In 1787, so the story goes, a Russian named Grigory Potemkin erected a portable, fake village in order to impress the visiting Empress Catherine II.
Thus the phrase “Potemkin village” has come into our lexicon to describe anything literal or figurative that is constructed in order to deceive others into thinking that the situation is better than it really is.
Last Father’s Day I received a gift from my wife and children more precious than I can describe. Without my knowledge, they had repurposed some wood from my late father’s workshop and built a kneeling bench, or prie-dieu, for my study at home.
Words like privilege, entitlement and equal access have suddenly taken on enormous significance in our culture. Until recently, I viewed myself as very egalitarian. But on board a recent commercial flight, I learned something disturbing about myself: Maybe I’m not as committed to equality as I thought I was.
I don’t know what you were doing the week of Aug. 15, but I had a ringside seat, watching a bit of local history right before my eyes. The Medicaid 23 trial took place just a block from my church office, at the courthouse in downtown Jefferson City, Mo.
Reflecting on the recent annual gathering of the Baptist World Alliance in Vancouver, British Columbia, I was struck by two things: The deep hunger in my own life for corporate worship and the centrality of worship in our common life.
During this past Lenten season, our congregation journeyed together around the theme of forgiveness — God’s forgiveness of us as well as our forgiveness of ourselves and others. Here are some takeaways.
In nearly every other area of our lives, curiosity is highly valued. Where would the world of information technology be without curious college dropouts working in their garages? Savvy entrepreneurs succeed because they invest in “what if?” So instead of shunning all this ambiguity and confusion, perhaps churches should embrace it.