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Dana Bowman

An Oregonian Lament

Despite living in Portland, I do not consider myself a true Oregonian. This is partially because I understand our history, and I’ll likely never truly

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Abide Within to Protect Your Fruit

There’s a legal doctrine that I’ve learned from the equivalent of several years of law school from watching legal dramas. It’s known as “fruit of the poisonous tree.” … Over the last few years I’ve come to see this as another handy metaphor to describe the failings of American evangelicalism.

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The Sword Without the Spirit

A man in my hometown recently filed a lawsuit against the instructor of his sword-fighting class because, while demonstrating a particular move, the instructor accidentally stabbed him in the eye. When I read that story in the news, my first thought was, Oh, man, that would preach.

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Success. Can’t Find It? Don’t Grind It.

Sometimes preaching can have unintended consequences. I recently had the privilege of preaching through the David and Goliath story, and it illustrates an important distinction in biblical interpretation. Bible stories like that one can be either descriptive (describing the world and the Lord who created it) or prescriptive (instructive toward the way God’s people should behave). There are strong elements of both in 1 Samuel 17.

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In desperate times, the e-word needs a remix

Two years ago, I wrote in this space about the erosion of meaning that has befallen the term “evangelical.” For a variety of reasons, I was ready to toss it out. I believed then, as I do now, the term has become relational kryptonite. Its negative connotations make true evangelism all but impossible.

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Addiction & the Church

As an alcoholic in recovery, I occasionally have to deal with painful reminders of my past. It’s part of the deal. You go into recovery, and it’s really hard, and sometimes you have to pay your dues.

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