The holy sacrament of the daily grind

In his first letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul directs us to work with our hands. And his own life provides an example, stitching tents as a common tradesman. We call it making a living for a reason. We depend upon our work for our life—mostly because of the money we earn, but also because of the character we develop, relationships we build, and lessons we learn. Work is a holy…

No, growing up religious won’t make you a selfish jerk

Last year the journal Current Biology published a study claiming religion makes kids stingy. While parents in religious homes said their children were angels, researchers decided the opposite was true. The study looked at more than a thousand children from several different countries. Most were either Muslim, Christian, or nonreligious. The kids were presented thirty stickers and allowed to choose ten for themselves. The question was how many they would share from…

Coming clean on cops, race, and crime

Most people wouldn’t guess this, but I once considered becoming a cop. I took several criminal justice courses in college and received my level-3 reserve officer certificate in California after basic arrest and firearms training. Many of my friends took a similar path and are police officers today. I ultimately decided against it. I would consider myself socially conservative, but I’m morally opposed to America’s war on drugs and couldn’t see myself…

The faith of the revolutionary generation—and our own

It might sound like a stretch, but you can learn a lot about contemporary faith and politics from colonial needlework. Leading up to the war with Britain, American colonists struggled to make sense of unfolding events. Escalating encroachments were resisted by the colonists, whose sometimes-violent actions provoked further crackdowns. The cycle intensified throughout the late 1760s and into the new decade, spawning boycotts, riots, and worse—including the Boston Massacre in March 1770.…

3 reasons it’s good to contemplate your sins

Over the course of several books, crime novelist Philip Davison gave life to his character Harry Fielding, an operative in British intelligence tasked with undesirable jobs. A small train of colorful characters orbit through Harry’s universe, including his flamboyant aunt Kate. In the final Fielding novel, A Burnable Town, Kate wants her nephew to go to church. “Oh God,” he exclaims. “I don’t have to contemplate my sin, do I, Kate?” She…