The problem with all these THIS-IS-THE-FIRST-DAY-OF-THE-REST-OF-YOUR-LIFE folks is that they emphasize the wrong thing. Their intention (noble and pure) is to get you to realize how special THIS day is, to get you all in a frenzy about THIS day is. They are trying to tap into that part of you that wants to do great things.

The problem, though, is that doing great things requires long-term commitment. Consistency. Perseverance. They want you to “Seize the Day!” But to do really great things you sorta have to “Seize the Year,” or “Seize the Decade.” …


I swear, there’s a new viral article about ‘work-life balance’ on the internet every day. It’s fine, I guess. Yes, don’t be a workaholic. Yes, enjoy life. The problem with these pieces, though, is that they’re always written by-or-about some hotshot who’s already successful — someone who has found financial security, someone who has already been socially validated, someone no longer driven by the suspense of Becoming.

To me, it all comes off as passive bragging. It makes me gag, really — especially (dear gawd!) when they share their routine. They say things like: “I wake at 7:05 and enjoy…


Bad things are going down all over God’s disintegrating creation. Police shootings, racist politicians, violent oil companies, suffering refugees, melting icecaps, hostile walls, disappearing animals, oppressed minorities—it’s dizzying, and it collapses down on my flame.

Have you noticed, though? The dark tactics of the ‘principalities and powers’ have changed. In one age, not too long ago, the tactic seemed to be concealment: to hide the enormous amounts of suffering, and to keep us all naive to the woes of the world, so that we might mind our own business, and might focus on things like personal growth, and spirituality. …


I’m conflicted. Most scientists are suspicious of any hypothesis about the natural world that even vaguely smells like “intelligent design.” I don’t blame them! Christian thinkers have historically embarrassed themselves with their eagerness to find God everywhere. Wherever you look in history, whenever there is some ambiguous phenomenon or some unexplained thing, you’ll also see a mob of excitable Christians tripping over each other as they rush to the scene, fingers pointing, spouting their impetuous solution:

“It’s God! God does that!”

But, of course, those unexplained things are eventually explained, clearly and naturally, without any need for supernatural involvement. God…


“So the man named all the animals, the birds of the air, and the living creatures of the field..” Genesis 2:20

Through our information-obsessed minds we’ve looked upon this story with dull eyes. We watch Adam mechanically name each species of animal. “This one shall be rabbit,” he says, and marks the appropriate spot on his clipboard—as if, in God’s eternal garden, categorization was so very important.

It’s not.

What is important to God is relationship. Community. Connection between individuals. In the bible, naming was a sacred act. It meant something. When Jacob wrestled God (and won!), God renamed him…


So here I come marching onto the stage shouting: “David defeated Goliath because of his skills, NOT because of his faith in God.” But then here comes David, about to throw-down Goliath, shouting to the crowd: “it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:47).

How can I believe it’s David’s skills, and not his faith, that defeats the Giant? Doesn’t it seem like it is the Lord who defeats Goliath? …


Yes.

Well, no.

We definitely laugh at what patients do. But we do not “make fun of them,” like by calling them names. But we do laugh at their words and deeds. Sometimes symptoms present in humorous ways. There are endless examples.

I had a patient who really liked thanking people. He was a menacing, hulking man (over 6 feet tall), but with the prepubescent voice of a 10 year old. Any opportunity he could find to thank people, he would take it. “Thank you for letting me sit in the lounge with you,” and, “thank you for doing rounds,”…


Let me share with you the nature of my toil. I’ve got all this stuff in my head that I believe you would enjoy having in your head. That’s why I write.

But it’s not as easy as it sounds. There is great distance from my head to yours, with terrible obstacles in between. Plus, the inside of your head is its own universe, filled with its own glittering thoughts and ravishing ideas. You have little room for anything else! And a million other distraction enthusiasts are trying to dump their hot thought-products into your head as well. Idea panhandlers…


“Do you believe I’m the messiah,” the man asked, in a voice that was part tenor, part nasal-congestion. He was rubbing his robe collar between his thumb and index finger. This detail sticks in my memory because his fingernails were thick and uncut, the color of peeled bananas left out on the counter too long.

“No,” I said, right to his oily, unshaven face.

His eyes widened as self-righteous frustration splashed his face. He jerked up from his chair. “Woe to you-” he began, then leaned towards my name tag, “—Dan! Do you not know I hold this very universe…


Ask almost any Christian: “How did David defeat Goliath?”

Most will answer something like: “Because he had great faith in God.” This is the most common understanding of the story. Consider this campy cartoon, which suggests that David even refused to use Saul’s weapons because: “my faith is enough.”

(note: this quote does not occur in the biblical text)

The assumption is clear: David was an “underdog” who had no business challenging Goliath. We are to believe that David was just a small, weak shepherd boy who never stood a chance but for God’s intervention. Furthermore, we are to understand…

Dan Kent

I'm so abstract automatic doors at grocery stores don't open for me.

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