Silver Linings Cloud Drive


Hope springs eternal in the human breast, or so we are told by optimists of all kinds. This seems to especially be the case when what one is hoping for is that ever elusive 'true love'. It becomes all the more elusive when you are dealing with seriously messed up young people-- such as encounter in 'Silver Linings Playbook'. It is sometimes hard to tell who exactly is the most messed up--- Is it Pat Solitano (played very well indeed by Bradley Cooper) who is bi-polar and on top of that has … [Read more...]

AFTE— The John Wesley Fellows and their Impact


Here is a nice article on the legacy of the John Wesley Fellows by Mary Jacobs in the UM reporter..... It has been one of my great privileges to be a John Wesley Fellow, from the very start of the program when I was one of the first three to be funded in 1977. As the article makes clear, the impact of this group of scholars has already been considerable especially at … [Read more...]

Preaching in the Land of Lincoln

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Going to Springfield Ill. is a trip back into the past. Here Abraham Lincoln built a house and lived for 17 years, and from here he was elected to the Presidency. The Lincoln Presidential Museum, and Library, and House are all here, and so is the pew his family would city in at the Presbyterian Church just down the road from his house. While I was in Springfield on Monday to do an event for my Methodists, preaching and teaching them, I had Monday morning off, and I made good use of it, … [Read more...]

Paul and the Heritage of Israel– Part Four


The essay written by Christopher Mount, entitled "Paul's Place in Early Christianity" seems to be encumbered from the outset by a series of assumptions and arguments from silence that are probably wrong. The first of these is the assumption (see p. 93 n. 10) that Matthew, Mark, and John did not feel the necessity of linking the life of Jesus with the subsequent story and history of the church. First of all, we do not know what they 'felt' about this matter. If we were to judge it from the … [Read more...]

The Black Jacket Symphony Strikes Again


Who exactly are the Black Jacket Symphony? Well, they are a Birmingham Ala. band led by music director J. Willoughby. They have a cadre of musicians that rotate into and out of the band, depending on which album or albums or groups they are currently on tour doing hommages to. So, for example, you'll need some female voices to do Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, but a very different set of voices to do the Rolling Stones Some Girls. You get the picture.The band got started in 2009 when Willoughby … [Read more...]

The Side Effects of Side Effects


Though he may be better known for being the director of Sex,Lies and Videotape, or Ocean's Eleven and Twelve, I really most enjoy Steven Soderbergh's real thrillers like Haywire and now Side Effects. Soderbergh makes movies that are far from predictable and have the winsome trait of making you think---- which is more than one can say about most movies these days. While Side Effects is only a svelte one hour and forty six minutes long, it is packed with intrigue, innuendo, and mystery. It … [Read more...]

The Far Side of Valentine’s Day


When love goes south.....When reading is all that happens in bed at night.... … [Read more...]

A Pope Steps Down

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I was caught totally off guard. When was the last time a Pope stopped poping while still wearing his Papal slippers? The answer is almost six hundred years ago. No wonder I didn't realize this could even happen. On further review, shock turned to understanding. A Pope who was PUP (physically unable to perform the job) decided it was time to step down, and hopefully let younger healthier folks do the job. One of the great problems of course with electing Popes is that it has tended to be … [Read more...]

Paul and the Heritage of Israel– Part Three


We hear a lot these days about the 'reception' of Paul in the post-Pauline era. Many scholars, who think the later Paulines are post-Pauline would include in this discussion 2 Thessalonians, Colossians, Ephesians and the Pastorals. Many would not as well. But it is of course true that there was a reception and transformation of both the image and the teachings of Paul in the post-Pauline era. It was recognized that Paul was important, was a fellow Christian teacher, and at the same time that … [Read more...]