Disillusionment, Cynicism, & Christian Eschatology

More and more I am recognizing that my book on cynicism (see the icon in to the right)  is ultimately a pastoral exercise in applying Christian eschatology to our daily reality. Cynicism arises from disillusionment.  When the rug gets jerked form beneath our feet and we find ourselves breathless staring up at the ceiling, wondering…

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Faith Without Illusions, Dutch-Style

I discovered a few months ago that my book on cynicism, Faith Without Illusions: Following Jesus as a Cynic-Saint, was in the process of being translated… into Dutch. FWI has not had much of a readership since its release in the Spring of 2011.  This has been hard on the ego, but really good for…

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Celebrity Culture, Speaker Circuit & Church: Meet John (The Baptist)

This post draws on last week’s “Celebrity Culture, the ‘Speaker Circuit,’ and John the Baptist.” In that post I struggle over being an author who believes deeply in his message to the church, but feels uncomfortable with the apparatus for getting messages out to churches: booking speaking engagements, beefing up a network, using social media…

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Celebrity Culture, the “Speaking Circuit,” and John the Baptist

I am one of those tortured-soul types.  And this post is an invitation into one of my ongoing struggles.  (“Welcome all you suckers to Struggleville” as my friend Bill Mallonee used to sing). The struggle I am writing about here is more than a personal struggle.  This is a church struggle.  The issue is this:…

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When a Dead Man Interrupts your Cynical Conversation (from Lk 24)

[The meditation below is adapted from the last chapter of my book, Faith Without Illusions: Following Jesus as a Cynic-Saint]   Holy Week is not necessarily a “happy week.”  The truth is, many of us are disillusioned.  Prayers tossed skyward have been met with no reply.  Our eyes have scanned the horizon for an immaterial…

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Conan O’Brien: “I hate cynicism”

To all the folks who read (and made comments, to which I will soon reply) on my former post, I say thank you.  My sober reflections on Faith Without Illusions (my book on cynicism within and toward the church) has been quite difficult for me… but also motivating.  The more I consider the book’s content…

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1-Year Anniversary of Faith Without Illusions (part 1)

A year ago I ripped open a cardboard box stamped with “InterVarsity Press.”  There is just nothing like it, seeing your first book.  From Word doc on a screen to a thing in your hand.  Text once pixelated now reified (I really like the word “reify”).  Ripping open the box to find freshly minted copies…

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The Future of the Church: Cynic-Saints?

Gospel Centered Discipleship asked me to write something about how we disciple cynics.  In working on the piece (“Discipling the Disillusioned”), I was struck with the urgency of that task.  If young (and not-so-young) folks are leaving the church due to their frustrations and disillusionment, then the future of the church lies in our capacity…

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The Heartbeat of “Hopeful Realism”: Already… but not yet / Coming… and now is

The namesake of this blog is taken from a phrase my wife supplied as she carefully read through drafts for Faith Without Illusions.  Hopeful Realism is a perspective that holds rosy idealism and shallow optimism as incompatible in an ex-Eden world (hence, “Realism”).  But the perspective is “hopeful” because it holds that cynicism is incompatible…

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