Author: David L. Miller

Wrong Story

[1] You don’t have to be an aficionado of YouTube to have witnessed the most profound public abuse of the Christian pulpit in recent memory. [2] At the end of May, Father Michael Pfleger ascended the pulpit steps at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Barack Obama’s former congregation. Pfleger is a maverick, politically […]

One Man, Alone; One Not So

Eliot Spitzer and Barack Obama reveal sharply divergent attitudes toward human community. Which one do Americans really want … or understand? [1] Don’t get me wrong. What Eliot Spitzer did is reprehensible. But my first reaction to the scandal was not, “throw the bum out.” [2] The former New York governor climbed the political ladder […]

Spiritual Reinvention and the Andrew Greeley Principle

When the church neglects its practices, the culture reinvents them in secular form. [1] The seminary where I serve celebrated the 40th anniversary of the dedication of its building in October. As I reviewed its history, I came across the comments of architects and seminary officials describing the significance of its design. At one point, […]

God is Friendship: Personal Reflections toward a Spirituality of Friendship

[1] A journey of recovery awaits me. Along the way, I hope to find greater humanity and God amid old memories and smiles I have never forgotten. [2] Soon, I will embark on a road trip with two old friends. I have not shared such intimate space with them for 25 years, or is it […]

Failures of Imagination

Imagination enlarges the circle of our seeing and enables empathy. It is the only real cure for the globe’s deadly levels of toxicity. [1] Students in my spirituality workshops at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago reflect a maturity beyond much commentary I read each day in the Chicago Tribune. They also outpace many […]

Warrior Ethics 101: Everything We Need to Know We Learned in Sunday School

[1] Today, U.S. military commanders in Iraq are teaching classes in “core warrior values.” About 150,000 multinational troops are receiving remedial ethics education during June and July. The action comes in response to backlash over the massacre of 24 civilians at Haditha-and an alleged cover up of the incident. [2] Military authorities emphasize the training […]

Honest to God: The Sago Mine disaster cries for Christian formation that blesses bitterness and sanctifies anger

[1] Archetypal images of religion in American life filled our TV screens in early January. The cameras fixed their fickle eyes on a small white-frame church amid the worn hills of Sago, West Virginia. A coal mine explosion, Jan. 2, trapped 13 miners in the cold blackness of the mine. Above ground, mining officials and […]

Shipshewana and the American Way of Fear

[1] Follow the fear. It will tell you what you need to know about the challenge of Christian witness in these times. It also reveals the wound that the incarnation of God in human flesh hungers to heal-making us, our nation and world more truly human. [2] A black pickup truck slows to make a […]