TV Was Better When There Were Only Five Channels

David Brooks’ New York Times column this week on same-sex marriage, entitled Freedom Loses One, could just as well been titled In Praise of Limits. His basic thrust was how the marriage severely limits freedom (if you define freedom as doing whatever you please). In America we have more at liberty than ever, as social mores and religious constraints [Read More…]

To Doctorates Outside the Academy: I Need Your Help

So allow me to do a little crowd-sourcing here. I’m speaking on a panel this Friday at the regional AAR meeting, on the topic, “What Else? All the Ways to use a Ph.D.” I’d be very interested in hearing from anyone who is using their Ph.D. in religious studies, theology, ethics, biblical studies, etc., outside [Read More…]

The Church of the Poor and the Humble, People’s Pope

When Pope Francis I declared, in his introductory sermon, that the Catholic Church would be a church, not just for the poor, but of the poor, I wondered how this could be possible. I’ve read enough of Jon Sobrino, the remarkable El Savadoran liberation theologian, to know of the powerful reformational, justice-oriented strain within the Catholic [Read More…]

Easy Easter Lamb

Now that Lent is giving way to the main event of Easter, the Feast of the Paschal Lamb can become an easy Easter dinner with this recipe for awesome lamb chops. Especially if you’re one of those people who goes to church on Easter, you can put this together in time for lunch. The first [Read More…]

Morality is a Feeling I Feel

Wake Forest University president Nathan Hatch, marking the Sesquicentennial of Boston College, made a few remarks on the case for religion in liberal education. Among them: The mystique of digital connection keeps us in a constant state of anticipation and interruption. When a beep goes off, our first obligation is to respond. William Powers has [Read More…]

A Man Had Two Sons

Envy is as old as humanity itself. In the first utterance of the word sin in Scripture, a man had two sons; two brothers who come to grief over, of all things, an offering given to God. “Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground. Abel brought the firstborn of [Read More…]

Relax, People: “The World is Not Ours to Save”

What are we going to do about all those fired-up youngsters who are running around trying to save the world (and acting like they have only four minutes to do it)? There has been a sea-change in the church. Like so often happens, Christianity seems to be swinging over to a concern with social justice [Read More…]

Playing the Victim

While in Jerusalem last week, with plans to go to Bethlehem, the US State Department issued a travel warning against US citizens entering the West Bank. There had been violence protests on one street over ongoing Palestinian prisoner treatment in Israel. Disappointed, we canceled our Nativity visit, only to be persuaded to change our mind [Read More…]

Holy Spirit Conference

I’m heading tomorrow to Regent University for a conference on “The Holy Spirit and the Christian Life,” hosted by the Divinity School’s Center for Renewal Studies. It looks to be a very good conference lineup, with topics including Aquinas on the Affections, Hugh of St. Victor on the gifts of the Spirit, Monasticism, Kierkegaard, and [Read More…]

Quantity vs Quality

Today’s guest post comes from Jim Wolaver, one of an excellent class of students from Bethel Seminary who recently studied the intersection between faith, vocation and work. Christians affect those around them the same as anyone else. One aspect of my personal ministry that concerned me until recently was the number of people I ministered to. I am [Read More…]