Pastor's Blog

Welcome to my Blog!

This blog doesn’t have a theme, but includes spiritual and Biblical reflections about people, Bible passages, and often topics of race and culture and the Kingdom of God, since I am called to such work.

The blog does have a dedicatory first entry. This blog is dedicated to Kianna, once a young girl I met while serving as a pastor in Michigan, and now wherever God, she herself, and life may have taken her.

If you'd like to communicate with questions or comments, please do so through the regular church contact information on this website.  I'd be happy to talk with you.

Paz, Pastor Dan

For Kianna

September 24, 2017

Kianna was in third grade.  She, her younger brother Cam, and I were spending the summer running around the church parking lot in Jesus’ name (a “blacktop” neighborhood ministry).   On some thickly hot days, we found refuge in my air-conditioned church office, which was also a refreshing place to talk about God. “What is baptism? …

Continue Reading

Lessons in Epistemology: evidential linguistics, Gnosticism, and intimidating blog titles

August 26, 2020

            Christians believe a lot of strange things.  For example, there is a virgin birth, and that of a being who was simultaneously God and human, then a specific resurrection of that being who apparently could in some sense be killed, and the main point of those events is that they are the moral hinge…

Continue Reading

Who has the privilege of deciding what this means?

June 11, 2020

The phone says we should stay home. A neighbor says we shouldn’t worry because he has loaded weapons. The parents say, “No, muchachas, you can’t bike anymore outside today.  Come in and we’ll try to explain about the robbers.” The news says it was smash-and-grab, and then mostly just smash, at the mall and moving…

Continue Reading

A Lockdown Quartet

April 27, 2020

Note: This is not a “call for help,” but a hope that honesty gives us permission to admit again that this is hard. “Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep. …

Continue Reading

Behind the Basement Wall (A Lenten Devotion)

February 26, 2020

Our house squeaked cleanliness.  Order was in sufficient supply to step on legos on only one of three forays into the play room.  The new microwave heated actual food into being actually warm.  From the outside, and on a cursory tour of the main living areas, all appeared well. The basement was another story, however. …

Continue Reading

A Critical Lament for the Invisible Victims of a Half-time Show – Or – Supra-hypocrisy

February 4, 2020

At the recent major American sporting event, our society and the NFL busied themselves embracing contradictions.  It wasn’t merely hypocrisy, but sustained dissonance chosen and celebrated.  Supra-hypocrisy.             Amidst the parodies and jokes and unintelligible commercials, there were some nice human-interest ads, like the one about Katie Sowers.  The NFL wished to celebrate how she…

Continue Reading

(Which Decline? Which Church? Whose America?)

January 16, 2020

            So much is written in the church circles I inhabit about the decline of the Church in North America.  In particular, the church blog-o-verse, catalog of conferences, and advertised books seem regularly to be offering advice about how to get The Youth back in church.             But I am convinced that much of the…

Continue Reading

Language and Privilege

December 5, 2019

I’d heard it before, so this was only the most recent occasion.             “It’s rude to speak in a language everyone doesn’t share when you could instead use a shared language, because you’re excluding people.  They might think you’re talking about them, or you might actually be doing so.”             The statement drew a relatively…

Continue Reading

Mirroring Need

October 29, 2019

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet He did not sin.  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find…

Continue Reading

Multiculturalism, Bible-style

September 26, 2019

“But hasn’t multi-culturalism failed?” – Church leader, in my office, after a tense meeting             I had been pushing to make “multi-cultural” a formally-stated value of our congregation, but I had overlooked a critical flaw, right up until I stepped in it.             “Multi-culturalism” sounded like a suspiciously-leftist agenda piece to certain of my congregants. …

Continue Reading

“Avengers: Endgame” is a tragedy

August 29, 2019

A casual conversation between Iron Man and Dr. Stephen Strange, time traveler: “I went forward into the future… to see all the possible outcomes of the coming conflict.” “How many did you see?” “14,000,605.” “How many do we win?” “One.”             So a few weekends back, I finally caught up to one piece of pop…

Continue Reading