• Fred's Blog

    An Unremarkable Life

    Listen to “An Unremarkable Life” by Fred Smith   I re-publish this every few years to honor my father and grandfather. They were so different and each found it difficult to love and understand the other. Fathers and sons. I know something about that. If all I knew about my grandfather was what I read in his 1952 diary I might think he was a man whose life was a monotonous string of colorless days. My grandfather, Bunyan Smith, was a pastor in one of the poorest sections of Nashville, and I knew enough about his life as a preacher to expect that his diary would not likely be thrilling. However, I…

  • Fred's Blog

    The Museum of Me

    Listen to “The Museum of Me” by Fred Smith   Two of our best friends are moving away so we had one last dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Among so much else, we talked about the emotional difficulty of deciding what to keep and what to throw away. We all face that when we move but there is something about what feels like the last move that makes everything seem more final and serious. It’s not just tossing trash and the normal detritus we’ve accumulated.  Much of that has been dispatched in previous moves but now we are down to what really matters. These are things that define us…

  • Fred's Blog

    Ties That Bind

    Listen to “Ties that Bind” by Fred Smith   In his address to the National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast in Westminister Hall last month, Tim Keller tells the tragic story of the shooting of ten little Amish girls in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania in 2006. It is a remarkable account of forgiveness and grace on the part of the families. In fact, over half of those in attendance at the killer’s funeral were Amish. Three scholars of Amish history and culture were prompted to write the book “Amish Grace” that exposed many for the first time to the deeply rooted practice of forgiveness in Amish spirituality that is an everyday part of…

  • Fred's Blog

    The Soil of Partial Truth

     Listen to “The Soil of Partial Truth” by Fred Smith   A humorous article on Christian music included this quote from Joe Bob Briggs: “Christian music is bad songs written about God by white people.” My friend, Steven Garber then at the Washington Institute and now at Regent College, messaged me back with a piece he and Charlie Peacock had done at the Art House in Nashville. It began with the question “Can you sing songs shaped by the truest truths of the universe but in a language that the whole world can understand?” In the course of our back and forth Steven passed along this observation from writer Walker Percy…