Prometheus, Genesis and the Purpose of Creation

Hollywood has had an eschatology fetish lately: exploring the final days, coming demise of the cosmos, or post-apocalyptic scenarios of the human race. Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, a prequel to his Alien movies, takes us back the other direction–to humanity’s origin. It’s science fiction, of course; I stress the fiction here, because while it’s an enjoyable [Read More...]

Art and Grace

Andrei Tarkovsky, The Passion of Andrei Rublev (1966) Grace and Sacrament Grace is known through experience, not through description, analysis, definition. Grace is heard, seen, and felt. It is aesthetic, opening and expanding our experience of the world, which becomes, as Lutheran theologian Oswald Bayer describes it, “breadth, breath and liberation.” It is the pastor [Read More...]

Liar, Liar Robes on Fire

  As the economy continues its gyrations on the backside of the housing bust, a company called Digital Risk works to prevent another toxic mortgage collapse. As The Atlantic magazine reports this month, Digital Risk does its preventative work by treating the mortgage collapse like a crime scene, “reconstructing circumstances that led to so many Americans [Read More...]

Summer Has Arrived

Summer has arrived in Northeast Ohio.  In spite of a mild winter, and a low record of 5-6 snow shoveling gigs, the warmth, green and bursting colors are always wonderful to experience and behold.  Shortly, one of my favorite summer activities will be starting:  the Farmer’s Market, hosted by my church community, Christ United Methodist [Read More...]

LIBERATE Launches Today

  When I am not writing about art, culture, and theology here at Patheos, I serve as Director of Theological & Cultural Practices at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and my chief responsibility is curator of LIBERATE, the online resource ministry of Senior Pastor Tullian Tchividjian. The website launches this afternoon at [Read More...]

Calling All ‘Reflective Exiles’

“Reflective exiles.” I recently came across this striking term in an article by Philip Harrold called “Deconversion in the Emerging Church.” These are people who have left the established church (and sometimes their faith altogether) because of dissatisfaction with the church’s answers (or non-answers) to difficult questions. Hard questions like, “Why did God seem to command [Read More...]

Go Bananas

As I sliced up a banana for my morning corn flakes while waiting for the transit of Venus, my public radio coincidentally broadcast a piece about my fragile yellow crescent of potassium. I already knew my banana to be the most popular fruit in the country, despite its severely short shelf life. What I didn’t [Read More...]

The Ear and the Eye

Makoto Fujimura, The Golden Sea, 64 x 80, mineral pigments and gold on Kumohada paper, 2011   I recently spent the weekend with artist Makoto Fujimura at his new studio in Princeton, New Jersey, and in the course of our conversations, some of which were videotaped for a documentary, we discussed the presence of grace [Read More...]

People Watching in Airports

I spent good chunks of time over the week-end in three airports, more time spent than in the air getting from point A to B to C.  I do remember the old adage that airports are great places to “people watch.”  So between redeeming time by catching up on reading to traversing concourses, I did [Read More...]

Moral Courage: Caring and Compassion, Seeing and Speaking

I was invited to give the Commencement Address at Bethel Theological Seminary this Saturday, June 2.   The theme is “Courage for the Journey,” on which I built the call for moral courage.  Moral courage necessitates caring and compassion, and seeing and speaking if we are actually willing to embody courage as a social virtue.  Here [Read More...]


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