Be The Man.

The Man: A piece of him is pulled toward his animalistic brain stem: fight or flight, sexual conquest, genetic procreation at any cost.  But he is awakened by God to a higher calling.  He is surrounded by beauty and possibility, by a world already alive in all its verdant hope.  His job is not to make a world for himself, but to tend to a world already provided. 

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Nick RichtsmeierComment
Applying the Bible to Your Life (and Ruining It In the Process)

If you have been a participant in the American Christian religion in the last 30 years, you likely are more familiar with the Bible as prooftext, as quotation, as inspirational anecdote, as feel-good story.  You are accustomed to a truncated and neutered text, made innocuous for easy and quick application so we can all go get on with our lives. With such a view of the text, it is impossible—I would argue—to be awakened to the Gospel itself, a revelation of God’s loving claim on every human life.

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Nick RichtsmeierComment
The Joy and the Bullshit

We’ve got to get clear about the game we’re playing.  I say all this not to shame you (or me) or anyone else who is quickly fabricating their better self for 2018.  I say this to liberate us from the fog of self-deception and a cultural milieu of bullshit that we have unwinkingly accepted as unavoidable.  We—for lack of an alternative—believe all this public and private pumping ourselves up is required despite how repulsive we may find it in others. (And how ineffectual it annually becomes.)

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Nick Richtsmeier Comment
For the Low, Low Price

Faith, the journey by which we discover the cosmic reality our senses can’t contain, makes a very poor sales pitch and it will never rightly be watered down into four easy steps.  It cannot be glossed over by a worship team in required hipster attire, and it cannot be proffered by professional Christians who have conversion quotas to hit in order to keep their jobs.

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Nick Richtsmeier Comments
The Holiday Heist

What we, as people of the Jesus Way mean by Christmas, is the advent of the presence of God in the skin of human life.  After centuries of hand-wringing as to when the Covenant God (the God who holds up the deal of infinite love with humanity) would make His full appearance in time, thus setting the upside down and the downside up [sounds dangerously like an episode of Stranger Things… but I digress again].  This is what we mean Christmas, and at its origins, it is the greatest heist of all time.

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Nick RichtsmeierComment
Wars and Rumors of Wars

I spend a lot of time weeping on planes.  Well, not A LOT of time, but I think it happens to me well beyond what could be considered normal.  I suspect the causation of this bizarre behavior (I’m usually flying alone) is a concoction of how isolated I feel when I’m traveling, my commitment to listening to the most personal and most inspirational of my music library while I’m flying, and that travel often means I’m on my way to something I love or something I loathe.  Regardless, I have learned—in the company of strangers—to let the tears roll. 

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How to Trust a Sermon

Because so much of my writing and podcasting as well as the teaching in TRIBE are deeply Scripture-centric, I am often asked how to recognize a Sunday sermon as theologically sound.  It is a difficult question, no doubt, becacuse the deeper you go with truly reliable Scripture study methods, the more the proof-texting and quicky applications so prevalent in today’s mega-churches and would-be mega-churches (isn’t that everyone’s aim these days?) ceases to resonate. Recognizing the Bible’s slow and steady pace to the margins of American religious life, I felt it was time to start answering this question for us all.

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Until the Doors of God Are Thrown Open

How shocked many modern day church-goers would be to discover that their deific notions of God have more to do with ancient pagan philosophy than Biblical Christianity. The institutional church of the first centuries (primarily in conjunction with Emperor Constantine) tried to pour the infinite fluidity of the Trinitarian God into the stoic stone container of the Greek’s god in the sky. And as time has passed, to most card-carrying Christians, the container is all they now remember.

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What Makes a Life? (Infographic)

The clearest instruction for
human thriving across both testaments of Scripture is this: to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.  And while these imperatives have been recited ad nauseum for the marketing of various endeavors, we are left with very real questions: What is a self? Why is it framable as heart, mind, SOUL, and body (strength)? What’s love got to do with it? And why was this both Moses and Jesus’ clear path to thriving human culture? 

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Collusion with Chaos: Noah Retold

My goal in the writing today is to bring fresh view to this famous tale, of course, but also to draw its mythic imagery firmly into the present as a clarion call to the frailty and possibility entrapped in every human heart.  Including yours, including your neighbors, including your enemies.  The ancient Jews built a worldview (a worldview that became the foundation for Jesus’ life and ministry) where we are undoubtedly all in this together, and if you ever question the extent of this, we have no farther to look than the infamous flood.

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