2017: A Year in Review

It’s the time of year for blogs and other sites to provide their annual round-up of the year’s most popular articles. I don’t know why we do this, but it seems to be a tradition. On that basis, let me tell you who visited and what they read in 2017. The site served up well over 17,000,000 pageviews this year from somewhere around 5,000,000 people. These people visited from 233 different countries with 74% of them representing the United States. The …

What Is a Writer Who Can’t Write?

I know I’m prone to feeling sorry for myself and I am quite committed to avoiding the temptation. It is one of those sins that feels like it will feel good but actually just ends up feeling miserable. I know that intellectually—it’s just that tricky matter of implementing it emotionally. So here’s the deal: I’m a writer who can’t write. Sometimes I joke about it—I’m like a preacher without a voice or a painter without a brush. But seriously, who …

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Dear Mom

Dear Mom, We don’t really do this stuff, do we? We don’t often feel the need to say what we assume the other person already knows. It’s that British reserve, I suspect. But on this Mother’s Day, I want to tell just some of what you mean to me, and I’ll do it through a few memories, a few glimpses of days gone by. You are in my earliest memories. As I try to collect them into some semblance of …

The Blessings of Growing Up in a Christian Home

I consider it the greatest privilege, the highest act of God’s providence, that I grew up in a Christian home. I consider it no small responsibility to ensure my children, likewise, are growing up in a home that is distinctly Christian. Then, it is my sincerest desire and confident hope, that my grandchildren will have this same privilege. What are the benefits belonging to those so blessed? They are, perhaps, too many to list, and only eternity will fully enumerate …

Celebrating Forty Years

Today my parents and brothers and sisters and brothers-in-law and nieces and nephews are gathering in a little house in Chattanooga. Forty years ago today, the third of June of 1972, was a double celebration for my parents: my father marked his twenty-third birthday and he married my mother. Both had been born and raised in Quebec, one of the most unchurched areas in all of North America, yet against all odds both had recently encountered the gospel and been …

Seems So Long Ago, Nancy

In 1969 Leonard Cohen released a record entitled Songs From A Room. The fifth track on that album is “Seems So Long Ago, Nancy.” The song has become one of Cohen’s more popular ones; it has found its way onto one of his live albums and has been covered by several other artists. It is a dark, haunting song that speaks of a young woman named Nancy. The poetic words are difficult to interpret, leading many fans of Cohen’s music …

How I Got Here (Part 3)

I’ve now written two articles about how I got here (part one and part two). I sat down to write about the background to this site–the events that led to its beginning–and got a little distracted along the way. Today I’ll actually get to the heart of the story. I ended the last article in September 2000, at the point where Aileen and I (and our baby son) moved to Oakville. As we did so, we left behind the Dutch …

How I Got Here (Part 2)

Yesterday I began writing about How I Got Here in an article that somehow began to turn into a loose autobiography. I got as far as walking into my first day at a new high school and being confronted by a cute girl whose first words to me were “If you ever tell anyone, I’ll kill you. I’ll absolutely kill you.” So there I was in Ancaster High, a new Christian and a terribly unmotivated student. For the first semester …

How I Got Here

Last night my wife and I were reminiscing about this web site, about my growing career as a writer (at least I hope it’s growing) and about the church contexts that produced me, that produced this blog. As we spoke I realized that I’ve never really discussed the genesis of this site and, by extension, the church I was part of when I began writing. I spent about 5 years in quite a poor church after tossing aside Reformed theology …

A La Carte (8/6)

The Future of Evangelicalism – Patheos has invited a long list of people to submit an article about the future of evangelicalism. Some of them are really quite good. Be sure to check out the one by Justin Taylor, Collin Hansen and Kevin DeYoung. A Shout Out to Moms – Jon Seger: “Any time someone asks me where my wife works or what she does, I usually preface my response with, ‘My wife’s got a much more difficult job than …