By Paul Koch

To say that I am not a fan of soccer would be a gross understatement. I am often befuddled by its popularity and cannot understand why parents continue to encourage their children, especially their sons, to participate in this strange sport. I am regularly reminded by passionate sports fans that this is the most popular sport in the world, and therefore, it carries a certain promise of common ground for conversation and experience in our global economy. It is commonly referred to as the beautiful game, and I must admit that when I watch a skilled athlete, there is a majestic beauty that is found in their ability to control a ball with such precision and agility with seemingly no effort.

By Paul Koch

Last week, I travelled to Fort Wayne, Indiana for the 32nd Annual Symposium on Exegetical Theology and the 40th Annual Symposium on the Lutheran Confessions. These two conferences hosted back to back at the seminary are always packed full of great insights and discussion by top-notch scholars. To be sure, leaving the beautiful confines of Ventura, California to travel to Fort Wayne in the middle of January isn’t always to joyful undertaking. Nonetheless, I go every year. I go for the opportunity to learn and so that I might be a better pastor and teacher, but most of all I go because every year I gather together with a handful of very good friends. It is their presence, their laughter, their banter in the bars late into the night that make it all worthwhile.

By Paul Koch

In my experience, women fight differently than men. As a father of five, one boy and four girls, I have witnessed the clear difference in their strategy and tactics. My son seems to have a deep instinctual desire to fight with a physical exchange, a trading of blows to make his point. In fact, you can see the torment he goes through when he restrains from physical retaliation toward one of his sisters because he has been taught from the get-go that you don’t hit girls.

By Scott Keith

The other night, I took my children to see the new Marvel Comics movie, Dr. Strange. On the whole, it was not one of my favorite Marvel flicks. In fact, I was more struck by the young man sitting in front of me than I was by the movie. He was, I think, what you would call a “hipster.” He wore hiking boots with rolled up jeans, a buttoned up wool flannel shirt, and a beanie positioned above his ears with the pointy top rising off the top of his head. Frankly, he looked like a skinny lumberjack parading through the streets of San Juan Capistrano.