Pithy Post: Truth in an Age of Politics

During this election season, going to factcheck.org is a necessary but altogether distressing practice. Too often, truth is not nearly as important as repetition and rhetoric is substituted for reason. As discouraging as this is to so many of us nowadays, the reality is that throughout history people in power have used language as a tool to gain and maintain that power. It is in this type of world that Jesus sent his disciples and sends us to speak and live authentically. Read more of this post

Pithy Post: Can We Call People Evil?

It seems like most of us are either too ready to call others evil or too reluctant to say it like it is. Is it good for society for us to quickly label people who are different from us? Is it good for society for us to refrain from ascribing responsibility to people for their actions? And, aside from whether it is good for society, is it true to who we are as human beings? I think the quotes below help us think through these things more clearly. Read more of this post

Introducing “Pithy Posts”

I’m starting a new series of more frequent posts called Pithy Posts. These will be much shorter than my regular posts but hopefully similarly thought-provoking. Quotes, phrases, and short stories are all fair game. Aside from the home page, you can access these more pithy posts under the tab “Pithy Posts” while the more traditional, lengthier ones will be under the tab “Complex Simplicity.”

So instead of the usual smorgasbord of cultural and theological analysis, I intend to provide something like a small delicacy you can savor. I hope they are sources of inspiration, introspection, and insight. But if not, who cares? It’ll only take you 15 seconds to read!

The Hunger Games, Dionysus and Medusa: The False gods of Entertainment and Security

I know, I know…it’s been more than two weeks since my last post. But if you knew that I was traveling in Turkey and Greece for the last fortnight, you might cut me some slack. In fact, my travels have awakened some things formerly dormant in my brain, and I’m hoping that I can generate a few thoughtful posts out of the experience. So consider this the first installment in my debriefing….

By far the most spectacular ancient site I visited during the last 14 days was Ephesus. Read more of this post

New Year’s Resolutions: Needed Resolve or New Law?

I was in a goofy mood. It was 11:45pm on New Year’s Eve and Steph (my wife) was sitting on the couch with me. “Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?” She asked. Then, as I sometimes do while in a goofy, contrarian mood, I responded much too quickly and much too confidently, “I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions.”

Despite the immediate enlarging of Steph’s eyes and the knowledge that I had unwittingly gotten myself into a losing debate, I decided not to back off my off-the-cuff, pseudo-moralistic stance. Hey, my pride was at stake. So I began to give reasons why I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. Read more of this post

Rooting for Underdogs: Why We Wish We Were Rocky Balboa

Eighty percent of people cheer for the underdog. That’s according to studies discussed on an episode of Radiolab I listened to recently, and it sounds like a pretty fair sampling of the percentage of my friends who hate Duke, the Yankees, and the Patriots. This is what makes Rocky Balboa (my late black lab’s namesake) the slow-witted protagonist of a six film series. Whether he’s squaring off against Apollo Creed, Mr. T., or the juiced-up Russian machine, Ivan Drago, we want to see the Italian Stallion raising his golden gloves in victory and shouting Adrian’s name out of the corner of his mouth. We want to see it because the odds are so stacked against him. Read more of this post

The Immaculate Reception and other Christmas miracles

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but I have a blog out on ThinkChristian.net today if you’re interested.

According to Dr. Ali Binazir, the odds that you exist are  102,685,000. To put it in perspective, the number of atoms in the known universe are 1080. Check out my blog on ThinkChristian.net on the miracle of….you.

Who Occupies Your Heart?

On Friday, as I walked onto UC Berkeley’s campus and toward the nocturnally abandoned remnants of the Occupy Berkeley cardboard protests, the seriousness of the movement struck me for the first time. Now, I am not saying that I agree with all the rhetoric, the hype, the tactics being used, or even the philosophy underlying Occupy Wall Street (if there is one such philosophy). What I am saying is that there is a reason it has become a movement: it resonates with something beautiful in the souls of human beings.

As I wade into the deep and turbulent waters of commenting on the Occupy movement, I am painfully aware of something: Like most contemporary issues in my beloved country, this one divides people. Read more of this post

“In Time” on Eternity: Immortality and Happiness in Theaters near You

In Andrew Niccols’ recently released film In Time all humans are genetically engineered to stop aging at 25. Sounds great right? The only problem is you are programmed to die after one more year, unless you can replenish your time.

Time is money…literally. When Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) collects his paycheck, Read more of this post

“You Complete Me”: On Being Fulfilled (or not) by Your Work

When it comes to careers and today’s job market, Jerry Maguire’s speech to his nearly lost love Dorothy seems to apply, “We live in a cynical world…a cynical world. And we work in a business of tough competitors.” But, like Jerry, we don’t want to end the speech there. We want to continue our conversation with our career by saying Jerry’s famous heart-rending-now-cliche line from the bottom of our hearts, “I love you. You complete me.”

I want to spend my life doing something truly fulfilling. I’m guessing you do too. Read more of this post