David A. Zimmerman is an editor for InterVarsity Press and author of several books. His most recent, *The Parable of the Unexpected Guest,* releases fall 2011.
When worshipers of the future, few though they will be, sing the song Amazing Grace in their 3D virtual churches broadcast through their gospel glasses, they will assume that the song was written in 2006 rather than 1772. That’s because they’ll check the copyright office, where they’ll see that... March 20th, 2013 | Becoming the Great Us | Read More
It was supposed to be simple. I was teaching part two of the Lord’s Prayer to a roomful of middle-schoolers. Part two of the Lord’s Prayer—that’s, like, twenty words, and half of them are “us.” And it’s not like a middle-schooler is going to question the theological underpinnings of what... November 20th, 2012 | Becoming the Great Us, Columns | Read More
The fact has never been lost on me that I am the second son of a second son. I have one older brother, just like my father before me. I also have one younger sister, just like my father before me, so I am also the middle child of a middle child. But for whatever reason, that fact doesn’t speak... September 25th, 2012 | Becoming the Great Us, Essays | Read More
Don’t get me wrong. I love Jesus. Singing about Jesus is fine. I’m just not sure we can crank out good songs about Jesus as quickly as we think we can.
I should mention that (a) I’ve written a fair number of songs about Jesus myself and (b) none of them was particularly good. It may, in fact,... August 17th, 2012 | Becoming the Great Us, Columns | Read More
In the beginning was an impulse.
Forget what it’s become for a minute. Think about that impulse. We should be together. It was spontaneous and collective—at least that’s how we think of it. The Bible tells us simply “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.”
That’s... June 19th, 2012 | Becoming the Great Us, Columns, Essays | Read More
There was a moment for me when I knew for certain that the cast of Seinfeld weren’t heroes but anti-heroes. It was when Jerry and Elaine were conspiring to become the new people in a separating couple’s life. In the 1996 episode “The Wait Out,” Cary Elwes (from The Princess Bride) and Debra... May 16th, 2012 | Becoming the Great Us, Columns | Read More
The other day a friend of mine told me about the time when he was working as a bouncer at a bar. He was studying theology at a university in southeast England at the time. It was the seventies, at the height of the Disco Era. He went on to become a Lutheran pastor.
This struck me as hilarious. My friend... March 19th, 2012 | Becoming the Great Us, Essays | Read More
Kids—particularly kids who aren’t yet school age—act weird in church. They don’t play by the same rules as adults: they draw with their crayons, they read their books. I once saw two preschool-aged boys sitting next to each other, each playing a different game on their two iPads. And when they... March 18th, 2012 | Becoming the Great Us, Essays | Read More
It’s beginning to look a little like Christmas. You know what that means? Bell weather.
During the Christmas shopping season (known liturgically as “Advent”) men and women brave the cold to stand outside stores, ringing bells and collecting change for the Salvation Army. It’s... November 25th, 2011 | Becoming the Great Us, Featured | Read More
I’ve been tutoring a friend of mine in the history of the U.S. Constitution. He’s homeschooled, but he lost parent-as-teacher privileges for being too cheeky or something. So now he’s being punished by having me and several other novices as his teachers. So at least he’ll learn... November 10th, 2011 | Becoming the Great Us, Columns | Read More