Luther, Evangelicals, and Modern Art

Lucas Cranach the Elder, The Wittenberg Altarpiece, 1547, Wittenberg, Germany Modern and contemporary painting is the heart of my theology of culture. It is not the kind of cultural practice, however, that receives any positive attention from evangelical cultural theologians and critics, for whom art is irrelevant at best and harmful at worst. But painting [Read More...]

Words

 Today’s guest blogger is John Cuyler, Pastor of Storrs Community Church in Coventry, Connecticut since 1994. He has a Doctor of Ministry degree in Christian Spirituality from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts.  John and his wife Carmel have three grown children. I listened attentively as President Obama and Governor Romney sought to inspire American voters and last week we were sobered [Read More...]

Did God “Create” Death? Reflections on the Abrupt Demise of a Squirrel

The other day, Auggie, my six-year old Springer Spaniel, scored a major victory. After chasing squirrels his entire life, to no avail (Coyote-Road Runner style) he finally caught one–in our backyard. The squirrel didn’t have a limp or anything. When Auggie nabbed him, he instinctively and abruptly ended the poor little guy’s life. It was [Read More...]

Politics as Religion

OK, so this is nothing especially new, but I liked the way that Ross Douthat, in his book Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, tied the decline in American church attendance not to the loss of religion, but to its redirection. Jesus can’t save me the way I want to be saved, but maybe [Read More...]

Hope Amidst the Ruins in Charlottesville

At the end of the month I’ll be speaking at the Mockingbird Ministries fall conference at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, September 28-29. The theme is High, Low & In Between: Hope Amidst the Ruins, and if you happen to be in the area, consider spending the weekend with us. Through on-line articles, publications, conferences, and [Read More...]

Melville’s Epilogue

  In 1857 an exhausted and depressed Herman Melville travelled to Jerusalem in an effort to recover his Christian faith. He returned bitterly disappointed with what he apparently didn’t find. Unfortunately, Melville’s life-long struggle with faith is not the exception in the history of modern art and literature. This history is characterized by loss, brokenness, [Read More...]

Kierkegaard on the Bible’s “Carefully Contrived Discrepancies”

Here’s a little reflection, from Kierkegaard, for those of you interested in the issue of biblical inerrancy: Like a good, theologically orthodox Lutheran, Kierkegaard accepted the Bible’s authority as the divinely inspired “Word of God.” But he refused to ground the Bible’s authority, the legitimacy of Christian faith, and the epistemological truth of Christianity, in [Read More...]

Unapologetic Preaching

Asked to review James MacDonald’s Vertical Church by the fine people who bring you Patheos, it seemed only appropriate to do that here (there is a discussion of the book going on at The Patheos Book Club blog). As the title implies, Vertical Church is a plea for the people of God (and particularly those who lead them) [Read More...]

The Hilarious Violence of Grace

Grace is a nice idea until it happens to you. Theologian George Hunsinger writes, Grace does not mean continuity but radical discontinuity, not reform but revolution, not violence but nonviolence, not the perfecting of virtues but the forgiveness of sins, not improvement but resurrection from the dead. He continues, grace is not a matter of repairing [Read More...]

Why I Don’t Tally the “God” References at Political Conventions

I’m seeing a number of comparisons of the RNC and the DNC regarding the number of “God” references, and references to “Scripture” in speeches. Then there was that kurfuffle at the DNC about taking “God” out of the party platform, then re-inserting the language after it was put to the convention floor. I think God [Read More...]

Tony Jones is Doing Apologetics!

Emergent theologian Tony Jones is starting a new blog series called Questions that Haunt Christianity. He’s inviting readers to submit their vexing questions about the Christian faith on Tuesday of each week, and then he’ll answer them on Friday. Jones says, “I’m not afraid of doubt. I, myself, am a doubter. But I consider a [Read More...]

The Temptation of Truth

A wise mentor once told me that to truly understand another’s beliefs is to be tempted by them. This requires a certain love for the truth that extends beyond a certainty that you’ve already found it. Such a genuine love of truth, and the ruthless pursuit of it, is ultimately a search for God. Most [Read More...]


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