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O Little Town of Bethlehem
Essays in the Unconventional Wisdom series
Below you'll find the complete list of Unconventional Wisdom articles in chronological order. You can request a copy of any article by clicking here and sending an email with the number and name of the article you'd like.
1. Negating Negativity - A critical look at the tendency among Christians to have a critical spirit.
2. Bill Clinton and the Future of Moral Leadership - An exploration of the Clinton crisis and how it impacts our notion of moral leadership.
3. Logically Lost in the Information Age - The impact of too much information on our ability to know anything at all.
4. God Bless the EPA - A theological and practical look at the need to protect the environment and the proper role of government in doing so.
5. Living Under the Influence - A reflection on our obsession with fun.
6. Coloring Outside the Lines - A different kind of synthesis on the death penalty.
7. The Curse of Faith - Lessons from my fictional visit to an Atheist church.
8. The Law of Love vs. the Law of the Jungle - Some suggestions concerning what it means to be a Christian in a competitive world.
9. Colorblind or Color Kind - A proposal for a more pro-active approach to race relations.
10. Garber Family Values - A perspective on inter-generational differences based on my experience with my teenage daughter.
11. The Tyranny of the Two Witnesses - The difficulties posed by a scientific mentality for the justification of our faith (part one of two).
12. The Fellowship of the Four Witnesses - An alternative view of knowledge that facilitates the justification of our faith (part two of two).
13. What About Bill? - A suggestion for ending the Clinton impeachment mess which incorporates both justice and common sense.
14. Rights and Responsibility in a World of Need - A consideration of the relative importance of others' rights and our responsibility in the formulation of a Christian response to human need.
15. A Spanish Hook Shot and the Meaning of Life - How I discovered the meaninglessness of life.
16. The Problem with Prayer - Dealing with the gap between what it seems prayer should be and how I (among others) actually experience it.
17. The Melancholy of Christmas - The personal cost of Christmas as viewed through my own family experiences.
18. The Aftertaste of Christmas - How to combat the commercialization of Christmas in our personal lives.
19. Missing Martin - Observations on the status of leadership in America, based on reflections about Martin Luther King.
20. Should I Buy a Gun? - My first-person take on a Christian attitude toward using lethal means to defend oneself.
21. The Cussing Craze - Personal standards for speech that honors God.
22. How Free Is Free Speech? - Balancing the freedom of expression with the need for propriety.
23. The Superman Complex - How America gets itself into hot water by trying to emulate the Man of Steel.
24. The Overwhelming Simplicity of Complexity - The need to simplify and how it can actually complicate our lives.
25. The Message in the Massacre - What does the recent wave of teenage violence tell us about where we are as a society and where we need to go?
26. Optimists and Pessimists - A humorous look at the value of the two sides cooperating rather than criticizing one another.
27. For the Fourth of July - The story of an old philosopher in Kosovo who is abused by both sides in that conflict.
28. The Tragedy of JFK Jr. and of Those Who Suffer a Dissimilar Fate - The merits of risk-taking in the light of the passing of John F. Kennedy, Jr.
29. The Countdown Clock - A reflection on time as life, the passing of youth, and our ignorance of how much longer we have left.
30. The Improbable Patriot - The good, the bad,and the difficult of integrating love of God with love of country.
31. Evidence That Defies a Verdict - What to do with all of the pieces of life that appear to undermine the credibility of our faith.
32. Romanian Gypsies and the Problem of Christian Moral Inferiority - How do we reconcile the relative righteousness of unbelievers with the expectations of the Christian faith?
33. The Disinterested Democracy? - Why don't people care enough to vote? What does this say about our society? And what can be done about it?
34. The Long Sequitur of Life in a Michigan Graveyard - A walk through a cemetery prompts a reflection on the essence of life.
35. Are Christians Called to Cultural Dominance? - When Christians possess cultural hegemony, how are they to use it?
36. Trouble in Paradise - What I learned about the younger generation from watcbhing MTV's Real World Marathon.
37. Otto's New Millennium - The irony of man's inability to control himself, even as he masters his environment.
38. The Occasional Conservative and the Eternal Revolutionary - A call to limit conservative thinking to that which doesn't change and to follow a Christian progressive approach to that which does.
39. A Dream of True Love Come True - My Valentine's Day tribute to my own wife as the incarnation of ideal love.
40. Can What God Doesn't Know Hurt Him? - An examination of the issues and the conflict surrounding the Open View of God.
41. The Christian Cancer Society - Racial animosity and the Christian responsibility to love our brothers.
42. The Do-It-Yourself Future - What you can do today to make the future what you want it to be.
43. Jill in the Pulpit - What the Bible says about women in ministry and what we ought to do about it.
44. The Threefold Myth of Absolute Values - False inferences which people sometimes derive from the fact of absolute values.
45. The Empty Room - My first-person account of dad's distress in the wake of his daughter going away to college.
46. Apollo Jeet and the Holy Grail - A discussion of how we can know our faith is valid through the eyes of a wacky Monty Python spinoff.
47. Scott for President - Why I could do just as good a job as the major party candidates.
48. Great Expectations:A Modern-Day Parable - Al Gore and George W. Bush "visit"a small Oklahoma town to establish a personal relationship with its citizens. (Part 1 of 2)
49. Great Expectations / Parabolic Explanations - The key to understanding what in the world I was trying to say in #48. (Part 2 of 2)
50. In Search of the Seekers - The continuing need for Christians who will think outside the box and face the challenges of a postmodern world.
51. An African Pilgrimage - Lessons I learned on a trip to Kenya when I quit trying to understand it all.
52. Forbes' Epistemological Highlight Reel - A reaction to what some of today's top writers are saying about the nature of truth.
53. At Loose Ends - Keeping the faith even when you can't make all the pieces fit into the puzzle.
54. Cursing the Curse - A trip with my college-age daughter prompts a reflection on the predictability of middle-age life.
55. It's the Journey, Stupid - What I learned about the downside of Christian activism.
56. My Honey-Be List - My wife, Cindi, shares her list of 65 things she was looking for in a husband and how I almost fulfilled it.
57. America Under Attack - My response to the Sept. 11. 2001 tragedy some four hours after the event.
58. The Suspended Game - How America's crisis has altered our Trivial Pursuit mentality.
59. Tropical Depression - How the weather spoiled my 25th anniversary trip to the tropics and what I learned from it.
60. Bin Laden's Lessons in Fundamentalism - Too-close-for-comfort analogies between Islamic and Christian fundamentalism.
61. Dangling Over the Precipice of Finitude - Based on a personal incident, an examination of why God sometimes protects us through danger rather than removing us from it.
62. O Little Town of Bethlehem - A short story highlighting the plight of Palestinian Christians and showcasing American Evangelical attitudes.
63. Is Christian Zionism Good for Israel? - A theological consideration of how Christians should view modern-day Israel in light of God's program.
64. Godspeak for the Rest of Us - How those of us who are unenlightened by personal divine revelations can still seek His guidance.
65. The Agora Meets Alice's Restaurant - Salt, light, and humanity in the LA Farmer's Market.
66. Salty and Elvis: A Eulogy - My very personal reaction to the loss of a Kenyan friend through the story of our relationship.
67. Is Santa Claus the Antichrist? - A spoof on the ways Christians interpret current events in the light of eschatology.
68. To:firstname.lastname@example.org - The relationship between truth and knowledge as seen through a dialogue with my daughter's boyfriend.
69. The First Casualty of War - Wartime rhetoric illustrates how subjectivity affects our view of truth.
70. Safari of the Soul - I led eight African-Americans on their first trip to Africa only to find that I was the one who most connected with my roots.
71. Back to the Future - A reflective lament on the loss of belief in the possibility of social progress.
72. At the Corner of Maryland and Godot - The purpose of waiting, and how I came to be the Pastor of Washington Community Fellowship.
73. The Battle of the Buts - My quest for the integrated church as I've moved from pundit to practitioner.
74. The Cost of Doing Business - After a bullet comes through my window, I reflect on the murder of a teenage girl gunned down in front of my house.
75. Values, Values, Who's Got the Values? - A look at how values have become a political football and a call to include all the values God might consider important.
76. The Sentinel - My address about the morality of war to a group of protesters in front of the White House.
77. Maslow's Lowerarchy of Needs - A trip to the Philippines leads to a reflection on Maslow's hierarchy from the perspective of those on the lowest rungs.
78. The Magic Bus - My wife, Cindi, takes a suburbanite on an inner-city bus ride that illustrates the two worlds of Washington and beyond.
79. Dream Chaser - How and why I decided to join the Obama campaign.
80. The Obama Symbol - My first-hand impressions from the National Mall on the symbolic significance of the inauguration of Barack Obama.
81. The Space Between Our Hopes and Fears - How I came to appreciate the importance of subjective reality—that the way we feel about things determines the quality of our lives far more than objective reality itself.
82. How Big is Your 'Hood? - The nexus between the story of the Good Samaritan and the health care debate in the U.S.
83. The Cosmic Remodeler - My experience with home renovations and what it taught me about the Great Remodeler of the universe.
84. Carless in the Capital - The values that led me to get rid my car and how that dynamic has changed me in the three years since.
85. The Prevailing Myth - Poignant lessons I learned about society and about myself from a fictional North Korean spy.
86. Blessing for a Generation - The birth of a baby boy in Alabama who was just like every other child and yet quite special.
87. The Other Half - My struggles to know how to relate to the people who wait at the bus stop in front of my house.
88. The God Who Is Here - The importance of a God who is not just out there but intimately present in our experience.
89. The Cone of Uncertainty - What happens when truth gets Trumped? A hurricane got me thinking about the impact of this President on the notion of public truth.