The Spirit of “Bad”: surrender

Credit: @tspracklin I posted this on the @U2 site a while back, but never linked it here… Excerpt: What followed was one of the most beautiful moments I’ve experienced at a U2 concert. With one spotlight on Edge, and another on Bono, he began to sing quietly and sympathetically, “If you, twist and, turn away ….” And as the music …

New Graffiti Wall: not invisible

(NOTE: updates have been added below on June 2, 7 & 30) Just a quick post here gathering a few notes from an amazing new feature on U2’s Innocence + Experience tour. Tonight, the fourth night in Los Angeles at The Forum, the band added a graffiti wall (you like that highly technical term I came up with?). In place …

Prayers for U2 in their loss: We’re “One”

I started this post as a Facebook status update, but that simply didn’t seem adequate considering the tragic news out of the U2 camp today. Below is video I shot last night of U2’s final song for the evening, “One.” I left the intro intentionally long because of Bono’s very thoughtful and reflective state in this stripped down version of …

U2’s Innocence + Experience: a tribe gathers in Vancouver

I never would have thought to call on the memory of a punk rocker as an invocation for worship, but that’s what happened in Vancouver two nights in a row for the opening of U2’s Innocence + Experience tour. As Bono stepped into the sold out crowd at Rogers Arena, he played the part of choir director, leading a chorus …

Christian love amidst hate and neglect

The news today is sobering, especially after hearing and reflecting on Pastor James Bergen’s sermon from yesterday at North Fresno Church. Our congregation is in a series on 1 John and it’s hard to miss the point. It’s the Gospel in tweets: Truths so simply put, they’re nearly impossible to fulfill. That’s the irony of the upside down kingdom. Dear …

A Contradiction: “Bible-minded” cities and states of “well-being”

About this time every year, a seemly contradictory set of statistics collides: the Barna Group publishes a list of the most “Bible-minded” cities and Gallup releases results of their ongoing study regarding the “well-being” of states. The findings are somewhat similar each spring. On the one hand, according to Gallup, Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado and the upper-northwest mountain states tend to …

A new opportunity for church growth: will we miss it?

There’s more proof out this week that North American culture continues to shift, transforming both church and society. Specifically, several recent studies reveal how multiculturalism is shaping Christian community, and also being ignored by it. Take Britain for example. Christianity has been in decline there for decades, as is evidenced in dwindling church attendance. The phenomena is well documented and …

The Hermeneutics of Music and Scripture

“There’s no right answer!” These were the words of Dieter Wulfhorst as he asked our faculty to respond and interpret a playful piece he and Susan Doering performed on Tuesday at the school’s caucus. Wulfhorst, on violoncello, and Doering, on violin, form the duo Musica Viva. The couple’s mission is to bring music to places and groups that wouldn’t normally …

What’s more shocking? Torture or love?

In an interview this weekend regarding the CIA torture report released on December 9, when queried about the report and the treatment of an alleged terrorist, former vice president Dick Cheney facetiously asked, “What are we supposed to do? Kiss him on both cheeks?” That kind of response doesn’t surprise me, but it does give me cause as a Christian to …