Sapiens: A Review

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Dear friends,

Yuval Harari has become a famous and influential thinker. His book Sapiens was praised by Barak Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg, among others. Many continue to read it. This week, I take a look at this brilliant and dangerous history of humanity.

Special thanks to the subscribers who make this work possible!

Yours with gratitude,
Andrew

#####

Yuval Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2014) is written as a wakeup call to human thoughtlessness in the form of an entrancing description of 70,000 years of human history. Harari is convinced that the “history of humankind” is packed with interesting and important stories that will shape – and also potentially lead to the annihilation of– our species’ mind-bending future. Harari’s book, then, serves as an example of the kind of rigorous thinking that he believes is urgently necessary: thinking that makes sense of the past, asks challenging questions of the present, and faces the future with clarity, creativity, and courage... 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

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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.

Disappointment with God

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Dear friends,

This week I’m exploring disappointment with God. Thanks for the vulnerable and encouraging feedback on my recent essays exploring burnout and grief. I’m grateful to journey with you.

With love,
Andrew

#####

My sister Abby sat with me this week and listened to me talk about the inner ocean of tears I described in “Grief.” Her loving presence and patient listening freed me to open my heart.

I found myself telling Abby about the suffering of children I have befriended – poverty, injury, abuse, abandonment, humiliation, disease, death. My tears welled up, and my voice was choked with sorrow.

I then confessed something that felt foreign and frightening and yet familiar in my life: “I think I’m wrestling with disappointment with God.”

Why would a loving Father allow his vulnerable children to suffer such terrible pain and evil? I told Abby that I sometimes want to say, “God, you’re such a screwup!”

Those tearful words came out of my mouth like a shard of glass that had cut into my soul... 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.

Marriage: God’s Counter-Cultural Love Story

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Dear friends,

I had the very special gift of co-officiating David and Janie Robinson’s wedding this weekend. With their permission, I’m sharing my wedding homily, which reflects on the radical theological meaning of Christian marriage. Whether you’re married, engaged, or single, I pray this sermon strengthens your love for God and people. Congratulations, Janie and David!!!

Yours with celebration,
Andrew

#####

Introduction

Friends, this wedding covenant takes us back to the beginning of our universe, into the very heart of God, and forward to our ultimate hope. Let me briefly explain what I mean.

The Origin of Love  

Level the mountains. Drain dry the deep oceans. Wipe away the earth and billions of planets. Snuff out the stars and suns. Rewind every life that has ever lived.

Return to formless and void. Back to God and only God – to God and nothing else.

Why are we here? Where do we come from? What is the origin of our existence?

The Christian answer is love... 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.

Grief: 25 Roads to My Heart

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Dear friends,

This week I’m looking at grief and my discovery of an ocean of tears in my self. I hope this honest essay is encouraging. Thanks as always to the subscribers who make this work possible.

Yours with love,
Andrew

#####

I want to remove my armor and share something with you that feels frightening and shameful but, I believe, has power to liberate and heal. As Jesus said, “The truth shall set you free,” and confession simply means telling the truth with others. Receive this essay, then, as a confession.

In my essay “Burnout,” I wrote about looking beneath the gums of my soul into the holes growing inside me, often in places where I’ve denied my limits as a human being and injured my self. As I’ve done this soul work, I’ve noticed that there are tears just beneath the surface of my eyes, ready to flow out from deep in my heart. If I talk about the death of a loved one or children suffering in the streets of Addis or people losing their homes in violent conflict or a friend’s experience of abuse in her marriage, my tears begin to flow... 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.

Burnout: The Holes in My Teeth and Soul

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Dear friends,

This week I’m sharing a story about facing our limits and listening to the pain in our lives. I hope you’re encouraged and thank you as always for stopping and thinking with me.

With love,
Andrew

#####

Eleven years ago, I fell flat on my face. With that crash, I began learning an important truth that I need now more than ever.

It was my third time living in Addis Ababa, and I was a 24-year-old pastor serving at a young, growing, revival-declaring church named Beza. My love for Ethiopia intensified that year, and I desired to enter into deeper community with my friends’ everyday realities. I lived in a government apartment, took public transportation, ate whatever I was served, and did what I could to live like the people around me.

But I wanted a more radical solidarity with the people I loved, so I decided to start drinking what they drank: tap water. After all, I wasn’t new to Addis, I was living by faith, and bottled water felt like a wasteful privilege that I should give up... 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.

Sapiens: A Review

Uncategorized

Dear friends,

Yuval Harari has become a famous and influential thinker. His book Sapiens was praised by Barak Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg, among others. Many continue to read it. This week, I take a look at this brilliant and dangerous history of humanity.

Special thanks to the subscribers who make this work possible!

Yours with gratitude,
Andrew

#####

Yuval Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2014) is written as a wakeup call to human thoughtlessness in the form of an entrancing description of 70,000 years of human history. Harari is convinced that the “history of humankind” is packed with interesting and important stories that will shape – and also potentially lead to the annihilation of– our species’ mind-bending future. Harari’s book, then, serves as an example of the kind of rigorous thinking that he believes is urgently necessary: thinking that makes sense of the past, asks challenging questions of the present, and faces the future with clarity, creativity, and courage... 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.

The Bible’s Emotional Honesty

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Dear friends,

This week I look at the Bible’s raw emotional honesty. Perhaps like me, you have felt your own weakness or had experiences of anxiety, loss, and grief in recent days. When we look at the Bible, we find that none of this is foreign to real faith.

I hope this essay encourages you. I send it with prayers for grace and peace in your life.

Yours with gratitude,

Andrew

 

###

I am encouraged by the Bible’s raw emotional honesty.

The Bible doesn’t deny or suppress our experiences of convulsive emotion, when we feel dis-ease or torn apart. It doesn’t pretend that our life with God is simple, easy, or always stable.

Instead, the Bible expresses the full range of our internal upheaval. From the beginning, its characters wrestle with fear, anxiety, loneliness, sadness, grief, and depression.

Reading the Bible reminds us that we aren’t condemned or alone when we experience convulsive emotion. It invites us into a deeper honesty, vulnerability, and more radical trust in God, precisely in the depths of our emotional pain... 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.

A Letter of Love to Ethiopian Ministers

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Dear friends,

In light of the assassinations and the attempted coup that happened in Ethiopia this weekend, I want to share an open letter I’ve been writing to Ethiopian pastors. Whether you’re in Ethiopia or another part of the world, I pray this letter encourages you to be a defender of human life and respect for all people. The image is of Ethiopian elders who got on their knees last year to plead for peace after terrible violence struck their community. Please join me in praying for peace, justice, and comfort in Ethiopia.

With love,
Andrew

###

Dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings in the love of Jesus Christ, our Prince of Peace.

Our beloved Ethiopia is facing a time of severe ethnic conflict. Around three million people have been driven from their homes. We have seen people killed in public by lynching, stoning, and burning. Rape, maiming, destruction of homes, and other atrocities are reported. This Saturday, Gen. Seare Mekonnen, chief of the military, and Dr... 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.

The Subtle Art of Giving Three F’s

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Dear friends,

I believe the first chapters of the Bible give us keys for overcoming some of the most destructive trends in contemporary culture. Thanks for stopping and thinking with me about what it means to human and seek a more flourishing life with others.

And special thanks to Andrew, the newest patron of Stop & Think. I’m deeply grateful for the 31 subscribers who make my writing possible.

Much love,

Andrew

###

For the last few weeks, I’ve been looking at the Bible’s earliest portraits of humanity. Who are we according to God’s original intent and our existential depths?

Genesis 1 introduces humans as the image-bearers of God. Genesis 2 describes humans as complex creatures with five interacting dimensions: the physical, spiritual, moral, vocational, and relational. And Genesis 3 depicts humans as now divided and disordered in these core dimensions of who we are.

If we embrace this biblical anthropology or way of understanding ourselves, what difference does it make in our relationships with others?.. 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.

You Need to Know This

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Dear friends,

One of the greatest mysteries of our humanity is that we’re able to question ourselves: Who are we? Where do we come from? How can we flourish? Knowingly or not, we live out answers to these questions every day, for better or worse.

This week, I look at Genesis 3-4 and its responses to these vital questions. Rather than outdated mythology, the Bible’s earliest chapters offer us an inspiring and honest vision of human identity. I believe it’s key to our flourishing today.

Please receive this newsletter with my gratitude and prayers for God’s grace in your life,

Andrew

###

What does it mean to be human? Who are we in our depths?

Genesis 1-2: God’s Image and Complex Flourishing  

Genesis 1 answers that we’re made in God’s image (1:26-27). Religious objects in temples don’t embody God’s holy presence in the world. People do. And not just elite people like rules and priests with power over others. Each and every person, male and female, is made as a personal representative of God with all the dignity and responsibility of this sacred status... 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.