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Real God-Talk

Real God-Talk

My clerical collar, black shirt, and black suit were drawing discrete glances. I had slipped away from the church office to get some cold medicine at a nearby drug store. The checkout line turned out to be unexpectedly long. A man standing in front of me looked over...
All They’re Going to Get Is You

All They’re Going to Get Is You

Don Armentrout stood tall enough to ride the big rollercoasters at Disney World and Six Flags. His balding head formed a kind of natural tonsure, and he peered through eyewear that resembled twin magnifying glasses. When I was a seminarian at Sewanee, Don delivered...
We Are All Hurt People

We Are All Hurt People

The past is more than water under the bridge. It lingers with us as a sort of spirit, a guiding force. Some spirits nurture us and sustain us. That’s how my mother and my grandmother live on with me to this day. Their kindness and courage and hope offer reliable...
When Life Gets Murky

When Life Gets Murky

This is the fifth installment of The Best Of Series (originally published Nov. 22, 2019) Each week a few devout atheists respond to my essays. Mostly on social media rather than on the blog or via email. Some of them want to engage in a genuine way. Others are snarky...
Giving Love Away

Giving Love Away

This is the fourth installment in the Best Of Series (originally published January 5, 2018) It’s funny, the sorts of things that have made me feel loved. When I mine my memory, no grand gestures or extravagant expressions of affection come to the surface. Instead, I...