I'm away on a much-needed break from the daily grind, here's one of the best parodies to come along in recent years - Alanis Morissette's rendition of that immortal classic of Top 40 inanity, My Humps...

Monday, July 13, 2009


First, an entry from the recent Synchroblog project. One of the breakthroughs that propelled me onto the journey I started several years ago was the growing suspicion that we've been asking the wrong question when it comes to the issue of homosexuality. As such, I'm always happy to discover others who have come to the same conclusion.

2. Here's a story from Real Live Preacher that would have been a good fit for the Synchroblog.

3. I don't listen to much Christian music anymore, but I may have to make an exception for Derek Webb.

4. I've spent a good amount of bandwidth addressing the religious right and its highly selective definition of "freedom." Its opponents on the left aren't much better, though; they simply have different ideas about which aspects of everyone's lives should be under government control. As one example of that, American businesses now have to spend over $1.1 trillion per year to comply with nearly 80,000 pages of federal regulations. That's in addition to taxes.

That's not to say that government doesn't have a role to play in protecting its citizens from predators masquerading as legitimate businesses. But if we seriously believe that the business community is so hopelessly corrupt that even half of the micromanagement contained in those 80,000 pages of legalese is truly necessary to protect the American consumer, then perhaps it's time to abandon the pretense that it's a good idea to let human beings have any freedoms at all.

5. Finally, on a lighter note, it's always nice to have one more justification for that morning cup of coffee (and the one after that)...

Monday, July 06, 2009

Life Soundtrack 16

What About the Love, by Amy Grant

Another song that I listened to without really hearing in my evangelical days. It was easy enough to nod and generally agree with the statement being made without really seeing how much a part of the problem I was; there's always someone else who's more legalistic and more judgmental, and that's who the song is really directed at.

And then came the revelation that one of the song's cowriters (Janis Ian) is a lesbian and, well, certainly we didn't need to concern ourselves with the opinions of somebody like that...