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After the Shooting at SPU: Desolation, Consolation… Hope

After the Shooting at SPU: Desolation, Consolation… Hope

Published on June 6, 2014, at huffingtonpost.com/jack-levision. I expected the shock of an earthquake—not a shooting. In fact, they’re retrofitting our oldest building, Alexander Hall, to prevent earthquake damage. How do we retrofit Otto Miller Hall lobby, where yesterday’s shooting took place? Erase the memories? Sure, we can remove the blood-stained carpet, paint the blood-splattered walls, clean up the shell casings. But...

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The Church Is Dead, but Don’t Tell the Pentecostals

The Church Is Dead, but Don’t Tell the Pentecostals

Published June 5, 2014, at patheos.com/blogs/spiritchatter. Huge Gap Threatens the Church, the headline should read. Or Earthquake at the Foundation of the Church, as the Global South, rife with Pentecostals, separates from the mainline churches of Europe and North America. Or how about The Church is Dead, but Don’t Tell the Pentecostals! These headlines probably won’t cause you to rush out to the grocery store to hoard the last few...

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Garage Sale Antics and the Church in Antioch: Reflections on Generosity

Garage Sale Antics and the Church in Antioch: Reflections on Generosity

Published on May 21, 2014 at patheos.com/blogs/spiritchatter Last Saturday, my wife and daughter held a garage sale. I wasn’t there because I went with my son to his college orientation. When I arrived home, Priscilla couldn’t wait to tell me this story. Mid-morning a woman drove up in a late model black Mercedes Benz. She nosed around then offered Priscilla and Chloe a quarter—that’s twenty-five cents—for a brand new bulletin...

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A Speck of Light and the Capacity to Remember the Holocaust

A Speck of Light and the Capacity to Remember the Holocaust

Published on April 25, 2014, at huffingtonpost.com. My son Jeremy is reading Diane Ackerman‘s The Zookeeper’s Wife during his senior year of high school. I am reading the book alongside him, giving him a crash course in how to take good notes. (You guessed it: I am a college professor who loves questions, except for a few, like, “Will this be on the exam?” and “Is it okay if I just write notes in the...

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The Book to Begin on Holocause Remembrance Day

The Book to Begin on Holocause Remembrance Day

Published on April 25, 2014, at patheos.com/blogs/spiritchatter. A review in the Wall Street Journal will tell you what I know: David Laskin’s The Family is a brilliant epic.  It is a book that should be bought and begun this Monday, April 28th—Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Family tells the true story of how Laskin’s family of Torah scribes and humble shopkeepers split into three branches at the turn of the last century. One branch...

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Doves and Kisses–A Reading on Betrayal

Doves and Kisses–A Reading on Betrayal

Published on April 16, 2014, at patheos.com/blogs/spiritchatter. I sat down this morning to read Psalm 55: “Oh, that I had wings like a dove. I’d fly away and be at rest.” But it’s holy week, with Maundy Thursday tomorrow–Judas Iscariot’s big day–so I couldn’t read Psalm 55 without one eye trained on Jesus’ betrayal. As I read Psalm 55, I couldn’t shake the rhythm of betrayal in the gospel of Mark. So I turned from Psalm...

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Intimacy with God and a Blindfolded Boy

Intimacy with God and a Blindfolded Boy

Published on April 10, 2014, at patheos.com/blogs/spiritchatter. After the evening’s lecture, I trundled off to the men’s room. When I returned, not five minutes later, nearly everyone had gathered at the front of the room. People were praying for each other, laying hands on each other, talking quietly with each other, while a pianist played riffs lightly in the background. This is the quintessence of the Vineyard movement, which began...

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