Our hidden public lives

What would it mean to live publicly? We are incarnations of a public God, the God who said that “all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord.” But rulers dominate public spaces, spaces where we would fulfill our public callings and manifest God’s public presence. Political Devotions helps us create public spaces. It helps us connect with Others who would join us in public spaces to establish justice and restore God’s temple, his earth.

Your public life starts with Political Devotions

As a subscriber to Political Devotions, you’ll encounter the Bible’s struggle towards political participation and justice. You’ll explore those struggles in fresh conversations among theologians and political theorists.You’ll find the courage to create local public spaces that disturb our selfish, privatized society. And in these public spaces, you’ll start answering your public calling. You’ll speak and act as a new and unabridged version of yourself.

Photo courtesy © Lloyd Wolf / Columbia Pike Documentary Project

Practice makes humor and new friends

Political Devotions involves new ways of thinking about public life. This site also includes a second, more personal newsletter, Public Spaces Blog & Podcast. In it, you’ll read and hear about my sometimes bumbling attempts to find and make public space in my wife’s and my new community, Columbia Pike in Arlington, Virginia. You’ll learn about those around me who are living out public spaces in many different ways. Click Public Spaces Blog & Podcast in the menu to access those posts and podcast episodes.

I teach college and high-school courses in Arlington. (In the above photo, I’m watching my students present their recent projects on aspects of Arlington public life.) I’m also a former trial lawyer and pastor.

I’ve written a manuscript for a book series called Political Devotions: A Year in Public Spaces. I’m trying out that series’s concepts here in the Political Devotions newsletter and the Public Spaces Blog & Podcast. Click here to read the manuscript’s introduction, which provides a deeper dive into my approach to political devotions. Click here for a sample devotion from the manuscript. Finally, click here to access a bibliography for the manuscript as well as for this Substack’s devotions.

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Subscribe to Political Devotions

Weekly devotions explore the Bible's own explorations of justice and public space. Nurture your public life with Jesus and Gandhi, Moses and Arendt, Jacob and Jane Jacobs, and your friends and fellow strangers.


I've written a manuscript called Political Devotions. I'm trying out its concepts here and in the city. My wife and I moved to town this past summer in part to look for people creating public space. A devotional practicum!