A Stranger in the House of God

A Stranger in the House of God


Latest Episodes

When Faith Fails
August 19, 2019

Dale and Nancy had just started dating when someone who claimed to be speaking on God’s behalf told them that their relationship would “flow like a river.” They took it as a sign and got married. It didn’t take long for things to unravel.

Used Books, Annie Dillard, and the Vanity of Life
July 19, 2019

Each year at this time, our town holds a used book sale at the local library. Like Jesus’ sojourn in the grave, it usually lasts for three days. Hardcover books sell for two dollars, softcover books are a dollar, and paperbacks are fifty-cents.

God Be Merciful to Me
July 12, 2019

I am a sinner. I don’t deny it. But most of the time I don’t think much about it either. I don’t seem to obsess about sin the way the ancients used to, at least not about my own sins. I don’t punish myself or go to extreme measures to fight sin off.

Fame is a Fickle Food
June 29, 2019

The other day I heard a guest on NPR describe blogging as old technology. Weblogs were what people used to do in the days before social media. He was a young, hip entrepreneur. His company sells T-shirts, or as he called it “gear,

God's Emotional Life
June 13, 2019

That God does have feelings is the inevitable conclusion for anyone who takes divine self-revelation seriously. The Bible often speaks of God’s emotions. It does so in such human terms that we are sometimes disturbed by the thought.

Monotone Worship
June 04, 2019

The worship wars are over. In church after church that I visit, we all seem to be singing the same handful of songs. To me they seem more like chants and shouted slogans than than anything else. Melodically uninteresting and lyrically unimaginative,

The Art of Being Self-Conscious
May 26, 2019

Practicing the present doesn’t mean that we live our lives with a kind of animal immediacy, thinking only of what we need or desire in the moment. It is not reactive living that responds to whatever stimulus I happen to be experiencing in the moment wi...

Leaving Home
May 11, 2019

We put our house up for sale a few weeks ago. It sold quickly, but it unnerved me to have strangers peering into our closets and judging us for even a few days. As anyone who has purchased a home can tell you,

Practicing the Present: Race Among the Ruins
May 09, 2019

When I was a pastor, I found that the hardest part of visiting church members at the hospital was leaving them in the same condition I found them in when I entered the room. It seemed to me that my visits should make a difference. If they did not,

The Courage of the Ordinary
May 02, 2019

When my friend Ray was diagnosed with cancer, he started reading obituaries. He found comfort in the newspaper’s daily litany of the departed. Somehow it made him feel less alone. Like a pilgrim who is traveling in company,