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Rule of Law and U.S. Incarceration Rates

Here are a few things I learned today: The United States has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. (With the exception of Seychelles, whose 780something prisoners in a country roughly the size of Bend, Oregon, gives it top billing.) Our nearly 700 prisoners per 100,000 people is five and a half […]

Receiving Justice

Power. Too often, power is the enemy of justice. “Justice” is the cry of those who cannot make their own. Power calls itself justice. It makes a thriving land a desert and calls it peace. Power knows how to be rid of a nuisance. It knows how to excommunicate. It knows how to execute. But […]

What Crime Is This?

The shooting of Trayvon Martin continues to capture national interest. At least, the minorities I know are fully engaged and interested. Most folks like me (including me), not so much. I want to tread carefully here. In America, we treat people as innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. I was in Durham, […]

World Water Day

It’s world water day. If you can go over to the tap, turn a knob, and get safe, drinkable water, be thankful! Safe drinking water is a perennial, pervasive public health issue around the world. My friends at Do Good Lab are trying to raise a few hundred dollars today to be distributed to water-focused […]

Safe? Politic? Popular?

This quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. is my favorite of the many that have been floating around the interwebs today: On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question “Is […]

Eschatology is Everything

Eschatology. “The study of the end.” Or, “What we believe about The End.” In Christian circles, eschatology is drawn to the fore when people are predicting that the world will end on a particular date. Or when we are trying to convince someone to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior before it’s too late. […]

Evil and Love

One of the perpetual challenges that modern, western theologians and Bible readers face is the way that scripture assumes a world where not only injustice but true evil is active. We probably wrestle with the wrong issues, for example, when talking about justification, because we don’t experience the need to be vindicated by God in […]

Forgiveness and Resurrection

Yesterday I did a little co-conspiring with Mark Scandrette and the guys from ikon here in San Francisco. We recorded a podcast about forgiveness (stay tuned for download details). The conversation generated a number of thoughts and questions, not all of them worked out in our short time recording. Perhaps one of the most important […]

Prayers of Privilege

One of my pet-peeves is the sort of piety that strives to remove our worship of and prayers to God from our everyday life. The “prayer Olympics” that many practice sometimes makes it seem as though the greatest height to which we can attain is when we praise God “just for who you are,” “for […]

Sure Deliverance

I’m not sure why, but the kids and I keep reading the Psalms. I know, it sounds like a really great idea. But in the words of a friend who attempted the same and ultimately was punished by God for it with a PhD in Old Testament, “There’s some really strange stuff in there.” Ok, […]