Tough Questions at Chico Grace Brethren

Our nation seems more divided than ever on moral and spiritual issues. The different tribes watch comfortable cable channels, subscribe to congenial blogs, or lob incendiary posts at other tribes on social media. Each group is trying to control the script—evangelicals included.There are fewer places where the tribes even live side by side. A New... Continue Reading →


Give Me Tough Questions for 2009

by Matthew Raley I am gathering topics for Tough Questions 2009, the annual sermon series in which the community tells me what to preach. This year, the term "community" embraces the blogosphere. In the comments to this post, leave any question about morality, politics, spirituality, or culture related to Christianity, and I will choose six... Continue Reading →

Harry Potter and the Diversity Culture

by Matthew Raley One of the most common searches that brings readers to Tritone Life is some version of, "Should Christians read Harry Potter?" Readers land on a post from my Tough Questions series last summer. Evangelicals' visceral reaction to the Potter books continues to amaze me. The young wizard seems to symbolize their problem... Continue Reading →

Tough Questions 2008: Do Evangelicals Portray Jesus Accurately?

Sermon audio: Do Evangelicals Portray Jesus Accurately? This question from the community invites me to do what some believe I do best: criticize my own subculture. Of course, I will answer, "Evangelicals often do not portray Jesus accurately." And, of course, I will try to specify which evangelical qualities are misleading. By merely asking this... Continue Reading →

Tough Questions 2008: Should Faith Influence Politics?

Sermon audio: Should Faith Influence Politics? I once tried to be a speechwriter for a gubernatorial candidate in Oregon. The former five-term congressman was fighting to win the Republican nomination, and his staff thought he needed help in the English language department. He began speeches by saying, "You all know I'm a straight shooter. So... Continue Reading →

Tough Questions 2008: Should a Christian Question Authority?

Sermon audio: Should a Christian Question Authority? I'll tell you about the time I got sent away for counseling. When I matriculated at Willamette University in 1989, freshlings were herded through a course on world views. That year, the powers assigned readings from Victorian England -- Mill, Dickens, Marx, et al. -- and we were... Continue Reading →

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