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...]

Artists Behaving Strangely

Why do so many artists behave so strangely? If their odd-looking work isn’t enough to make us scratch our heads, their weird behavior confirms our suspicions that they are charlatans, getting away with artistic murder in a laissez-faire and degenerate art world in which personality and image are more important than the quality of their [Read More...]

Holy Nomad and the “Quest” Approach to Christian Faith

This post is my contribution to Patheos’ book club on Matt Litton’s Holy Nomad: The Rugged Road to Joy.  I suppose this book falls in same genre as The Ragamuffin Gospel (Brennan Manning) and The Sacred Romance (Brent Curtis and John Elderidge)–sort of a combination of memoir, inspirational writing, and biblical/theological reflection. As an academic, I’ve grown used to reading lengthy tomes, [Read More...]

Nothing Changes

So, it’s late in the day after the long night at the end of the campaign that would never end and billions of dollars and tons of mud and on and on and we have the same president, same congress, same debt, same arguments, same everything, yesterday, today and forever. Remarkable, really. Whether this is [Read More...]

I Write Too Many Words

  “Without music, life would be a mistake” (Nietzsche)   [Read more...]

Who Are You?

Every painting is a self-portrait. Although he may nowhere be seen on the canvas, the artist is everywhere present. Yet it is a self that escapes the artist’s control, transcending (and sometimes even undermining) the artist’s intentions. However, in a self-portrait the artist makes himself present to you and to me, controlling how he is [Read More...]


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