It’s Not That Easy Being Green

Kermit the Frog once said so eloquently, “It’s not that easy being green.” Sometimes you’d like to be something nicer, like red, or yellow or gold or something much more colorful like that.” Sometimes you’d like to stand out, says Kermit, “like flashy sparkles in the water or stars in...


Video: Are God and Santa Claus Neighbors?

Watch President Eaton’s new video on the biblical imagination and God’s “grand, sweeping story.” httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5Z9C1adJqk


Is This the Season to Be Worried?

I am worried. I am worried that people are worried. I am worried that people seem to have lost a sense of optimism. I know that can seem such a sweeping statement, so sweeping as to be inane. Things change, and maybe we are in a downswing of mood, but things will be looking up again soon. You know,...


Video: Where Joy, Mystery, and Beauty Meet

President Eaton braves a Seattle rain in his newest video that explores where joy, mystery, and beauty meet. httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doOUlUeSKJM


Ashton Kutcher’s Got Four Million Followers

A few of my students have given me a bad time for ragging on texting. For the most part respectfully, they have said, “President Eaton, come on now, texting is the rage. The communication is fast, very fast. The connection is direct, immediate. We’re all carrying our iPhones and BlackBerrys,...


Is There Anyone Anymore Who Will Tell Us How to Write Well?

William Strunk? E.B. White? The Elements Of Style? Does anyone remember those names? Does anyone anymore recognize this little book as one of the shaping forces of good writing for the last 50 years? I dug into the library in my study to find my copy of this great little book; I discovered I...


People of Faith and the Presumption of Pluralism

I’ve been delighted by the amount and quality of the responses from so many people to these blog posts. Frankly, I am quite amazed. I come away from these comments realizing that people want to engage. People want to be thoughtful about their lives and about the shape of the world. People want to...


What Does It Mean to Separate Faith and Culture?

When John G. Roberts was nominated in July 2005 to become the Chief Justice of the United States, there was a flurry of deep concern among politicians and in the major media that he was a devout Catholic. Why should this be a concern, we might ask. Judge Roberts and his wife, both of them apparently...


Found at Starbucks: A Latte and a Big Idea

Watch President Eaton’s newest video about his conversation with a Starbucks barista on the topic of text messaging. Are we in danger of losing our ability to read and to write sophisticated text? httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYyx9R3K9ig


Lincoln Spoke for Two Minutes and Changed the World

This last week we did a lot of reading and talking together on campus about the great Abraham Lincoln. Transformational leadership was our topic, and Lincoln was our model. We hosted my longtime friend, Lincoln scholar and biographer Ron White (Ronald C. White, Jr.), as our keynote speaker for the...


Deep Nerves on Health Care

The debate over health care in America seems to have touched some very deep nerves. The struggle is pitched as a great partisan divide between those on the Left, who want to provide more government assistance to those without health insurance and those caught between the cracks of transition; and...


In My Absence

It has been a few weeks since I’ve been able to write a post for this blog. I am sorry. I have missed the conversation and the chance to reflect on things from my study on Saturday mornings. Actually, my Saturday mornings have been full of writing on speeches and such to open the academic year at...


Video: Why Community Matters

Watch President Philip W. Eaton’s newest video describing why the best learning takes place in community. He includes thoughts on Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s classic book, Life Together. httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwlHaaY2QIQ


Our Hour Upon the Stage

It seems like a lot of people are dying these days. I had that thought this morning as Sharon and I watched the funeral mass in Boston for Senator Ted Kennedy. And I found myself thinking about the lives that have stepped off the stage in the last few months and years: Bill Buckley, Ronald Reagan,...


Focusing Again on What Really Matters

I’ve been thinking lately that we just have to focus on what really matters. Right? I feel that about my work right now. I feel that about the world. Life is too short. There is too much good work to be done, too much good life to be shared. The issues in our world are too urgent. We need to clear...


Really Good Food — and Changing the World

Is it possible that cooking good food can change the world? Or that eating such wonderful food could change our lives? Sounds a little preposterous, I know, but I thought about these questions last night. Sharon and I went to see Julie & Julia last night. While I have grown so impatient with...


Summer Days With Nietzsche and Hopkins

I am taking a few days of vacation in August, and I love it. Once we get into a break like this, we suddenly realize how much we need it. I’m sure you know what I mean. But the long days of sunlight, playing catch with my grandsons, Fourth of July parades, burgers on the grill, great tomatoes and...


Living in a World of Colliding Maps

The late, great Jewish novelist Chaim Potok said on my campus some years ago that “we live in a world of colliding maps.” I think he is absolutely right about that, though I don’t always like it. What did he mean by this? In part he meant that each one of us has constructed our own little...


To The Moon And Back

I find myself imagining the hundreds of thousands of scientists, engineers, managers, office personnel, and executives it took to put two men on the moon. That was forty years ago today, July 20, 1969. And then the millions of people around the country who watched in rapt attention that evening —...


Where Does World Change Begin?

I recently attended a fundraising breakfast sponsored by a fine organization in Seattle that is dedicated to bringing the best of medical technology to the health and wellness of poor children across the globe. The organization is called PATH, and as I filled out a pledge card, I thought, what a...


What’s The News Today?

The news moves fast these days. The afternoon of Michael Jackson’s sudden death, a young man on a commuter train spotted a gentleman across the aisle reading a newspaper. The young man looked up from his iPhone in shock and dismay over the death of the king of pop that afternoon and asked the...


Energized by Your Comments

I hope you are engaging with me on some of these ideas in this blog. I launched the blog because I want to carry on a conversation about some of the things that matter to me, things that matter to our world, I hope. And I am thrilled with the response. I have been energized by the number of...


Madoff in Hell

Bernie Madoff stood before the judge today for sentencing and received a 150-year sentence. We were told he would be allowed to doff his jail-issued uniform for the occasion. The judge gave permission for him to put on his cashmere-blended pants one more time, likely the last time he will ever touch...


Leading With Grace — What Really Matters

David Hubbard, longtime president at Fuller Seminary, was a towering figure for me about how to lead courageously, with conviction and clarity, and yet to lead with grace. Shortly before his untimely death, I invited Dave and Max De Pree, another hero of mine, to come to my campus and work with the...


The Encounter: Why We Need Great Teachers

A hugely important person in my life died this week. And I’ve been thinking a lot about what a professor can mean to a student — throughout life. Real education just isn’t going to happen from a computer on the kitchen table, or from massive lecture halls. Real education takes space and time...


The Biblical Imagination and the Economy? Really?

“Nobody knows. Nobody knows. Nobody knows” — this was the answer, from a smart, savvy friend of mine, to the question of where the bottom is to this awful economic freefall that seems to drag us down so painfully. He said he was quoting lyrics from an old song out of his era. Not very...


Where Does Joy Come From?

I was in Jackson, Mississippi recently, and as I sat waiting in a van outside John Perkins’ home, an afternoon rain pelted the windshield steadily. On the plane to Jackson, I had been rereading John’s amazing autobiography, Let Justice Roll Down. I came to visit again this place where a lot of...


So . . . What’s This Blog All About?

I have this intense desire to carry on a conversation about things that matter — and so I decided to launch this blog. I hope these things matter to you as well. “How presumptuous,” that was my first thought about this blog. “Really? So you think you have that much to say that people might...