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 visitors to the site and the thoughtfulness of your comments. Through the blog and emails I’ve received, I’ve heard from folks all over the country and as far as China, India, Indonesia, and New Zealand. That’s very cool.

In response to some of this, I thought I might clarify the post I wrote on Monday about Bernie Madoff. Some found me less than grace-filled in my comments. I want you to know my theology is about as redemptive as it gets. I try to conduct my life and my leadership with a posture of grace, missing the mark at times, to be sure, but nevertheless trying.

And so when I spent time reflecting on Bernie Madoff in Dante’s hell, my motivation was to reflect on Dante’s view that betrayal is the worst violation of God’s plan for human flourishing. And I think he is right on that. What Madoff did was chilling. The depths of Dante’s hell are frozen in ice. I wanted to reflect on what happens when our hearts are frozen.

My point was not to assign Bernie Madoff to hell. That’s certainly not my job. I pray for redemption. But our hearts do become frozen at times. That’s not in keeping with a gospel of joy and love and grace. That’s what Dante thought. That’s what I think.

By the way, when the judge issued his 150 year sentence for the crimes of Mr. Madoff, he used the word evil to characterize his failures. The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial reflecting on how we never use that word anymore. It’s too judgmental for our time. Dante knew there were consequences for evil action. And I agree. Betrayal tears apart the human community. It is hugely damaging. It is chilling.

So, keep your comments coming. I look forward to hearing from you.