Tributes to My Parents

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Dear friends,

Lily and I had the gift of celebrating my mom’s 73rd birthday (January 7) and my dad’s 75th birthday (February 9) in person this year. With each passing year, I cherish them more and more, and see the beauty of God in their character.

This week, I pause to honor them and share tributes that I wrote for their birthdays. I hope they encourage you to stop and give thanks for gifts in your own life. Happy birthday, Mom and Dad! Thanks for loving and leading me so well.

Lastly, on February 1, my friend Etsegenet Berhanu launched the Parenting Forum in Addis Ababa, a monthly event to help parents become more intentional in how they raise their children and thus shape the future. I’m excited for her groundbreaking work and offer these tributes as a grateful testimony to the power of parents who build homes founded on love in their own limited, lovely ways. Congratulations, Etsegenet!.. Read More

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Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

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I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

Forgiveness: Jesus’s Radical Discovery

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The Discoverer of Forgiveness

Forgiveness sounds the depths of our humanity.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn famously wrote that the line between good and evil runs through each human heart. With similar insight, G.K. Chesterton stated that the only self-evident teaching of Christianity is that humans are morally flawed and in need of redemption. Amid the horrific evil of apartheid in South Africa, Desmond Tutu declared, “There is no future without forgiveness.”

Forgiveness is the radical act of releasing the other after they have done wrong. It’s undeserved moral generosity grounded in hope for the other’s freedom and flourishing.

Thus, to forgive is to declare that the other person is more important than their failure. We choose to hold onto them rather than the right to repay them for what they did.

As such, forgiveness is the power of new beginning. It unlocks the prison of the past and opens a fresh future. It miraculously interrupts the law of cause (wrongdoing) and effect (retribution) and introduces something completely new in history: grace... Read More

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Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

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I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

Daily Bread: The Radical Dependence that Starves Anxiety

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How did Jesus – the founder of the largest movement in history – respond to our greatest questions?

Who is God?

How should we approach God?

What is our purpose for being alive in the world?

I love that Jesus doesn’t give us abstract answers. He gives us a spiritual practice to weave into the fabric of our consciousness in every context of life. He teaches us to lift our minds above our selves and talk with God.

Jesus starts his prayer by inviting us to address God as our loving and liberating Father. That’s who God is. He then challenges us to humbly name “Gxd’s” otherness and difference – God’s holiness. That’s how we should approach God. And he calls us to fix our hope on God’s upside-down kingdom coming on earth as it is in heaven. That’s God’s endgame for humanity and history, what truly matters.

The fourth moment in Jesus’s prayer is comforting and practical. But it’s also challenging and counter-cultural... Read More

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Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

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I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

Gillette and the Masculinity of Jesus

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Debate has been raging about the new Gillette ad and its revised – some say “effeminate” – vision of manhood. This week, I’m pausing my series on Jesus’s prayer to look at his masculinity.

Christians believe that Jesus is literally “the best a man can get.” The early church and orthodox Christians ever since have affirmed that Jesus was the “perfect Man.” Of course, Jesus came for everyone, including women. But Jesus was a man in a highly patriarchal society whose ministry unfolded in the prime of his manhood.

So what kind of man was Jesus, and what example does Jesus set for Christian masculinity today?

First, Jesus certainly wasn’t weak.

He spent a portion of his childhood as a political refugee in Egypt (Matthew 2:12-23) and was raised by a carpenter in a rural village in northern Palestine (Matthew 13:55).

He had incredible endurance and fasted forty days in the desert while being tempted by satan (Matthew 4:1-11).

He defiantly launched his ministry with the same words that got his cousin John arrested soon before and, not long after, beheaded (Matthew 3:1-2; 4:12-17)... Read More

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Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

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I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

Kingdom: What Does God Want?

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Praying with Jesus  

Imagine if every time you pray, you actively remember that God loves you as his precious child. “Our Father” is the source of human worth and security.

Imagine if every time you pray, you actively remember that you don’t pray alone but with suffering sisters and brothers that God also loves and wants to liberate. “Our Father” is the source of divine empathy and solidarity.

Imagine if every time you pray, you actively stop and remember that God is more and other than you think, that God doesn’t fit into your box or rubberstamp your agenda. “Hallowed be your name” is the source of radical humility and openness.

I believe this is what Jesus is teaching us and forming into our character when we pray. It’s so simple but so powerful, especially if we begin each day by praying with Jesus. Jesus’s prayer touches on ultimate questions like “Who is God?” “Who are we?” and “How should we approach God?” and Jesus gives profound, practical answers... Read More

  • Share post

Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

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I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

Hallowed: How Jesus Interrupts Our Religion

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Who is God? Last week, we saw that Jesus teaches us to begin praying by calling God “our Father in heaven.”

God is the compassionate Lover of all people and the just Liberator of the oppressed. Our Father says, “Let’s have a feast and celebrate!” when his rebellious son returns home and “Let my people go!” when Pharaoh enslaves his powerless children. This is the One who listens and responds when we pray. This is who God is: our Father.

But Jesus teaches us with our next breath to pray, “Hallowed” – holy – “be your name.”

I believe Jesus is saying something profound:

Call God “our Father.” That’s the beginning and bedrock. But don’t assume anything else about God. Stop right here and start over every time. God is different, and don’t forget it. Interrupt your prayer and acknowledge the radical otherness of God before you say another word.

I started college at Waubonsee Community College. My English instructor was a short, Jewish woman who loved to laugh and kept a bright green lizard perched on her shoulder as she lectured (no joke)... Read More

  • Share post

Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

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I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

The Ultimate Question: Who Is God?

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As we begin 2019, I have a fresh hunger to follow Jesus and to live a life radically open and obedient to the God Jesus reveals. I’ve found that praying with Jesus helps us to reimagine who God really is and what it means to be faithfully and fully human.

How did Jesus pray? How should we talk and listen to God today?

These are ultimate questions that interrogate who God is and how we should see and relate to God in our daily lives.

As we start a new year, I invite you to pray with me as I pray with Jesus, and let’s see how his prayer changes us and prepares us for the year ahead.

How Jesus Prayed

Jesus teaches his followers a surprisingly short and simple prayer. It’s only fifty-seven words in Greek, and you can say it in less than thirty seconds. Here it is:

Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed be your name.

Your Kingdom come, you will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

.. Read More
  • Share post

Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

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I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

Personal Update – 2018 into 2019

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Dear friends,

Lily and I want to wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Special thanks this week to Maria! and the now 19 monthly supporters who make this writing all possible.

I want to give you a personal update this week into Lily’s and my life and our work in 2018 with an eye towards 2019. I hope you enjoy the update you can see HERE. We added pictures again to make it less dense 🙂

I love hearing from you. Please don’t hesitate to drop a quick note or ask a question.

Yours,
Andrew.. Read More

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Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

Sign Up for the Newsletter


I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

The New Us: How Christmas Saved Nationalism

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Each Christmas, I reread the stories of Jesus’s birth in the Gospels seeking fresh insight. What are these ancient stories trying to teach us today?

This year, I was struck by the brilliant intersection of Christmas, nationalism, and Jesus’s kingdom in Matthew’s Gospel. In short, Jesus is “God with us,” but Jesus totally  reimagines the meaning of “us.”

Let me explain.

First, the not-yet-born Jesus is introduced as “the Messiah” who will “save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:1, 21).

Matthew’s Jewish audience would have read this as nationalistic language. When the “people’s” sins were finally overcome, God’s favor would return, and thus Israel would defeat her enemies. Israel’s idea of salvation always had this double-meaning: salvation from sins (the cause of God’s judgment) leads to salvation from enemies (the agents of God’s judgment). The Messiah King was expected to be a military leader who would “save” the nation in both senses.

Second, Matthew quotes Isaiah 7:14 and calls Jesus “Immanuel” or “God with us.”

This was a deeply nationalistic title and prophecy... Read More

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Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

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I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

The Ethics of Christmas

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The birth of Jesus reveals God’s love for all people across every barrier. God wants to be with and for humanity. So God comes personally and gently – in a powerless baby born to a poor family in an occupied country – to be Immanuel, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). Luke calls this “good news that will cause great joy for all people” (Luke 2:10-12).

Why would God do this?

Jesus explains God’s character like this:

“The Most High is kind to the ungrateful and wicked… your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:35-36

This is who God is: totally undeserved kindness and mercy. And so God never stops giving good gifts, even to “the ungrateful and wicked.” Christmas, then, is the most personal revelation of God’s self-giving generosity. God loves across every boundary and comes in person to share his life with sinners, enemies, the damned – with “all people.”

What is the appropriate response to God’s generosity?

Jesus answers like this:

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27-28

Jesus says that when we love like this, we will be “children of the Most High” (Luke 6:35)... Read More

  • Share post

Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

Sign Up for the Newsletter


I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.