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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Why Helping Should Hurt

When it comes to assisting our neighbors, vulnerability is better than ‘empowerment.’ I remember attending a justice conference in Portland in early 2010 and taking note of my surroundings. The first thing that struck me was the ubiquity of one word: “Empowerment.” It was everywhere – on banners and posters and pamphlets. I was so […]

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Seattle, Race, and the Church: A Rare Conversation

Tali Hairston lives in Seattle and serves as the director of the Perkins Center for Reconciliation at Seattle Pacific University. Our editor-in-chief Dr. Matthew Kaemingk sat down with him to discuss the issue of race, justice, and Christianity in Seattle. Kaemingk: Thank you very much for joining us for this conversation, Tali. To start us […]

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Making a Sacrifice

How our decision to raise and slaughter animals reconnected us to the land and to the language of Scripture. One of my neighbors came up to me a while back as an unofficial delegate for the rest of the neighborhood. They were concerned about us getting pigs. “I can’t tell you what you can do […]

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Reflecting Beauty in the Emerald City

A letter to a young pastor about ministry in Seattle. Editor’s Note: We’ve asked five seasoned Seattle pastors to write a letter to a young pastor in the city on what they’ve learned over the course of their ministry. This first piece comes from Richard Dahlstrom, pastor of Bethany Community Church.  I still remember the […]

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Do Black Lives Matter in Seattle?

We shouldn’t ignore calls for racial justice, even when we don’t like the way they sound. At a now infamous Bernie Sanders rally in August of 2015, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement collided with Seattle progressives in dramatic fashion. Labor activists and other Sanders supporters had gathered in downtown Seattle, and right before Bernie […]

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