Surprised by Suburban Poverty

How our church is seeking to serve the poor hiding in plain sight. When someone says the word “suburbs,” what comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you likely picture an idyllic, if somewhat banal, scene. Manicured lawns, double (or triple) car garages, backyard BBQs, white picket fences, a chocolate lab running in slow […]

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Seek the Welfare of the Suburbs

They may not be seen as exciting, but the ‘burbs need a Christian presence, too. Suburbs are the place not to be. In conversations around creative cultural engagement, I’ve noticed suburbs are viewed as boring, a kind of anti-culture to be avoided if at all possible. Defined by car dependence, generic housing, sprawling development, big box […]

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It’s Not About the Coffee

How I went from training employees to shepherding people. My wife and I are the owners of the Dutch Bros. coffee locations in Spokane, Washington. In the early stages of running Dutch Bros., my management approach was pretty typical: train staff to do their jobs better. Over the years I’ve learned that although training people […]

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reflection space needle

New Churches in the None Zone

What do church plants in one of the most post-Christian cities in the nation have to teach us? While national headlines herald the decline of Christianity in the United States, scarcely heard are stories from the thousands of new churches and new forms of church that are springing up each year across the country.  Dr. […]

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Guess Who’s Not Coming to Dinner?

Northwest Christians are caring, conscientious, and friendly. So why won’t they invite you into their homes? I’m a bit of a Nomad. I was born in Alabama, raised near Detroit and, since leaving Michigan at 19, I have lived in many places from Florida to Alaska, North Carolina to Nevada, and all parts in between. […]

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Tapping Into Community

Christians have heard all about the dangers of alcohol but what about the benefits? Imagine something for me. Think of two young Christians doing their best to seem intellectual. They’re college students meeting a group of atheists from the same school. We all know the type. Young, brash, outspoken know-it-alls. Both groups. Now throw some […]

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Theory Matters in Ministry

What I learned lecturing to Asian American Pastors. Early in March 2016, I was invited to Seattle Pacific University (SPU) to do one of the most terrifying things for a Christian layperson to do: teach pastors how to do ministry. Technically, the course fell under a few areas in which I’m supposed to have some […]

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Does Vancouver Have a Soul?

Religion reporter Douglas Todd discusses faith and culture in British Columbia’s largest city. Interview by David Warkentin There aren’t many people, if any, who have spent more time reflecting on religion and culture in Cascadia than Douglas Todd. As a lifelong resident of Vancouver, British Columbia, and a journalist in the area of North American […]

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Love Your Buddhist Neighbor as Yourself

We’re not called to merely tolerate the religious minorities in our midst. “Coexist” bumper stickers abound in Portland, where I work. Like car bumpers that provide cushion from crashes, these stickers signify a desire to cushion people from religious intolerance. We place a high premium on tolerance in places like Portland, though tolerance often masks […]

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Bringing Sanity to the Gay Debate

How a new book by an evangelical theologian and his gay son models Cascadian Christian family values. Space at the Table: Conversations Between an Evangelical Theologian and His Gay Son (Zeal Books, 2016) is a powerful book with a transformative message. But before I explore the themes of the book, some disclosure is in order. […]

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You Have Died of Dysentery

Encountering non-religious pilgrims along the Oregon Trail. “You have died of dysentery.” Those ominous words, one might recall, were the worst words any eight-year-old could read on the screen while playing The Oregon Trail—that folkloric, now ancient video game those of us of a certain generation played after school on our Apple IIGs’s before mom […]

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Police said the issue 'appears to be between the man and the tree' (Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times via AP)

The #ManInTree and the Way of the Cross

What can we learn this Holy Week from one marginalized man’s peculiar actions? No one is quite sure if the man was homeless or mentally unstable, but it is possible that all he wanted when he climbed the giant sequoia tree in downtown Seattle on Tuesday was to be seen. Or maybe to be seen differently. […]

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Eating with Death in Mind

Sacrifice is part of the abundance that allows us to live. But I want the sacrifice to be done well. We need to eat to live which means living things need to die for us live. A harsh truth, that. Take our last batch of chicks, which included two cockerels (males). We learned we had […]

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Woods and Scarf

Internship Opportunity: Join Our Team

Are you interested in exploring the connections between faith and culture? The Fuller Institute for Theology and Northwest Culture has received a generous grant from the Murdock Charitable Trust which enables us to offer an exciting variety of paid internship opportunities beginning in September 2016. Read more about these full and part-time opportunities below: Worship […]

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Damned to Unrelenting Goodness

Moral atheists remind us that Christians don’t have a monopoly on good deeds—and that’s okay. Portlanders generally see themselves as good people. And I would not disagree. Portlanders go out of their way to do all the good they can. Recently I was driving down a street and saw one of those Oregon Adopt-a-Highway signs. […]

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Blue Collar Prophets

How my rural community’s fight for fair wages has deepened my calling as a pastor.   Unless fog has rolled into the lower Columbia basin, you can usually see the great funnels of smoke rising from the industrial plants that power Longview, Washington. In fact, you can usually see smoke before you can glimpse the […]

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