We Live With Yearning

The Psalms never cease to surprise. You think the poem is giving it to you straight, and then it takes a turn, a twist in the road. Don’t go to the Psalms for Hallmark sentiment. We sometimes like to quote bits and pieces of the Psalms to suggest a kind of fantasy perfection. But that’s not the...


Joy In A Child's Laughter

I’ve been thinking a lot about joy. It’s kind of hard to find these days. Where does joy come from? What is it? Can we make joy happen, or does it just come to us, like grace. If it’s like grace, can we make ourselves more open to receive it? Whatever the answers, they’re worth asking in...


It's Still About Engaging The Culture

In 1996 I began work as the President of Seattle Pacific University. Like any new leader, I set out to learn more what this unique university was all about. I dug into some of the history, trying to locate its DNA. I talked to hundreds of faculty and staff, trustees and students, over coffee and...


Traveling Blessings

I have been reading a lot of Celtic poetry lately. Most of this poetry is ancient, coming out of the deep medieval centuries when Christianity was weaving itself into local ways of living. The Celtic people were known as travelers, movers, in seasonal migration, moving on from dangerous geopolitical...


The Beauty Of Summer

  Claude Monet  I love summer. As I’ve been marveling on my little patio the almost-overpowering jasmine, the strikingly bright bougainvillea, the gently fragrant gardenias, the all-of-a-sudden reddening tomatoes—oh how exuberant, how explosive, what fullness, what beauty. On my little...


Can Our Nation Ever Rejoice Again?

I’ve been wondering lately whether it might ever be possible again for our nation to rejoice. Yes, you heard that right, rejoice. I know some folks will recoil with revulsion. This smacks of a patriotism that denies our enormous faults and shortcomings. We need deep, ongoing contrition, not...


Just Keep Watching

As we plug into the news every morning, we are often overwhelmed with how much sorrow there is in our world. Sorrow is the word Paul Tillich uses as the opposite of joy. I’ve been thinking a lot about joy, but as we look around, it’s fair to ask where is the joy? And then there is this: Are we...


Speaking With Grace

In my last post I talked about how Michael Gerson characterizes the state of our public discourse today: “nasty, shallow, personal, vile, vindictive, graceless, classless, bullying, ugly, crass and simplistic. . . .” It all spells “the triumph of the boors.” This is not the talk of a great...


Finding Our Better Selves

I woke up yesterday at 2 AM and found myself churning over the current climate of discourse in our country. I sunk into a place of sadness, sorrow, and shame. It is not just that our leaders are failing us in this regard. No, we are all complicit at letting this vileness seep into our culture and...


It's Time To Talk About Frogs

It’s time to talk about frogs. It’s time to think about, in Christian Wiman’s words, why a “moment of joy,” seeing a bunch of frogs, “can blast you right out of the life to which it makes you all the more lovingly and tenaciously attached. . . .” It’s time to think “how in the...


We are Easter people now!

“Where do we go from here,” we ask ourselves on this Monday morning after Easter. It’s as if we took off smudged glasses and wiped them crystal clean, for a moment. “I have seen the Lord,” says Mary Magdalene, before she dashed off to tell the world. Yes, we see! Yes, indeed, we have seen...


A Serious House For A Serious Earth

I’ve been thinking a lot about church. What is church? What is the main purpose of church? Why do we continue to go to church in this age of skepticism and unbelief? And then there is this troubling question: Is the church dying, as statistics seem to indicate, truly fading, declining in...


My New Book Is Out!

Hooray, my new book is finally out! My fabulous publisher Wipf & Stock (Cascade Books) sent me the first copies of the book last week. Yes, this project has now come to fruition. I am delighted to let my blog readers know. What I write may be the theme of my life, as many of you know. I seem...


Sing With The Shepherds

I woke up on Christmas Eve morning this year with child-like eagerness. After all the waiting through Advent, now it was time to enter, once again, into the mystery of the manger in Bethlehem. There we find the baby cradled in his mother’s arms. There too the animals chewing on the straw. And...


The Chance To Kneel

I’ve been thinking about that manger Christians revere at Christmas time. It is a remarkable scene, full of tenderness of a newborn baby, full of the harshness of a winter night, the smell of straw, blankets to cover the child and mother, the odd assortment of animals. And I ponder how this lowly,...


What's Funny?

It’s cool to be funny these days. We love to watch the late-night-comedian commentators shredding their enemies with laughter. Twitter is full of poking fun at people, always, of course, from a safe distance. We love the chuckles we get from exposing inconsistencies, misstatements, flubs,...


When Lightning Struck In Luther's Study

I’ve been trying to zero in on the heart of the Reformation. Good luck, I hear you saying. This is what so many capable writers are doing, books and articles all over the place, especially over the last couple of years leading up to the 500th Anniversary. How can you imagine getting your head...


It Is Good To Be Here

In the ancient teachings of contemplative prayer, it is common practice to enter into a time of prayer by repeating a word, phrase, or line. As we calm down our breathing into a deeper natural rhythm, we say something like “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.” This oft-used line is...


It's High Time To Rise

I began again this morning a new cycle through the Psalms. This has been my practice now for five or six years. I read one or two Psalms a day. When I come to the end of the whole book, I start over. This is an ancient practice, of course, likely what Jesus did, surely the pattern for the Apostle...


Waiting On God's Favor

Most of the time we think we are in control of our lives, perhaps especially when we are younger. When people or circumstances seem to threaten our control, we are ready to fight back. We’re strong, we tell ourselves. We do things so people will not see our weaknesses or know that we are afraid....


The Lazy Days Of Summer--And God

The New York Times last Sunday asked two contemporary American poets to reflect on the long days of summer. The poems were accompanied with photographs inspired by the poems. What a lovely idea, I thought. I was attracted to a poem by Ada Limón called “What It Looks Like to Us and the Words We...


My Prayer Corner

I come to my prayer corner early every morning. I sink down into my prayer chair. I always come with some measure of restlessness, some yearning of soul. If I did not come with a needy soul, I suspect I would not return very often. I desperately need this prayer. To pray one must take measure of the...


The Train Needs A New Track

I woke up one morning a week or so ago with Twitter going crazy over some very nasty news out of Evergreen College in Washington State. The by-then-gone-viral video featured my friend George Bridges, President of Evergreen, under vicious attack by a swarm of angry students. You could hear things...


St. Benedict Revisited

I feel compelled to return to the hot topic of the “Benedict option.” I wrote about this earlier just as Rod Dreher’s new book, The Benedict Option: A Strategy For Christians In A Post-Christian Nation, burst onto the scene. This is the book, you may recall, that David Brooks called “already...


The Season For Memory

I was struck the other evening with a sharp, painful stab of nostalgia. I didn’t see it coming. I was lying in bed catching up on the day’s Twitter chatter, when suddenly I caught a theme, reports from so many friends across the country announcing such joy on their campuses. Yes, I remembered,...


Unhooked From Politics

I’m trying to depoliticize, unhook, maybe that’s a better word, from the incessant political chatter of our day. I’ve had it. I’m sick of it. I’m trying to shake the illusion that everything must be seen in terms of what is political. It doesn’t matter which side of the political...


Good Friday—So Utterly Alone

Jesus was taken away, and went out, carrying the cross himself, to the place called The Skull (in Hebrew, ‘Golgotha’); there they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in between. . . . After this, Jesus, aware that all had now come to its appointed end, said in...


The Builder And The Contemplative

In his magnificent book The Love of Learning and The Desire for God: A Study of Monastic Culture, Jean Leclercq calls St. Gregory the Great “a great pope, a great man of action.” Sometimes overlooked, though, he was also “a great contemplative, a great doctor of prayer.” I want to suggest...


A Nation Of "No"?

I woke up Saturday morning pondering whether we had become “a nation of no.” First we designated our polarized political parties as “parties of no”—they’ve each had their stint in that driver’s seat. After a flurry of intense activity over the future of health care, we came down to...


Stepping Into Silence

I am thinking these days I simply can’t control the world. “Duh,” you might say, “you’re just getting that figured out?” Well, yes, maybe, but I am convinced we all live with the illusion that we are in control. Or we think we need to be. We’ve got to make those we love into something...


Reclaiming Christian Community?

Big publishing news going on today. A long-awaited and much-anticipated book—Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option: A Strategy For Christians In A Post-Christian Nation—burst on the scene today. My preordered copy arrived from Amazon just now. This book calls on Christians, struggling to live as...


Crowding Around The Table

François Mauriac begins one of the chapters in his intriguing 1962 book What I Believe with a haunting scene of a Russian boy, now grown older, visiting the church of his childhood. “At times I try to imagine,” Mauriac begins, what goes through the mind of a young Russian boy, if he remembers...


Like A Drop Of Water

I was thinking the other day how each human being is unique. So is each animal, of course, each leaf, each drop of water. There is a lot of sameness among people too, but when we focus on sameness, we tend to get lost in abstraction, something like the sea of humanity. I’ve been choosing these...


All Is Well . . . Things Are Okay

In my ongoing efforts to step aside from the madness in which we seem engulfed, I came across an incredible article by the novelist Mark Helprin in the most recent issue of First Things (read more). Helprin begins, speaking first as a novelist, by noting that great writers always find both beauty...


Deep Calls To Deep

I don’t think my mind is big enough, broad or bright enough, to be an effective apologist for the Christian faith. I turn often to the great apologists of the centuries, to Augustine, for example, to the best of C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, most recently to N. T. Wright, Tim Keller, and so many...


Living In A Bubble—Who Me?

Apparently we live in a world of alternative truths. We float around in our individualized bubbles, barely bumping into one another. We read and watch things that reinforce our own strongly-held beliefs. We spend time gathering various facts to reinforce our corner on the truth. While it’s almost...


The Dawn Of A New Day

Is it ever possible to be satisfied, to be fully self-accepting, to be content? Don’t we carry around some notion of perfection rumbling in our heads—to which we never quite measure up? Always another thing to do before we can rest, another rung to climb before we are accepted. Why are we such...


A Cup Of Coffee And The Psalms

As I begin this new year, I am trying to reshape my posture toward our tumultuous, chaotic, divided world. How can I possibly be more positive, more forgiving, more joyful, more content? With renewed energy, I have turned for help to my years-long practice of reading from the Psalms every morning. A...


Are We Ready For Something New?

At this time of year, I have always been an inveterate goal setter. I love the feeling of leaving the year behind, the whole bundle of joys and hardships, successes and failures, good memories and things you’d like to forget. It feels good to turn the page to the next chapter. It feels clean....


Putting The Ego Back In Its Cage

Our world is saturated with the human ego these days. We are swamped. It can feel hard to breathe at times. The constant display of ego makes us feel cheap, degraded, diminished. After the circus of purported public discourse—the presidential debates, for example—we wince. It’s more about the...


Waiting For Uplift

The bad news is relentless these days. I find myself skipping through the papers, turning off the news, avoiding Twitter. What more do I need to know about the last insult hurled across the public landscape? What more do I need to know about another distortion of the truth, another betrayed loyalty,...


Time For Some Good News

Maybe it’s time for some good news. On the morning when 100 million of us are likely to watch the presidential debates tonight—in this most bizarre of political seasons, in this most fractured nation of ours—here’s the kind of good news we long to hear. Yesterday, one humble, gracious...


Nowhere To Go

Vincent Van Gogh painted his remarkable Wheatfields With Crows in the summer of 1890. This was his last painting before his untimely death in July of that year. At the time of the painting, life seemed to spiral further downward for him. He felt abandoned by his beloved brother Theo. He felt...


Lifting The Burden Of Shame

We live in an age of shame. We are instructed endlessly to feel ashamed of almost everything. We are constantly afraid of a slip in how we say things–someone is sure to pounce. Those of us who are doomed to be male are supposed to be ashamed, even though we acknowledge the historical...


Why Write A Blog?

Why write a blog? There must be a zillion of them out there. So many are motivated by some measure of self-indulgence, I suppose, some hankering toward self-promotion. That there are so many, coming from all different angles, surely speaks to the splintering of our society. We each tend to read what...


A Fresh Breeze From Charleston

I spent last weekend longing for some fresh summer breezes. But really my thoughts turned again and again to the parched landscape of our world. And I thought, yes, we need a cool breeze to blow through the land bringing some hint of new beginnings. Brutal, unspeakably hateful shootings in...


Safety On Our Campuses

I keep circling around an incredible column by Peggy Noonan a few weeks ago in the Wall Street Journal. (See Noonan’s Article). The issues are troubling; the column is blistering. Here is how she begins: I was taken aback by a piece . . . in the Spectator, the student newspaper of Columbia...


Discovering Our Purpose

New York Times columnist David Brooks has been talking a lot (in speeches, columns, and his marvelous new book The Road To Character) about the formation of character. He has asked his readers to talk on his book website about their purpose in life and to reflect on where they may have first begun...


Signals From The Edge

Are you ever suddenly surprised that there is something instead of nothing? Or that there is everything? Or anything at all? These things often strike me with an overwhelming sense of wonder. We are often just amazed over the smallest of ordinary experiences? Perhaps something from beyond the edge...


Magic, Mystery, And Illusion

Sharon and I went to see Woody Allen’s delightful movie last night called “Magic in the Moonlight.” I highly recommend the movie, just perfect for a late summer evening. Coincidentally the movie is a thoughtful reflection on mystery, the very theme I’ve been exploring in these columns...


And What About Mystery?

I want to return to that amazing article I quoted from a few days ago by Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker. I was characterizing Gopnik as one of the new-atheists of our day, secularist to the core, philosophically materialist in his assumptions, condescending in tone toward believers. Believers form a...


The Possibility Of Belief: Do The Nays Have It?

I am one who is rarely dispassionate about the secularization of our culture. I have been writing and speaking for some time now about what seems to be an accurate conclusion: The centuries-in-the-making secularization project is now complete. The secularists won. Christians have lost the culture....


Americans Are Exhausted

Lots of pictures this morning of our valiant U. S. soccer players, sprawled out over the field in sheer exhaustion, defeated once again on the world stage of World Cup competition. We are not ready for the big time, we are told, and that seems true. But think of it this way. This scrappy bunch of...


A Radiant People At SPU

I write just several days after inexplicable, unexpected violence struck at the heart of my beloved Seattle Pacific University. This is a community I love, full of people I love, full of students who still feel like “my” students. I felt such protectiveness for these precious young lives. I...


Studies Show. . . .

We are a society of studies. We’ve got studies for everything. A study out of Harvard Medical School, for example, tells us the American economy loses $63 billion a year because we don’t get enough sleep. Another study showed recently that people standing alone on the steps of the Metropolitan...


What’s All This Talk About Enemies?

I don’t walk around thinking about enemies. That’s not a word that slips easily off my tongue. To think about enemies implies that people are out to get me, hurt me, discredit my reputation, betray me, deceive me, treat me unfairly. Are there really people out there wanting to do those things? I...


The Front Edge Of Character Formation

At the annual conference for presidents of the Council Of Independent Colleges, David Brooks delivered what I regard as a brilliant speech on higher education. Brooks launches into all the woes of higher education these days—rising costs, perception of declining value, politically correct agendas,...


Waking Up In Radical Amazement

David Brooks has written an extraordinary reflection about the difficulty of religious belief up against the sheer hostility of the secular age in which we are now caught . This topic seems to intrigue Brooks along the way, though we are never quite sure where his deeper sympathies of faith lie. We...


Back Again

Yikes, some time has passed since I wrote my last blog post. Perhaps as we begin the new year, I should explain this span of silence. I decided to impose a momentary pause on my blog. The reason? My site was hacked into. The connection? I wrote an op-ed for The Seattle Times that some folks clearly...


Broken Windows In Our City

I thought I would share for my blog readers an Op-Ed I wrote for this morning’s Seattle Times. It seems to have created quite a stir, hopefully for the good. Here is the link: [button color=”#COLOR_CODE” background=”#COLOR_CODE” size=”medium”...


Becoming Radiant People

Over last weekend I had the privilege of preaching at the historic Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, California. This church is now guided by the terrific leadership and great preaching of my dear friend Greg Waybright. I talked about becoming radiant people. I think these wonderful folks at Lake...


Sing Us A Song Of Joy

I am delighted to be preaching at all services this weekend, October 12-13, 2013, at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena. This important, historic church is now under the strong leadership of my dear friend Greg Waybright. What a vibrant place it is. I want to invite friends and SPU alums in the area to...


On Making The Brain Nice

Some of my best friends are brain scientists. Well, actually, there is only one, my dear friend John Medina, among the brightest, most affable, generous people I know. I have learned more about the brain from John than I deserve to know, given my bent of curiosity toward culture, text, literature,...


I Have No Idea What’s Going On

“I have no idea what’s going on”—that’s the way Henry Allen begins a brilliant, if discouraging, article recently in the WSJ (8/1/2013). I think he’s on to something, and his point is not generational. “I like to think,” he says, “I was especially good on the feeling-tone of...


We Are All Just A Little Crazy

We are all just a little crazy. Did you ever stop and think about that? We like to think our quirks are shared by everyone, but they aren’t necessarily. We are profoundly unique. That’s the positive way of looking at this. We are all just on the edge of normal, and that’s mostly good. We also...


Good Leadership And The A-Rod Factor

There’s something fundamental going on with the Alex Rodriquez fiasco. It was the same thing going on when King (LeBron) James anointed himself to play with Miami. There is something unbecoming when the ego gets oversized, overcharged, beyond respectability, beyond responsibility. It makes us a...


No Options When It Comes To Good Leadership

When I cut my teeth as a young leader, I tried, like most leaders, to sort out the essentials for good leadership. I was green and young and eager to do the best job I could for my university. Even in the heat of carrying out my duties, I read and studied and watched the models I came to admire....


Surprise At The McDonald’s In Nogales

N. T. Wright says that we are often startled by the “long-range signposts ” cropping out in our lives, those signals of “a reality which lies deeper in God’s dark purposes than we normally imagine.” We are often surprised by the fleeting, though certain glimpse of this “reality that lies...


John Lennon Got Some Things Wrong, Beautifully

On a beautiful, warm evening last week, Sharon and I attended an outdoor concert  performed by the California Philharmonic Orchestra. As the sun settled down over the San Gabriel Mountains in the background, we sat with friends and family, nibbling away at our better-than-picnic dinner, and...


What Does It Mean To Be Struck By Grace?

I feel like I was struck by grace this past week. Two reflections, by two writers, hit me at just the right, though unexpected, moment. Both are about how God visits us with grace from time to time, leaving us with little to say, but grateful. We come away feeling reclaimed, lifted up, pulled out of...


The Night My Dad Died

I have been writing a poem about the night my dad died. It was a very special night for me, a moment that has shaped my going forward, a moment so powerfully about resurrection I have never been the same. I thought it might be appropriate to send this out over the blog waves on this Dad’s Day...


The Little Way To A Good Life

I have just finished reading a remarkable book called The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life. The author is Rod Dreher, dubbed by David Brooks as “one of the country’s most interesting bloggers.” NY Times columnist Ross Douthat calls this...


The World Needs Our Universities

Our universities in America are the envy of the world. There are a lot of nations making every effort to catch up, China perhaps chief among them, but we remain at the top for access, research, creativity, and productivity. Actually affordability, believe it or not, ranks high too, given our...


On The Dangers Of Forgetting

I want to offer up a wonderful poem by the late contemporary Polish-American poet. I am fully aware there is risk in presenting such a poem because most people don’t read contemporary poetry these days. I get that. I suppose we have all been conditioned to think it is too difficult, way too...


What Should We Be Worrying About?

I continue to worry about the persistent devaluing of language. The pressures of speed in the production and consumption of writing does not bode well for our future. Add to that the powerful pressures from a visually oriented society, and we have a mixture of something not good for our lives or our...


Following Twitter

Here today, gone tomorrow. Or rather, here for the moment, gone in an instant. That’s the reality we experience with Twitter. Twitter is an amazing phenomenon. For those of you who do not know, we all sign up to put out these posts, all limited to 140 characters (not words!). And then you...


On Loneliness And Love

Edward Hopper is the master painter of loneliness, capturing life in the city in the early part of the twentieth century. This is the historical moment when the culture began dramatically to shift in new directions: Young women were on their own in the city for the first time; Families began to...


What Is Life?

What is life? Most of the time we are too busy even to ask the question, but when something happens, the death of someone we love, or perhaps the eruption of violence in our streets, well, the question inevitably crops up. Interestingly, we even ask the question when we encounter something...


Shakespeare And The Dangerous Power Of Ego

April 23rd is said to be Shakespeare’s birthday. Not sure when you last touched down in Shakespeare’s amazing world of exquisite language, intriguing plots, and penetrating insight into the human condition, but Shakespeare is surely one of the towering figures in all of literature. I happen to...


Boston And The Language Of Evil

Somehow on April 15, 2013 those horrific images of carnage at the Boston Marathon threw our world off balance. Our ship began to list again. As we witnessed legs blown from bodies, bloody faces marked with fear, people holding their heads from the concussive blows, a young man ripping off his shirt...


Will Someone Please Answer The Phone?

 Have you read recently one of those warning sheets from the pharmacy on the terrible things that will happen to you if you take the pill you just bought? They are exceedingly grim, as you know. Who’s dreaming up this language, this strategy of communication? You harbor some lurking doubt whether...


A Poem For Endings And New Beginnings

Here is a poem I have written recently. To be sure it says something about where I am in life, this amazing stage of new beginnings, the opening of a new chapter, a season of contentment, one without the relentless responsibilities and burdens of formal work. I am talking here about an end I can...


Thinking Again About Power

The new Pope is giving all kinds of signals that humility is the highest measure of great leadership. The seductions in other directions must be enormous: the sudden rush of standing on the world stage; the glitter of the ancient garb; the adoration of the faithful. Can you imagine the exhilaration...


Yearning For Christian Renewal

I am watching the developments within the Catholic Church with intense interest these days. While I am decidedly Protestant—by upbringing, church attendance, reading through the years, understanding of church history—I believe Christians everywhere should be pulling for the Catholic Church to be...


Simple As Beautiful

We need some answers these days. We need answers to some of our lingering, seemingly intractable problems that surround us. We need a vision out of the morass. We need to simplify some of the complexity in which we have entangled ourselves. Where do answers come from these days? So much of what we...


The Downton World: Order And Respect

Sharon and I are watching the first year’s series of Downton Abbey over Netflix. What a treat. We missed the whole first two years because of our crazy schedule, on the road, out for the evening, never at home at the right time. We are just about finished with year one. What pleasure it has been....


Rome And The Limits Of Taxation

Taxes are in the news these days. Throughout the presidential election, and subsequently during the fiscal-cliff debate, we held a grand national debate on taxation. Should we tax more? Or not? Is taxing damaging to our economy, or not? Will new taxes actually increase revenue and reduce our...


Be Kind, Be Good

I am writing a new book I am tentatively calling A Radiant People: The Christian Path Toward A Better World. The book is framed in part by that marvelous passage from Jeremiah imagining that we “shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord.” Radiant people, it seems to me, have discovered the...


Why Culture? What Is Culture?

I am constantly saying that an understanding of culture is critical to understanding our world. This has always been the case, and remains true today, though with the unraveling of culture, we are left to ponder where the center has gone. The following quotation speaks beautifully to this dramatic...


A Year Without Politics?

Is it possible we might have a year without obsessive attention to politics? Is it possible that we might pause for a year and engage in things more consequential? Is it possible that we might push down into the roots of our troubles instead of assuming always that our political leaders have the...


Thinking About The Year Ahead

I’m not very optimistic about the year out ahead. That’s a hard statement for me to make. I always tend to be the optimistic one in the bunch. But there is some sort of malaise that has settled down on our planet, on our country, on our various communities. I keep looking for the right vision...


A New Thing Is On Its Way

I trust you are off to a wonderful new beginning of 2013. As we look around our world, it is abundantly clear we have a lot of work to do. Things are a mess, aren’t they? We need to do a lot of thinking about how best to move forward. We need to roll up our sleeves to get the job done. I...


Messiah In The Mall

With two billion other Christians around the globe, I enter this season of preparation, a season of waiting and anticipation. This is Advent, the time when the Christ-child comes once again. When we say Jesus is Lord, we mean a new king has arrived. He has come, already, even now, on earth as it is...


Higher Education At A Crossroads

The President of MIT, Rafael Reif, said recently in the Wall Street Journal, that because of the “upheaval today coming from the technological change posed by online education,” we find  “higher education . . . at a crossroads not seen since the introduction of the printing press.” That is...


Christian Families And The Christian University

I received comments on my last post on the “Christian university by the numbers” that leads me to believe I may not have been fully clear. My point was not that Seattle Pacific is failing to attract its share of students and needs to shift strategies. This is certainly not the case. SPU clearly...


The Christian University—By The Numbers

Last spring, the presidents of the thirteen institutions in the Christian College Consortium were gathered at our annual meetings in Palm Desert. We were talking (enthusiastically) about the future of Christian higher education, as such Presidents tend to do, carrying on about the incredible value...


An Irish Catholic Brawl?

My mother told me never to call someone a liar. In our otherwise energetically verbal family, calling someone a liar was crossing a bright line. “Don’t go there, ever,” my mother would say. To call someone a liar was to make a statement about person, about character, about motives, and not...


Up For Grabs

I feel sorry for those replacement refs. Wanting to be a replacement ref would be like me wanting to be the CEO of Boeing or Microsoft for a few weeks. This is cool, I might say for a time. The extra pay is helpful. The taste of real power is exhilarating.  But then suddenly, in the heat of a major...


Why Ships Sink

David Brooks’ column today ends up being about the Chicago teachers’ strike. But what interests me most is his opening overview of the two tracks of our modern economy. Here is what he says: Modern nations have two economies, which exist side by side. Economy I is the tradable sector. This...


Where Have All The Men Gone?

For years I’ve sat through anguished discussions about why more women than men are going to college. A lot more in fact. In most colleges and universities these days the numbers are at 60% women, sometimes creeping even higher. We used to think this was a phenomenon of the Christian campus,...