For the Love of the Word, for the Love of God

In his splendid book Monuments Men Robert Edsel tells the following tale about the liberation of Buchenwald....Walker Hancock when he got to the vicinity of Buchenwald was visited by a Jewish chaplain ministering to to the surviving victims in Buchenwald. Hancock had recently recovered a Torah scroll, and when the Jewish chaplain visited, he lamented that what the persons in the camp most longed for, was the symbol of their faith and spiritual life--- a Torah scroll. Hancock, fortunately had … [Read more...]

The Monuments Men— The Book by Robert Edsel

Fortunately, it has been rare in my life when I have been confronted with the face of extreme human evil. There have been a couple of times in my life, and it made me extremely uncomfortable. When you read the true story recounted by Robert Edsel (with Bret Witter of Louisville) you are slapped in the face again and again by the true fallenness of humankind, but also its capacity to act bravely and self-sacrificially. A careful reading of Monuments Men makes very clear that the old adage "all … [Read more...]

The Salt of the Earth

We live in a culture in which condiments, like salt, pepper, mustard, ketchup, are so readily available that we take them completely for granted. We have lost our connection with the past, and are unlikely to understand metaphorical phrases like "you are the salt of the earth" in an age and a culture of excess. A healthy reminder comes from the recent excellent book The Monuments Men (both the movie and the book on which it is based reviewed elsewhere on this blog). What Edsel and Witter … [Read more...]

Blueprints for the Ark— Which was Round?

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A Response to Bishop Sano’s ‘Call to Biblical Obedience’– Part Four

I am a life long Methodist. I was a cradle Methodist and some day I shall be a grave Methodist. I have lived through the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and now the nascent 21rst century and I have preached and taught all over this church, and in Methodist contexts around the world. Divisions, factions, schisms upset me, as they result from fundamental failures in the church, sometimes even caused by a failure of the chief Christian virtue--- love. Furthermore, I'm a Christian pacifist. I don't … [Read more...]

Dirt—– a Poem

DIRTDirt Is matter out of place It’s not innately dirty It’s just in the wrong space.Soil Doesn’t soil out in the yard It’s just doing its job Whether soft or hard.Dirt Is needed just to grow Even the simplest plant And all the food we know.Soil Is precious and performs Many necessary functions Sheltering from the storms.Earth It can be dust to dust But lest we overlook it It’s the Ge … [Read more...]

A Response to Bishop Sano’s ‘Call to Biblical Obedience’– Part Three

I want in this particular post to talk about Bishop Sano’s understanding of Mt. 19.12. First of all here is the context-----Vs. 3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” 4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Twenty Five

Building on the seminal work of Richard Bauckham, Tom makes his case for adding to the picture by talking more specifically about the sort of eschatological fulfillment of the creational monotheism he sees as central to the way Paul reworked early Jewish monotheism. His essential premise is that far from taking intermediary figures and symbols using them as a basis to promote Jesus into the divine sphere, to the contrary, Paul takes images of God himself and applies them to Christ. Specifically … [Read more...]

A Response to Bishop Sano’s ‘Call to Biblical Obedience’– Part Two

Another specious presupposition that we often here mentioned in discussions of the issue of gay marriage or gay sexual behavior is the notion that this issue is on the same ethical footing as racial prejudice. It certainly is not. There can be no analogy between prejudice against a person because of their ethnic origins (e.g. anti-Semitism) or their skin color (various sorts of racism), and a criticism of the sexual behavior of the gay and lesbian community. The former has to do with some … [Read more...]