Hope or Despair? Responding to Suffering

Hope or Despair? Responding to Suffering

It may seem like an odd time of year to talk about suffering. We’ve just celebrated Christ’s resurrection, the wildflowers are blooming along our Texas freeways, and the happy days of spring and summer are stretching out before us. You can see the excited anticipation...

Hope: When a Heart Looks Forward

Hope: When a Heart Looks Forward

Followers of Christ are a people looking forward to a coming day of salvation. We commonly think of salvation as an accomplished act of God brought about by the things that happened in connection with Jesus, particularly his death and resurrection. References to these...

When a Story Isn’t Finished

When a Story Isn’t Finished

Do you remember the legend of the Pied Piper? It’s a story that emotionally captivated me as a youngster. I was attracted to many stories of myth and magic, but it was this story that I longed to see finished. It is the story of the lost children of Hameln town. The...

How does a college president become a young adult fantasy author?

How does a college president become a young adult fantasy author?

Many people have asked me how a university president with more than 30 years in higher education ended up writing a young adult fantasy series. It’s a good question, and one I enjoy answering. I’m drawn to the writing of middle grade/young adult fantasy books, not...

How should we approach this school year?

How should we approach this school year?

“We walk by faith not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7) is a Christian maxim that is more and more top of mind these days. At the very least, the saying means we don’t know or understand all that’s going on right now in our current circumstances, especially circumstances which...

Lament and Worship in a Pandemic

Lament and Worship in a Pandemic

I was recently asked to comment on the appropriateness of lamenting as a Christian, given the stress people are under because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In short, lament is a very appropriate response to the cruel losses and hardships of these days. The Bible not only...

How God’s Justice is a Painful Mercy

How God’s Justice is a Painful Mercy

The judgment of God is a controversial topic, controversial mostly because it appears harsh, even unfair, and so, unworthy of the picture of God we carry in our minds. The inconsistency between our picture of a loving and merciful God and what we learn from Scripture...

Do we understand true consequences?

Do we understand true consequences?

Every teacher or coach knows that giving feedback to a student is vital to the learning experience. We need to know how we’re doing. Feedback gives us information and the sooner we get the feedback the better. There’s an analogous set of truths here in the world of...

A Call for Moral Courage

A Call for Moral Courage

I've been writing young adult fiction for a number of years, and because of it I've been thinking about the flaws, failures, and virtues of the characters in the novels. I have realized in a fresh way that one of the traditional attributes my characters have to give...