A Lesson From Robin Williams

I stopped writing in this blog about four years ago when we discontinued the Smart Ministry newsletter. I don’t know that I am committing to revive it with this post, but thoughts occurred to me today that I feel compelled to share. The suicide of Robin Williams has been on everyone’s mind today. (For my […]

Labor Day is national holiday in the U.S.

This is a national holiday in the U.S., and one that has been celebrated for more than 120 years. That’s why we have an abbreviated issue of Smart Ministry this week. But we wanted to reflect briefly on the meaning of Labor Day. Traditionally, Labor Day is a day off in tribute to, and recognition […]

Leadership lessons from Libya and Iraq

In early 2003, President George W. Bush invaded Iraq. He was widely criticized for having a “cowboy mentality” and being too quick to act. In 2011, Libyan rebels have begun an attempt to remove Moammar Gadhaffi from office. Even while they asked for help from the West as their numbers were killed, President Barack Obama did not act. He is being widely criticized for “dithering” and being too slow to act.

PETA congratulates NIV committee and asks for more

The new 2011 edition of the New International Version (NIV) was released this week, and public feedback came from a surprising source. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) congratulated the translation committee for making the new version more gender-inclusive, but asked them to make the next version species-inclusive. “The group is asking translators […]

A call for civility in the Rob Bell discussion

In their haste to make their feelings known on the subject of hell, some things are being said that seem inappropriate when we consider New Testament teaching on how we are to treat our brothers and sisters.

Why morning prayer time matters

For the vast majority of my life, I wasn’t a morning person. I suspect that if I took enough time off, my body would probably still return to its long-time circadian rhythm of a 2 a.m. – 10 a.m. sleep cycle. Like many, I’m simply not a morning person.

My commentary in Yahoo! News

I was invited by Yahoo! News to write a commentary, and I was delighted to do so. The terms of our arrangement were that the article would be exclusive to Yahoo! and their properties, but for those who are interested you can find it at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20110323/pl_ac/8124072_handing_leadership_of_action_in_lybia_to_eu_force_good_for_us

The world isn’t black and white

I’m concerned that we have become so polarized that we’ve lost sight of the fact that nearly everything has nuances. I’ve spoken of grace, and immediately been attacked in strong terms as being soft on sin.  (Anybody remember Jesus and the woman caught in adultery?) I’ve spoken of loving our neighbors, and immediately been attacked […]

Not all news of Islam is bad

There has been a great deal written lately about problems between the Islamic and Christian worlds.  And indeed there has been quite a lot to write about.  But Jesus called us to an attitude of hope, and in the past week there have been a couple of events that I think are positive signs. Abu […]

Religious extremism and the eternal view

There can be little doubt that religious extremism is on the rise around the world and in all religions.  And while atheists seethe when you describe their beliefs as a religion, it is certainly a set of beliefs about spiritual/supernatural things whose adherents use those beliefs to make significant life decisions.  The U.S. 7th Circuit […]