Advent Shock: Jesus, the Crucified Peoples

Advent season formally begins this Sunday. I love this period of intentional reflection on the meanings of the “coming of God,” in Jesus of Nazareth. The incarnation. Emmanuel–God with us! Theologian Letty Russell wrote of “advent shock,” a poignant phrase that suggests that the current state of history and the “way things are” is being [Read More...]

With Malice Toward None

I’m an Lincolnphile. Love Abe. I have all his books. Read all the biographies. Whenever I’m asked who in history I’d most want to meet if ever given the chance, I always say Abraham Lincoln even though I know I’m supposed to say Jesus. (Of course I believe I get to meet Jesus, so he’s [Read More...]

The Ladder & The Bridge

There is a habit of thinking among Christian artists, philosophers, and theologians that conceives of the work of art as a ladder. It uplifts, drawing one closer to God. It is believed to do this in two ways. First, it operates in the register of philosophy, participating in the timeless ideas and eternal forms of [Read More...]

Black Friday, Good Friday, and the Eucharist: Being Consumed, Part II

Black Friday is receding into Thanksgiving. A U.S. News articlereports that Wal-Mart, Sears and Toys-R-Us will have flung wide their gates at 8 pm on Thursday. Target is exercising remarkable restraint, waiting an hour later to begin the madness. I’ve been reflecting on this phenomenon in the context of reading William Cavanaugh’s Being Consumed, where he [Read More...]

A Thanksgiving Prayer from Kierkegaard

“Father in heaven! You hold all the good gifts in your gentle hand. Your abundance is richer than can be grasped by human understanding. You are very willing to give, and your goodness is beyond the understanding of a human heart, because you fulfill every prayer and give what we pray for or what is [Read More...]

Haystacks & Shadows

One of the most enjoyable aspects of teaching art history to college students is presenting to them an artist or work of art with which they have been long familiar, perhaps Michelangelo and his famous Pietà or Marcel Duchamp and his infamous Fountain, and opening it up to reveal something they hadn’t noticed, taking it out [Read More...]

‘Tis the Season… To help out — some… within finite boundaries… in non-polarizing projects

Today’s guest blogger is Tim Conder, the founding pastor of Emmaus Way in Durham, NC.  He is currently a PhD Candidate in “Culture, Curriculum, & Change” at the University of North Carolina. Tim is the author of Free for All:  Rediscovering the Bible in Community and The Church in Transition:  The Journey of Existing Churches [Read More...]

Sexism at Christian Colleges (and Seminaries)

I wanted to make you aware of an excellent an important reflection by my Bethel University colleague, Pamela Erwin. On her blog, “Theological Curves” (gotta like that title), Erwin reflects on a recent Christianity Today study on sexism at Christian colleges. I would think the same certainly applies to evangelical seminaries as well–if not more [Read More...]

Is Free Market Capitalism Always Free? Where Consumer Desire Meets Cheap Labor

I’ve started reading William Cavanaugh’s Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire. I’m only half-way in, but I’m pretty sure this is one of those books that anyone who pastors a church in the U.S. really should read, wrestle with, and then figure out how to communicate its message to their congregants–or at least start a conversation about [Read More...]

Petraeus, David Petraeus

Following this week’s unfolding scandal involving former CIA Director and war hero David Petraeus brings unavoidable comparisons to James Bond. I haven’t seen Skyfall yet, but I hear it’s awesome and that it contains everything that makes a Bond movie Bond: sociopathic killing sprees with wicked awesome gadgetry, gorgeous women loved and left, clever asides and clear [Read More...]


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