Sermons should be free

Sermons should be free

The ongoing flap over Houston’s mayor subpoenaing sermons from five pastors who were instrumental in promoting opposition to the city’s new anti-discrimination ordinance has raised questions as well as eyebrows, not to mention gasps of disbelief. The flap...
A walking cliché

A walking cliché

There’s nothing original about saying that life is a journey, not a destination. A quote to that effect is often attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, but at least one “Quote Investigator” has been unable to find it in Emerson’s writings. The...
Wrong way?

Wrong way?

Election season is approaching that frenzied time when debates get hot, when accusations fly, and truth is vastly less important than rhetoric. One can hardly watch TV without a spate of gag-inducing campaign commercials, and then there are the signs that populate the...
Bigger than words

Bigger than words

I could be called a word man, I suppose — whether writing, reading, editing, teaching, or preaching, I’m dealing with words. And I like words. Love them, and the way they can be so expressive or descriptive or evocative. But sometimes words fail. How can...
There’s a story there …

There’s a story there …

Raleigh’s “Wide Open Bluegrass Festival,” a two-day celebration built around the International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual shindig, is a pot full of stories waiting to happen. Every bluegrass song tells a story, whether it’s a...
The challenge of gospel hospitality

The challenge of gospel hospitality

Does the world see Christianity as a friendly and hospitable faith? We’d like to think so, but the truth is that many people perceive Christians primarily as judgmental folk who are focused on the afterlife and care little about others’ present needs. That’s a problem...