March 27, 2009

Indian Head Pennies and Holy Moments

As Christian lawyers, sometimes we're thrust into the glare of the public spotlight, seeking justice in some high-stakes, high-profile controversy. Other times, we're called to serve our clients in the most humble, quiet ways. 

Yesterday, I had the high privilege of spending a couple of peaceful hours with the Executrix of an estate in a quiet bank office as we counted and cataloged her late father's coin collection. We reverently sorted well-worn indian head pennies and liberty dollars, imagining the people who had once handled the coins, the lives they led, the tumultuous events they had witnessed, and we occasionally talked in reminiscent tones of how her dad had accumulated the collection. We were diligent but unhurried, cognizant of our sacred duty and the fiduciary trust others had placed in us.

Sometimes the best part of being a lawyer is simply the opportunity to share intimate moments in the lives of our clients. Times when witnessing for Christ means nothing more complicated than being a supportive listener and honorable companion. 

March 24, 2009

Helping or Hindering?

Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering. - Luke 11:52

Just a little something for us lawyers to ponder...

March 16, 2009

What is Christian Lawyering? Radio Interview

Allan D. Sobel, Director of The Adams Center for Law and Society, hosts Justice for All?, a weekly 30 minute talk radio show on WQSU-FM, 89.9, at Susquehanna University. A few months ago, I was Dr. Sobel's guest for an interview exploring what it means to practice Christian lawyering. Click here to listen to the full interview.

March 12, 2009

Tax Time: Lying Tongues and Deadly Snares

The story is told in three of the four gospels. Jesus is approached by some religious people (lawyers among them, naturally) who think they know his character. They are sure he will advise against paying taxes to the corrupt Roman government. And they plan to use his opposition as a means to trap him with legal trouble and shut down his ministry. But Jesus surprises and amazes them by saying, “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor's and to God the things that are God’s.” Luke 20:25.

It’s that simple. Jesus says to pay the government the taxes we owe!

Yet many Christian clients inexplicably seem to struggle with honesty and full compliance when it comes to paying taxes. Some want to dance around the issue of taxes almost as if they believe there is an entirely separate standard of morality that applies, as if the distinction between lies and truth mysteriously evaporates in the realm of taxation.

What’s the real deal? Lying about taxes is still lying.

The book of Proverbs, at chapter 21, verse 6, warns, “A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.” Better we counsel our clients to pay the government all the taxes they legitimately owe than to let them get caught up in a deadly snare!

March 11, 2009

More Laws or More Freedom to Cure the Great O-pression?

If Adam Smith were here today to witness our economic debacle, this “Great O-pression” which seems to be consuming our wealth with an unprecedented fury, would he support the idea of massive government intervention to “fix” the problems we face?

I tackle this question in my latest Good News on the Law column at

March 4, 2009

Christian Lawyer: Not an Oxymoron (Magazine Interview with Stephen Bloom)

“I sensed God speaking to me. It wasn’t like I could hear it with my ears, but it was clear as can be. I heard God saying to me, ‘You know what you have to do.’ I realized right then and there that I was going to have to leave that law firm and I was going to have to strike out and do a so-called Christian law practice. I didn’t know what that would look like and I still don't know for sure; it’s a work in progress.”

Excerpted from A Time to Love magazine's new interview with Stephen Bloom. Read the full interview "Christian Lawyer: Not an Oxymoron" in the March 2009 issue at the link above.