i’ve been thinking and talking about and working on a book idea for the past few years, since finishing called: my journey to c. s. lewis’s house and back again. death and grief and the long process of saying goodbye is, unfortunately, part of our story. and in the wake of so many painful conversations, i’ve […]Read More when we say goodbye | life goes on
fifty-four years ago today, people around the world were reeling from the news of an all-too young u.s. president’s assassination. so overwhelming was this tragedy that it overshadowed the news of a beloved english author’s death in his home on the same day. on a recent friday evening, two friends and i gathered together at […]Read More 54 years later: c. s. lewis today
“ryan, i feel like a bad christian when…” two university students used that phrase with me within the same week last spring. both confessing christians in berkeley, each confessed to me that their actions make them feel less than christian, somehow. i was so struck by this language: ‘bad’ christian. who is shaping our image of […]Read More good christian? bad christian? why read scripture?
a yellow-haired woman in a tight scarf is going through the pre-flight safety procedures from the front of our flight—“in the event that anything should happen,” a disembodied voice speaks over the intercom—while i watch and wonder, is anyone even paying attention? who, if anyone, is this helping? soon, i’m no longer watching this stewardess […]Read More pre-flight safety instructions: how the church can uniquely respond to the cost of whiteness
“the way i see it,” lewis says from somewhere in the back of my mind. “you have two options.” “either you love, but you remember that to love anything means your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.” “that’s right,” i say. “or, if you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must […]Read More not created for goodbyes: an imaginary conversation
a few months ago, i was asked to speak to a group of mothers on calling. i’ve never thought about how to speak to moms on this topic, and i realized the person i should start with is my wife. so i wrote this letter to jen and read it aloud to introduce my talk. i’m sharing […]Read More an open letter to my wife on calling
the following are my reflections on my grandfather’s life–a man who shaped my life more than anyone else–offered as the eulogy at his memorial service on january 5, 2017. good afternoon, my name is ryan pemberton, and i’m “bud” kinsey’s grandson. on behalf of our entire family, thank you for joining us to celebrate and […]Read More c.m. “bud” kinsey: a life remembered
the following is the final message given to a gathering of university students in berkeley, california in a semester-long study of Jesus’ response to the question: what’s the most important commandment? (mark 12:28-31) so to wrap up our series on love, i want to shift our focus from our love of God, love of others, and love […]Read More how to speak of God’s love?
the following are the impromptu reflections i offered to the students of focus (fellowship of college and university students, the university ministry of first presbyterian church of berkeley) the day after the election results were announced. something happened this morning that has never happened to me since moving to the bay area just over a year ago. on […]Read More our scandalous hope: reflections on the 2016 election
hey hudson, you were due to arrive the day i first sat down to start writing this letter. we welcomed you into the world a full week later. now that i’m finally wrapping this up, it’s been three weeks since you breathed your first breath of air–a good sign that you’re arriving in the right family. […]Read More a letter to hudson